June 11, 2012 - Fearlessly Archived - Still a fun read, price & availability may have changed.
Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar looks like an aged Cheddar. At first bite, it tastes like an aged Cheddar. And then something, well, unexpected happens. The smooth creaminess of the Cheddar gives way to a tangy flavor and slightly crumbly texture, and it begins to taste like an aged Parmesan. Unexpected indeed! Our cheese makers, based in Wisconsin, hail from Valdastico, in Italy’s mountainous, Northeastern Veneto region. Here, they’ve combined the best qualities of hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan with the best qualities of finely crafted American Cheddar and created a semi-hard cheese that pairs well with light red wines (think Pinot Noir) or pale ales. Joined by crusty bread, some green olives and dried fruit, this cheese is unexpectedly perfect.
Anywhere else, its price of $3.99 for each seven ounce piece would be an unexpected value. At Trader Joe’s, though, value is one thing you can always expect.