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Jul 20, 2012 02:21 PM

Supermarket block cheddars?

Which do you think is best? I am not talking about the upscale ones by the deli either - budget is tight

My store carries cabot (which is what I buy) heluva good and cracker barrel, plus a few cheaper brands (crystal farms, store brand)

Which do you think is best?

I like the cabot serious sharp and haven't tried the others except cracker barrel


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    1. re: sedimental

      Seconded. Especially the Vintage White Cheddar.

      1. re: sedimental

        Tillamook is the best. We use the medium cheddar on everything, but also love the white cheddar and the sharp. Yum!

        1. re: sedimental

          Tillamook here too. Slightly more expensive than the store brands, but worth it. I usually buy the sharp cheddar.

          1. re: Felila

            Tillamook sharp used to be one of those things we always brought home after visiting family in the PNW, but now I can get it at Costco.

        2. Tillamook medium for most purposes, but the sharp or extra sharp if you prefer.

          8 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            Isn't tillamook super expensive?

            thanks tho I will look for it, if it is that good I don't mind paying a higher price at all

            1. re: madeliner

              No. I just bought a big huge block today of medium cheddar for 7.99.

              1. re: sedimental

                great! - was it by the deli or in the 'regular' dairy case?

                1. re: madeliner

                  Where I live, it is always where the "regular" dairy is. Granted I am in the PNW (land of Tilamook) so it's everywhere ;)

                  It should be in the same section of the store where you would find cracker barrel and the like.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Tillamook is the "regular" cheddar where I live (Seattle), or at least where I shop. It goes on sale as cheap as $5.99 for the 2 lb medium loaf quite often--in fact so often I can't remember when I've bought it at full price. The sharp usually costs more, but that goes on sale a lot too.

              2. re: madeliner

                I don't think it's "super" expensive in the 2lb blocks. Check the unit price. The small packages of various cheddars from the deli section will be more. The extra sharp is more expensive than the sharp, which is more expensive than the medium. Shop around and look for it discounted.

                Part of the problem with saving by buying a 2lb block is that with that much on hand, you might use more than otherwise.

                1. re: madeliner

                  Yes, where you are it may be pricey and hard to find. See my more complete response below in the main thread.

                  1. re: madeliner

                    I just checked the prices at my usual supermarket. Tillamook medium cheddar is $9 (for two lbs, sharp is $10. The extra-sharp is a lot more — $14.60. The store brand of mild cheddar is $8. Sometimes Tillamook can be found for less, but these are the usual prices.

                2. I lived in Portland (just down the road from Tillamook) for six months, and Fred Meyer's (combo supermarket/Target-type store) sold little 3 or 4 oz. "candy bar" sizes of various Tillamook cheeses. I always grabbed a few for the ride home, along with the big block cheddars.

                  It's truly the best bang for the buck, and the big blocks are frequently on sale at the Vons I now shop at in Los Angeles, which makes them cheaper than Kraft/Land O' Lakes/etc.

                  1. In the West, I think Tillamook is one of the best Cheddars available and it is available at Costco, making it one of the best bargains as well. The 2-lb (and now 2.5 lb) loaves that are $10-$15 at the supers are $7-$10 at Costco, which typically stocks four or five "strengths." The one near me usually has two black labels -- Special Reserve and Vintage White -- a red label (Sharp) and a Colby-Jack, (as well as a Pepper Jack, if I am recalling correctly,) and also some medium sliced. There are more varieties in the supers including a fantastic white cheddar in a blue label, but they are more expensive. But they do go on sale from time to time and sometimes come close to Costco prices.

                    Just checked some typical prices in my area:

                    Red Label Sharp Cheddar
                    Supermarket 2 lb Loaf $12.69 on sale (6.35/lb)
                    Costco 2.5 lb loaf $8.79 (3.52/lb)

                    Black Label Special Reserve Extra Sharp
                    Supermarket 2 lb loaf on sale $14.69 (7.35/lb)
                    Costco 2 lb loaf $9.55 (4.78/lb)

                    But sadly, these prices and easy availability for Tillamook seem to be unique to the West.

                    In the East, I found the same to be roughly true of Cabot -- one of the best and well represented at Costco at good prices, with more varieties at the supers at higher prices. If you are in the East, Tillamook may be hard to find and expensive when you do find it -- it was when we lived in Stamford -- so I'd stick with Cabot from Costco.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: acgold7

                      I agree about Cabot--I'm in MA and have always been pleased with our local cheese!

                      1. re: acgold7

                        I am on the east coast as well, and cabot is way less than tillamook-sounds like cabot is the way to go :)

                        thanks all!

                        1. re: acgold7

                          Tillamook price update -- West Coast

                          Black Label Special Reserve Extra Sharp 18 mo.
                          Supermarket 2 lb loaf on sale $14.69 (7.35/lb)
                          Costco 2 lb loaf $8.65 (4.33/lb)

                          Black Label Vintage White Extra Sharp 2 yr
                          Supermarket 2 lb loaf on sale $17.69 (8.85/lb)
                          Costco 2 lb loaf $9.69 (4.85/lb)

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Yikes! I've never paid that much in Seattle for either Tillamook 2 lb block that you mention. $13.99 at pricier stores like Metropolitan Market, but usually $12.99 when NOT on sale at Safeway/Fred Meyer/QFC.

                            Trader Joe's often has good prices on Cabot sharp/extra sharp, and also on various Canadian & New Zealand white cheddars (usually in 1 lb or smaller portions, if that matters).

                            1. re: PrawoJazdy

                              Yeah, Supermarket prices here have been going crazy lately. Those are Albertson's prices above. Safeway has the Special Reserve for about $12 this week, but they're not showing the big blocks of the Vintage White Extra Sharp. They do have them in the 8 oz size for $8.78/lb, so about the same as Albertson's. They're getting $10.99 for the Red Wrapper Sharp 2 lb, so less than Albertson's but more than Costco.

                        2. Another vote for Tillamook as my favorite. However, I also thought I'd mention (since it's somewhat related and I don't feel like starting a new thread) that my last purchase of extra sharp Cracker Barrel gave me the impression that they had changed it.

                          While still just a theory, I think they may have made it softer and changed the taste - neither of which I found to be an improvement - I'm going to try one more purchase in case I was just having a "bad taste bud day", but if I get the same impression I won't be buying it again.