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Favorite cheeses at TJs?

Dare I start anotherrrr thread on Trader Joe's...I know there is a general thread on Yays and Nays but I think the specific threads like the one on salad dressings are particularly useful. I am a cheese fanatic as expressed all over Chow and would be thrilled if I could buy some of my cheese there and save a few $ but I've read hit or miss reviews. What are your favorite cheeses at TJs? In particular I've had my eye on the cheddar with caramelized onions as I tried a similar cheese from Yancey but it's quite overwhelmingly onion dippy rather than a pure caramelized onion flavor, but interested to hear any favorites. I'm always willing to try a new cheese.

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  1. My family loves the "unexpected cheddar" which is a very flavorful somewhat crumbly cheddar/parmesan mix. The chevre is always a great value.

    9 Replies
    1. re: milklady

      I don't think I've ever spotted the unexpected cheddar, but I'll be on the lookout now. I am wondering about the pesto gouda, also seems interesting.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Sometime this past winter, they were sampling the pesto Gouda and it was a nostalgic flavor but I couldn't quite place it. Then I overheard a child exclaim it tasted like hot dogs while begging mom for another sample and I realized he was right.

        1. re: ohmyyum

          Oh wow, that's hilarious! Not sure I want a cheese that tastes like hot dogs. I wonder if that batch had spent some time next in a separate part of the fridge case...

      2. re: milklady

        The unexpected cheddar is delicious grated and used to replace some or all of the parm in any recipe that calls for it. It's also yummy on tacos, believe it or not.

        1. re: Isolda

          I've read that some think this is the same as Kerrygold Dubliner which they also sell so that'd be interesting.

          1. re: Isolda

            Isolda they also have a lovely shaved cheese blend in a tub that contains the unexpected cheddar, toscano, and an aged Parmesan!

            1. re: ohmyyum

              Do you find it's more of a Parmesan than a Cheddar flavor? All I seem to taste is Parmesan in this one not that that's bad.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Hmm in the unexpected cheddar or the blend?

                1. re: ohmyyum

                  Unexpected cheddar. I'll have to look for the blend, that sounds great.

        2. I like TJ's Cave Aged Blue Cheese and the St. Andre, which is similar to brie.

          1. I don't recall the brand, but the blocks of Israeli sheep's milk feta is creamy salty flavorful goodness.

            Otherwise, I usually don't stray far from my favorites that are available nearly everywhere else (cambozola, St. Andre, aged gouda), even though I always intend to try new stuff. The aged havarti I tried awhile ago was good, but not craveable enough to make a regular rotation (admittedly, I was mostly snacking on it cubed - I think it would probably make a tasty grilled ham and cheese). I currently have the cheddar/gruyere melange in my fridge, but haven't opened it yet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amishangst

              Amen about the Israeli sheep's milk feta. Wonderful stuff, not too tangy.

            2. I'm very bad about remembering cheese names, but they have a cheddar with dried apricots that is delicious. And, not sure if this is available everywhere, but they often carry that "frying" cheese. Heated and cut into strips, it's like eating mozzarella sticks without the breading. Yum!

              6 Replies
              1. re: Violatp

                It's Stilton with apricots.

                The 'frying cheese' is Halloumi and can be found in many cheese cases under different brands. TJs is still sells the least expensive version. It's a nice treat or salad topping...

                1. re: Cathy

                  Thanks! I thought Stilton was a blue cheese? I mean, I definitely don't remember the name, but it was a white, veinless cheese. It's why I thought cheddar

                  I also know that my packages of frying cheese weren't called haloumi, though of course I assumed it was and it certainly looked like it. But they just called it frying cheese.

                  1. re: Violatp

                    Oh, they have this at Whole Foods as well it's a White Stilton-you're not crazy!

                    1. re: Violatp

                      Huntsman cheese is a very pretty cheese that is a layering of an orange double Gloucester and blue Stilton. Maybe that's what you were thinking about Stilton. I've never seen a 'plain' white Stilton; it's always embedded with a fruit: apricots or blueberries or lemon peel.

                      Halloumi is a frying cheese; maybe there is some legal definition of Halloumi that they can't use it (like where the sheep and goats milk originates). Kasseri is a frying cheese also made of sheep and goat milk and doesn't have the mint that Halloumi does...again, maybe some origination issues to use a proper name.

                      1. re: Cathy

                        I meant white Stilton with ginger not just itself :)

                2. I just bought a Brie yesterday that had chanterelles and some other exotic mushroom in it, lots of it. I wouldn't buy it regularly but it was nice for a change. I usually go for the harder cheese that has truffles; although you don't see too many shavings it has an intense flavor.

                  Was tempted to pick up the package of three cheddars: Irish, Scottish and Welsh, thought it would be good for the holidays. Maybe next time.