There's the every-so-often Trader Joe's indulgence as well, of course. So many crazy things in that store...We were perusing the cheese selection when she saw the TJ's Chocolate Cheddar Cheese. Kinda like the Yeti, I've heard rumors of such things but had never seen it, 'til right then in my wife's hand with the all-too-familiar pretty-please look in her eye. Truth to be told, it didn't sound like a good idea to me, but she had found the smallest chunk (good thing, it's 10 bucks a pound, our piece cost like $2.80), and well, I guess I owe it to you all, too, so I said sure.
There's only a few things out there that I'd find too weird to enjoy, but this is definitely one of them. I like the cheddar part of it, quite a bit actually. I'm not exactly a cheddar aficionado, but have had enough of the good (like Cabot's - I've been to their factory!) and not so good (can you say Valu-Time?) to know what the good stuff tastes like. This is good stuff. It's sharp, rich, crumbly cheddar at first taste...which totally falls apart once the dark chocolate kicks in. I suppose it's good chocolate, as most TJ's dark stuff is, but I find it just muddies up the overall flavor. At the end, my mouth and tongue just feel perplexed and not remotely satisfied, and my stomach's definitely discombobulated. The dark sweetness just contrasts the sharp bite of cheddar way too much. There's not an over-abundance of chocolate taste, but what's in there just ruins it all for me. It might be better if the cheddar wasn't as sharp as it is. Blecch.
I have a theory I think I've mentioned before called my "chocolate gum theory," which actually has two applications. They are 1. Just because two things are good separately doesn't mean they're good together. Also see: Mick Jagger and David Bowie. 2. Just because something is good in theory doesn't mean it's good in practice. Also see: Subaru cupholders (that's the least controversial example I can think of). This chocolate cheddar cheese fits both corollaries of my theory well - separate good, together bad and could be tasty in thought, but it just isn't. It's just not a winner for me.
Sandy, though, with her pregnancy hormones and whatnot? She actually likes it, but not overly, and I think it's because she said she can't taste the chocolate as much. "I mean, I kinda do taste it, but not really," she said. "It's okay for a bite here and there but I don't think I could make a whole snack around it." Indeed, I was kinda glad that after we sampled it, her craving switched to a small bowl of mint chip ice cream. She took a slightly positive middle-of-the-roadish 3.5. Me? Generally speaking, I think this is probably a love or hate item for most folks, my lovely wife not included. I think I've made it clear where I stand. I just hope Sandy eats enough of it so it won't get all moldy in the fridge. I'll give it a 1.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chocolate Cheddar Cheese: 4.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons