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Thursday, January 14, 2016

SHOT O' JOE: Trader Joe's Oakwood Cold Smoked English Cheddar Cheese


So....how do you smoke a block of cheese so it doesn't melt? I mean, where's there's smoke, there's fire, right? I had no idea until Googling it, so if you're interested, here ya go.

We've had a somewhat spotty history with Trader Joe's Spotlight Cheeses of the Month. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B. But Trader Joe's Oakwood Cold Smoked English Cheddar Cheese is a winner. Unlike other English cheddars from TJ's I've had, this isn't of the cold and clammy variety. No, it's more of the traditional waxy/creamy hybrid of most other cheddars, and it's strong, too. It's not the sharpness itself that really sticks out - I'd say it's midrange at most - but the smoke. And it's definitely oak too...my dad smokes meats quite a bit, experimenting with different wood chips, so I can discern between oak and maple and cherry and whatnot. Very oaky, very smoky. It's almost a little too uniform, though, making me question a little if this cheese were truly smoked or just add smoke flavoring added - I'm giving TJ's the benefit of the doubt and saying the first.


Regardless, this is an excellent cheddar, and a good deal at $7.99 a pound. Pair with a pour of bourbon, some slices of pastrami or roast beef, make a killer mac 'n cheese - lotsa possibilities here. Go at it! Bonus points for the Flanders-esque "Oakely Doakely" on the label as well.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Oakwood Cold Smoked English Cheddar Cheese: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

5 comments:

  1. Wow that sounds like some great cheese. I will need to go get some. I think I might try it on a grilled cheese with plum tomatoes on sourdough bread.

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  2. Lol- sure thing. bring over some of those churros and some chocolate or caramel sauce for dessert.

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  3. This was very good a very strong smokiness which I liked. I put it in a Mac and cheese it was delicious :)

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