good solid favorites, some unusual ones (like a grill-worthy cheese? Inconceivable!), and, well, a few out-and-out bizarre ones like this chocolate-cheddar mash up from years back that was out right in time for Valentine's Day...
...but nothing, to my fairly faulty knowledge, has been quite like Trader Joe's Sticky Toffee Cheddar Cheese. I gotta admit, the name sounded intriguing, even though I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. It didn't make the blog, but not long ago, Sandy and I enjoyed a rather delicious creamy cinnamon toscano that TJ's had out, and if this were anything similar, it'd be a slam dunk.
Well...it's not. Maybe I'm just used to good ol' 'murican-style cheddar from the great states of Vermont and Wisconsin, with its solid sharpness, its blocky bite, its wax-covered wonder. And maybe I've narrowed my scope of anything labelled as "English cheddar" to the shelves of TJ's and therefore subject to solely their selections, as perhaps unrepresentative of the entirety of the genre of English cheddar. But, just like another English cheddar we tried a few months back (the ones with caramelized onions, also not reviewed - hey, sorry, can't do it all!) - this stuff seems sad, soft, slightly soggy, kinda like a half-molten candle. It's so soft - almost more like a brie than most cheddar I'm used to - that I was half tempted to find a cracker and a knife to do some spreading. I bet you it would have worked.
Sandy feels much the same.We popped in our first taste simultaneously, looked at each other, and made a face. After repeating this ritual a couple more times, we finally gave up. I don't feel as though we necessarily wasted our money on it (sold in various sized chunks for $8.99 a pound), and I'm willing to give another shot, perhaps with some crackers and a dark porter or stout within reach. But as is, we're gonna hit it with some double deuces.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sticky Toffee Cheddar Cheese: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons