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Monday, May 10, 2021

Trader Joe's Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

We've seen a lot of great sweet treats and after-dinner desserts from Trader Joe's over the years, and reviews of them generally do pretty well here on the blog. For example, our most popular post of all time by far, based on total page views, is my review of the original speculoos cookie butter. Or if you go by Farcebook likes, it's my review of cookie butter ice cream. Neither product is completely unique to Trader Joe's, but in both cases, they offered something that, at the time of release, wasn't widely available in the United States at your average, everyday grocery store. Those types of imported flavors tend to be the most popular, most successful, and in my opinion, most interesting offerings from Trader Joe's. For one thing, even if their speculoos cookie butter weren't the very best example of such a product, the average American shopper wouldn't even know the difference, because a good portion of us hadn't ever tried cookie butter at the point when TJ's made it popular.

However, most of us have had strawberry cheesecake...and I'd even venture to say most of us have tried very, very delectable, mouthwatering strawberry cheesecake that nears culinary perfection. So...if you're gonna tackle something with a high standard already established, you better bring your A game, you feel me?

Let's just say we're in a parallel reality where cheesecake hasn't come to America for whatever reason. It's popular in Europe and a few Yanks have tried it and they tell tales of this rich, sweet, creamy dessert when they come back stateside and get all their friends excited to either travel abroad or have some imported. Then Trader Joe's, out of the blue, begins offering Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake. Okay. Then I'd probably be pretty enthused. Everyone would be.

But I must say, not only is this not the best strawberry cheesecake I've ever had, but it's not even the best frozen cheesecake I've ever had. Archer Farms and Cheesecake Factory both make (or made) pretty decent offerings in that department.

This product might have been a contender if they'd simply swirled that strawberry gel all throughout the middle of the product. As it is, it's only on top. And it's by far the best part of the cheesecake, at least as far as Sonia and I are concerned. The cheesecake itself seems a little dull and boring, as cheesecakes go. The graham crust is pretty decent, I must admit.

It's a sweet dessert that's adequate for a small group for an after-dinner treat or what have you, and most people would be perfectly fine downing a slice or two, just so long as they don't overthink or overanalyze like I'm doing right now. But this isn't even the best cheesecake we've seen from Trader Joe's. It's not like they messed it up, but they didn't make it particularly memorable, either.

Three stars a piece from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.


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