Monday, April 11, 2016

Hidden gem for fellow foodies and cheese lovers!!!

Yesterday I had to wonderful pleasure of making a to Trader Joe's in the morning, when hardly anyone was there. I think the lack of people was due to the local Farmer's Market taking place nearby. I wasn't complaining though, you can bet your prized tu-tu I enjoyed every minute of that extra space throughout the aisles. 

As per our usual shopping list, we always keep our eyes open for an extra goodie or two. I tend to steer my son away from the cookie aisle, as he often tries to convince me that the Cookie Butter cookies are the best things ever to purchase. I'm aware of their deliciousness (I even wrote a review about them. You can view that post HERE.), but I was craving variety. That's when I stumbled into the cheese aisle looking for my favorite cheese, and noticed a precious beauty awaiting to be devoured. Trader Joe's Goat Crottin Cheese. It was in a neat little pack and was accompanied with not one, not two, but THREE delectable choices. I knew one of them HAD to be a new found love. Boy was I wrong. 

Finding the goat cheese was our final add on, so we whisked ourselves to a completely vacant check-out stand and drove home to do a taste test. This is where I have to be honest with you guys. My son nor I have EVER had goat cheese. I don't know why I never tried it, but I do know that I never purchased it for my son, because he is a picky cheese eater. Therefore, I didn't want it to go to waste. I can promise you that this cheese didn't. That's right, all the cheese is completely gone. Now, you may be thinking we shouldn't have binged on 10.5 oz of goat cheese in one day. Don't worry, I shared with my dad and his girlfriend while I served them as appetizers for my "Birthday Linner".

I've realized my personal opinion of this cheese may not be an accurate depiction of the products true quality, hence why I tend to have others partake in my review in some way. Needless to say, it was a hit. This trio came with three distinct flavors. Original, Garlic and Herb, and Four Pepper. All of them non-spicy, but still amazing. They taste incredibly fresh, semi-spreadable (more flaky than anything, but if you want it bad enough, you WILL spread the cheese), creamy, and incredibly flavorful. 

The Garlic and Herb was my personal favorite. You could taste the garlic and herb separately, yet at the same time have this combination that - in my opinion - is completely unbeatable. I'm a garlic person, so this more than sufficed. I chose to eat this particular flavor in two ways. Trader Joe's Golden Round crackers - to me, they're better than Ritz. No offense - and crumbled up in a homemade Greek salad. Both were mouth watering. The seasoning was amazing throughout the entire 3.5 oz. This one was incredibly soft and melted in my mouth like a smooth Hershey's kiss that's been stuck in your pocket a little too long. This was a popular hit throughout all the tasters, but it didn't score as high, personally, with the others. I can see why though. This one is a bit more distinct and has to be paired with something that can compliment without sacrificing it's own flavor. 

The Original was my son's favorite. He's more into a "plain flavor", which isn't to say that this particular one was bland. It was the richest one of the bunch, I have to admit. It made an excellent pairing with Trader Joe's Golden Round crackers, multi-grain chips, papaya, and salad. With it's non-spiced flavor, you could tweak it into almost any dish, allowing the combined flavors to fill your taste buds with heaven. He ate this on crackers and with his carrots. He even sang a "yummy in my tummy" song. I do think that this one was the creamiest of all the bunch, but that doesn't mean that the other two weren't. The original is extremely versatile and I while I do think it's a perfect number one cheese, I just love my garlic. 

The Four Pepper was my least favorite, but not a total dud. The only reason this didn't peak higher in my favorites was simply because the "peppery" seasoning seemed a bit soft. While still and excellent pairing for any of the prior options I stated above, I will say that I wouldn't purchase this cheese by itself. It does have taste, don't get me wrong. And you can catch a hint of it, but I feel like once you've hit the middle, you've exhausted the flavor. It seemed as if most of the pepper's seasoning was placed on top of the cheese. I tried mixing it to see if the taste would disperse evenly, to no avail unfortunately. I still ate the entire thing and didn't exactly complain, which tells you that it's still just as creamy and rich. It's like having a second Original, only the beginning is seasoned. Paired great with steak though!

Overall, this was $4.99 well spent. I will be purchasing this beautiful trio again as it has melted into my mouth and heart. I may not be a professional foodie, but I think I know good cheese when I'm licking the wrapper. 

Let me know if you guys decide to purchase the Trader Joe's Goat Crottin Cheese, and how you liked it. I'd also love ideas on what else to pair the three beauties with, as they will be constantly  re-stocked in my fridge. 

Keep on rocking life!

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