The pros: Trader Joe's Baked Lemon Ricotta is a unique seasonal offering that is sweet, savory, and citrusy which sets it apart from most other ricottas I've tried.
The cons: This is a seasonal item.
Every year I make at least one or two New Years Resolutions. One of them is always to save more money. Trader Joe's makes being financially responsible a bit challenging. Because it's not terribly hard to spend $20 on cheese before you head to other aisles. I frequent the Hartsdale, NY location and like evil geniuses they make sure you walk right past the cheeses first. Maybe next year I'll get the impulse grocery shopping in check.
Anyways, because there are some staples, but also some rotating seasonal item there is always something you end up trying. This time of year is when I made a disproportionate number of meat, cheese, and cracker boards so I have some go tos and some cheeses that I pray that everyone likes. I'm even slightly guilty of making the occasional meat/cheese/cracker tray for a lazy dinner too. Can't let that stuff go back right?
Now, the vast majority of cheese that I've tried would be best as an appetizer or melted over something. However, this is an unusual cheese. This is actually a cheese I would consider putting out for dessert rather than as an appetizer. Trader Joe's Baked Lemon Ricotta had a different texture than most ricotta cheese.
When I think of ricotta cheese I think of most Italian pasta dishes. It's a velvety smooth and cheese that usually is more savory. Trader Joe's Baked Lemon Ricotta has a texture closer to a cheesecake. It's not totally smooth either. There is texture. That texture comes from the lemon peel throughout this cheese. It's been sweetened as well. This would pair well with a tart jam to contrast the sweetness here. On its own, it's good, but not my favorite cheese in the refrigerated case. I think the lemon peel here is what threw me. I'm not a fan of that texture, but I also know that there are many people out there who enjoy this.
However, eating it from the cheese board did not do it for me. I was still left with a piece almost half a pound in size. It wasn't inedible in anyway. If you are finding the same thing happening to you where you don't love the lemon peel there are other ways to use this. My solution was to chop up the rest of this product and to add it to Trader Joe's Buttermilk Baking Mix and enjoy with pancakes. Once cooked, those pancakes were simply divine. My complaints had literally melted away. I've seen others put these in scones and other baked goods. So if you think the lemon flavor is too strong or the texture is a bit off, I implore you to explore some cooked applications with this.
For $10.99 per pound this a cheese that is worth trying at least once, but be prepared for its slightly sweetened nature. Once I found the right fit for this product, I had one of the most filling and tasty breakfast food items in a while. It's worth looking for.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The Trader Joe's Baked Lemon Ricotta piece:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Out of the package you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Baked Lemon Ricotta again. While I did not love it straight from the cheese board, when I found the right use for it, it was divine.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!