The pros: Trader Joe's Chipotle Toscano Cheese is a cheese that I only noticed on my latest trip into Trader Joe's. There was a lot to like about this cheese especially if you like your cheese on the spicier side.
The cons: If you do not like your cheese with a bit of smokey flavor and heat, then pass this by.
If I had to name two areas of the store that get me in trouble every time I go into Trader Joe's it would be the cheese aisle and the new products. This is a firm cheese as it is not as firm as parmesan, but not as soft as mozzarella. It is the same successful creamy cheese that can sometimes be found soaked in red wine. That wine cheese was good. Perhaps not enough of the wine came through for my liking, but my husband and I had no problem making sure that time did not perform any evil rituals on that hunk of cheese.
While the exterior or the Toscano soaked in Syrah did not convey the flavor as much as I would have liked, then this Chipotle Toscano cheese will convey every ounce of flavor. If you've ever had chipotle peppers in a can with adobo sauce, then imagine a much more dehydrated variation of that plastered all over the exterior of this cheese. This has mild to medium heat depending on how much chiptole is on your slice. My first bite had quite a bit to it and I was taken back a little. This is not an evenly dispersed heat and smokey flavor either. If you've tried say, Trader Joe's Sriracha Cheddar, then each slice was consistent in its heat level.
Now, I've biten into a number of crushed red chili peppers on this. So while the cheese is smooth and creamy, you'll get your share of hot and smokey too. Perhaps it was paired this way for some contrast. The more I had slices of this, the more the flavors grew on me. I liked it. It was good on its own, but might also be a good pairing with some crackers or even with some Mexican food for an added kick. Not authentic, but the flavors would work. It's not a cheese that will be universally loved. But it is completely different from a lot of other cheeses out there.
For $4.70 or $9.99 per pound it's worth a try if you can take the mild to medium heat of the red hued exterior.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
Trader Joe's Chipotle Toscano Cheese:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Out of the package you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Chipotle Toscano Cheese again. It was a nice balance of savory, spicy, and smokey.
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!