The January spotlight cheese at Trader Joe's was the caramel washed gouda. We love Dutch cheese and gouda in particular, so we definitely wanted to try this one.
According to the Trader Joe's site, this cheese was made from the milk of cows that roamed the Twente region of the Netherlands and then it was hand-washed in caramel and left to mature for 5 months. We have never been to that region and don't know if that makes this cheese distinctive, but we were intrigued by the caramel washing in particular and wondered if that would give this cheese a special flavor.
Although we liked this, there was nothing special about this gouda. Don't get us wrong, it was tasty, but we didn't really notice any caramel hints or anything. It just tasted like gouda. We like gouda, but at the end of the day we like smoked gouda more.
We paired the cheese with some more Trader Joe's goods, their "Some Enchanted Cracker" multigrain crackers. These look and taste a lot like crackers we've gotten previously from Costco, and our guess is that they're made by the same manufacturer and just branded for TJ's. We like these crackers because they're soft enough to be broken up by hand into small enough pieces to use for eating the cheese pieces, and they taste good as well. On top of that, they're multigrain, so they're good for you!
Buy Again? For the cheese, we probably wouldn't buy this again. We would just go for smoked gouda instead. For the crackers, definitely. We've already gone through more than one box!