We may have mentioned before that we're terrible at describing cheese. If you've ever perused the adjectives used on a menu at a cheese-focused shop or restaurant, that's just not something we're able to do (and may never be able to do). So we're going to change our cheese "reviews" here a little bit to just give some quick thoughts on each cheese, and then rate them from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) for how much we liked them and decide whether we would get them again.
Granted, these ratings don't mean much to anyone else unless you have similar cheese tastes, so here's the quick snapshot of where we fall on the cheese spectrum. M is not really into most cheeses that are super soft or super stinky or blue, preferring some of the milder ones, cheeses with herbs and other flavors mixed in, and chèvre. A likes these soft cheeses, though he's never had a real, stinky blue cheese. One day he hopes to try stilton or the US equivalent.
First up in our new cheese "reviews" is the Toscano cheese with black pepper, which Trader Joe's describes as having elements of parmesan and cheddar (two of our likes, which probably explains why we liked it). The cheese wheels are hand-rubbed with cracked black pepper, which you can still see on the cheese that you buy. We aren't sure if this one is new, but we never noticed it until a recent visit.
M's quick review: Mild cheese. Nice texture on the firmer side. Pepper flavor definitely present but not too strong or overpowering.
M's rating: 8/10
Buy again: Yes
A's quick review: Mild peppery flavor even from the rind pieces that are caked in it. Very pleasant addition to the firm cheese. The cheese itself doesn't have a ton of flavor so the mild peppery flavor is more noticeable. This was a very enjoyable cheese.
A's rating: 8/10
Buy again: Yes