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Cheese Review: Trader Joe’s New Zealand Grass-Fed Sharp Cheddar

Posted by on December 30, 2013

I can eat this stuff so fast.

So many cheddar reviews. You know Cheddar. If you don’t, I’m surprised you’re alive. Read up.

If you’re interested in sustainability and the environment, like I am, read this about grass-fed beef. Although not a definitive source, I found the article a not-too-hippie summary of the pro-grass-fed beef camp.


Trader Joe’s New Zealand Grass-Fed Sharp Cheddar. Buy it at Trader Joe’s, who imported it from New Zealand (cool?), where the cheese was produced from milk produced by cows that grazed on grass for at least part of their life. It’s not 100% grass-fed milk because it doesn’t state “100% grass-fed”. Whatever.

It’s been aged for 6 to 12 months. That’s what makes it “sharp”. If I hypothetically saw “mild cheddar” on the label, I would translate that as “boring cheddar”. Just sayin’.

Clearly, there’s a lot going on here.

Trader Joe's Grass Fed Cheddar


It’s white cheddar. (Sidenote: the orange in cheddar is usually an additive called annatto extracted from the achiote plant [achiote also makes an appearance in cochinita pibil. Can anyone taste the difference between white and orange cheddar? Has this been done scientifically? I would be interested in a study.) Like most sharp cheddars, it has a fairly firm texture. The cheese grates and shreds easily. (I suppose grating produces finer pieces of cheese than shredding would.)

I didn’t notice a unique aroma wafting from the cheese. I suspect its plastic-wrapped packaging caused a muting of delicious smells.

The important part: taste. This cheese tastes super creamy, sharp, and flavorful. You’ll find no bitterness. Success!


$5.49 per pound. It’s not as cheap as Whole Food’s nasty $5-per-pound grass-fed cheddar, but then again, the TJ’s version is not nastily chalky. Worthwhile.

How to Enjoy

  • In your mouth.

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