This is a Trader Joe’s STAFF PICK favorite and I completely agree. TJ’s New Zealand Grass Fed Cheddar is an excellent cheese, a sharp cheddar aged from 6-12 months. This cheese is one of my favorite cheeses that TJ’s carries, and I buy this almost every time I go to Trader Joe’s as it goes rather quickly in our house. This cheddar has just the right amount of tang if you are a fan of a sharp cheddar, good for both adults and kids. The other standout cheddars at TJ’s are the CABOT VERMONT EXTRA SHARP and of course UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR. You can not go wrong with any of these cheddar cheeses but I do like the fact that this New Zealand cheese is “grass fed” meaning from milk from those contended Kiwi cows munching away on grass if they anything like the ones in this picture! This cheese is great by itself, on a cracker, in a sandwich, with fruit, and it’s superb melted. Grilled cheese sandwich, omelets, in a pizza, tacos… it’s especially fantastic melted. You can just give me a Granny Smith apple, a hunk of this cheese and a knife and I will be almost as contented as one of the Kiwi cows.

Update: It used to be 5.99 / lb but unfortunately the price has gone up 50 cents to $6.49 / lb (April 2022)

Trader Joe’s CHICKEN SAUSAGES (Smoked Apple Chardonay…)

Trader Joe’s carries a number of different kinds of chicken sausages, all of which are pretty good. The ones I especially like are the Smoked Andouille, Spicy Jalapeno and these, “Smoked Apple Chardonnay” Chicken Sausages. If you’ve never tried any of the many chicken sausages TJ’s has, these might be good to try first as they are mildly sweet with a general kind of middle of the road flavor that most people might like. I find them convenient to have on hand to get a quick dinner ready. You can use the chicken sausages in a variety of ways. You can grill, sauté or roast them. They are already fully cooked. Still for flavor I think you want to get a nice sear on them.

Pictured below is a dish I made using these sausages (two) of pan fried gnocchi and green beans. I just sautéed everything in olive oil with lots of garlic until lightly browned and then tossed in some French Green Beans at the end. Grate a little Parmesan on top. Easy, yummy dinner.

There are no artificial ingredients listed (no nitrates for example). Ingredients include: chicken, dehydrated apples, celery juice, onion, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, ginger, chardonnay, rosemary. The TJ Chicken Sausages come in a 12 oz package of 4 for $3.99. Trader Joe’s has a few varieties of other chicken sausage flavors too, so try them all and see which you like best. I liked this one, Roasted Garlic and Andouille….

And the latest Unexpected Cheddar Chicken Sausage

This is a recipe for the Andouille Chicken Sausage with TJ’s Southern Greens (you might use these sausages but the Andouille ones would be a bit more Southern)

INFLATION UPDATE: Prices went up; now $4.29 (Apr 2022)



Trader Joe’s Ultra Chocolate Super Premium Ice Cream is a chocolate lover’s dream. This TJ’s ice cream is super rich, intense chocolate flavor that will satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings — and as a self confessed chocoholic I promise you I know what I’m talking about. This is a really terrific high quality premium ice cream, so good it can be a bit hard to stop yourself from having, “Just one more spoonful.” So be warned. Lest you find the 1 quart tub of ice cream half empty and wonder what just happened? It doesn’t come with a Warning label, but it should.

TIP: Sometimes I will grind up dark espresso beans very finely, and sprinkle a bit of espresso coffee over this ultra chocolate ice cream for one of the world’s best combos, coffee and chocolate. The bitter espresso matching perfectly with, and tempering the rich unctuous chocolate. In fact one might match a scoop of this dark chocolate ice cream with a scoop of the also outstanding TJ’s COFFEE BEAN blast ice cream to make another heavenly combination of coffee and choclolate ice creams. Uh oh, I’m getting cravings, just writing that.

Speaking of tempering, let this soften up a wee bit before eating it to enjoy the full flavor. Like any premium ice cream, it’s dense, not full of air like cheap brands of ice cream.

This super premium ice cream goes for $3.99 for a quart tub.