Dear lord, do I love taco seasoning. It’s one of those products I always have approximately ten packets of in the pantry because every time I go to the grocery store I pick up a new one just in case. (I’m partial to McCormick, and not the lower sodium version—if you want less salt, just use less seasoning!) Before we go any further, what is taco seasoning, anyway? According to Sporked contributor Will Morgan, there’s no one standard recipe, but it’s typically a blend of chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper, ground paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. Basically, a bunch of stuff you have in your spice rack and could mix on your own but don’t have to because it comes premixed in a packet that costs, like, $1. I use it for tacos (duh), but I also add it to burgers and sprinkle it on cheesy dishes like quesadillas and nachos for extra flavor.
Wow, you came here to read about a new Trader Joe’s cheese and you wound up having to listen to me go on and on about taco seasoning—what is this, a cooking blog?? We recently picked up a wedge of Trader Joe’s new Taco Seasoned Gouda and tried it to find out whether it would please a dyed-in-the-wool taco seasoning lover like me.
- Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoned Gouda Cheese
It’s kind of a unique idea, right? A Dutch cheese infused with Mexican flavors? Well, it definitely works. I think other brands might have leaned toward a milder, more neutral cheese, but the bold nuttiness of Gouda is a good backdrop for the smoky, peppery array of seasonings scattered throughout this wedge of cheese.
Be forewarned: There is a lot of “stuff” in this cheese. It’s not infused with powdered taco seasoning. Rather, it’s made with bits of herbs, spices, and pepper skins and seeds, all of which come together to accurately approximate the flavor of taco seasoning. If you’re into Pepper Jack, I think you’ll be into this.
You could definitely grate it over tortilla chips to make nachos, but you could also just go with a seasoned shredded Mexican blend (we like Great Value’s version) for those purposes. I think this is a cheese to enjoy on its own. A fancy cheese board cheese and another great addition to TJ’s pretty bangin’ lineup of unique and tasty cheeses.