The Trader Joe's Cheese That Will Impress The Most Discerning Palates

Charles de Gaulle, the former French president who led the country during WWII, once asked, "How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?" While there is an endless selection of delectable cheeses from France, sadly, many of these do not make it to grocery stores in the U.S. And while touring the countryside of France may be the only possible way to fully experience these exquisite choices, there are some retailers, like Trader Joe's, that introduce us to many unique and exotic foods from around the world, particularly cheeses, at reasonable prices, which may be why they have such passionate and loyal fans.

Trader Joe's has continued to offer a healthy array of French cheeses in recent years that consistently receive extraordinary praise and reviews from both connoisseurs and customers of the store. But there is one in particular option that stands out and demands you give it a try.

From the Basque to you

The Pyrenees Mountains are home to the Basque region, which produces some of the most delicious cheeses on the market. The P'tit Basque is a semi-hard, artisan cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk (via Cheese). This cheese can be found at Trader Joe's under the name "Mini Basque Cheese." The cheese is aged for 70 days, via Cheese, when it develops a distinctive basket-weave pattern on its rind. Basque has a medium-firm texture that is creamy and smooth, and according to the Cheese Month Club, it has a real earthy, nutty flavor with various floral and caramel notes.

This cheese has received impressive accolades from gastronomes like the Insider's Kyra Allesandrini, who grew up in Paris, France and claims the Mini Basque is the most authentic French item at Trader Joe's. Anne Saxelby, founder of Saxelby Cheesemonger, put the cheese on her list of top 5 best cheeses at Trader Joe's and recommends smearing it on a toasted baguette and topping it with a dollop of tart cherry preserves, per Domino. As winter approaches, snacking on Mini Basque cheese with jam, accompanied by a mug of hot apple cider, is the best way to beat the cold (according to Deborah Jacobs).

At $13.49 per pound, per Deborah Jacobs, the Mini Basque at Trader Joe's is not the cheapest option, but go ahead: Set your mind at cheese and taste it.