Sweet-umami is king in 2024 -- at least according to Trader Joe's fans. Last week, the organic grocery chain announced the winners of its 15th Annual Customer Choice Awards, and complex sweet-savory-umami products topped the rankings. Customers are craving Kimbap, Steamed Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings, and Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, and now, TJ's is keeping the train rolling with its newest product, which already has fans buzzing and hasn't even hit shelves yet.
Introducing the Black Garlic Cream Cheese Spread. It's a tangy, umami-forward spread dotted with savory confetti of fermented black garlic, dried garlic, and roasted garlic powder for what TJ's is describing as a "curiously complex, subtly sweet" taste. It's not yet available, and it won't stick around, either. This limited-time-only product is "coming soon," says TJ's, but that's all foodies know for now.
If you've never tried it before, black garlic is "regular" garlic that has been fermented under high heat and humidity, which fundamentally alters the aromatic and flavor profile. The result is a tangy, less intense allium that dials down garlic's sharp intensity and turns up the complex umami flavor with just a touch of funky sweetness (think dark molasses or soy sauce). This cream cheese spread joins Trader Joe's growing lineup of black garlic-flavored products like the Ground Fermented Black Garlic jarred seasoning ($2.99).
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Trader Joe's has yet to announce an official release date or a price, but according to the Instagram fan account Trader Joe's Treasure Hunt, an 8-ounce tub will run for $2.79. If so, the black garlic spread sits at the same price as TJ's Hot Cocoa Inspired Cream Cheese Spread which debuted last winter, but more than the chain's Onion & Chive Cream Cheese Spread at $2.29, which could be signifying a slow, subtle increase in specialty-flavored spread prices.
Either way, foodies have already taken to social media to express their excitement. In the comments section of a post from yesterday by another fan account Trader Joe's Geek, one fan raved, "Black garlic is my new favorite spice!!! I put it in everything!!" Other comments were similarly charged ("Black. Garlic. Cheese. Spread. OMG.")
The Trader Joe's website suggests serving the new black garlic cream cheese spread as a bagel schmear or as a dip for crackers, crudité, and roasted Shishito Peppers. For a flavorful vehicle, Trader Joe's Organic Garlic Naan Crackers ($3.79) would drive the garlicky profile home. The organic grocer also recommends serving the new black garlic cream cheese as a sandwich spread with thin-sliced cucumbers, avocados, and microgreens for an elevated, flavorful vegetarian lunch. You could also stir it into pasta sauces, like a rich, subtly sweet mushroom cream sauce for gnocchi, or use it to garnish a baked potato. The world is your fermented bulb.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.