Saturday, March 13, 2010
Trader Joe's Tarte d'Champignon
The full name of this product is "Trader Joe's Tarte d'Champignon -- A French Style Flat Bread with Mushrooms, Emmental & Parmesan Cheese." In plain English, the name of this product is mushroom pizza.
But, like everyone else, I have my days where I just want to be a little "bougie," and damned if Tarte d'Champignon doesn't sound classier than pizza. Ya know what? While I am fantasizing, I would also like to pretend that said Tarte was not only made especially for me, but fed to me by hand by Anthony Bourdain -- you know, back in the days when he was a bad ass. Not the domesticated, weenified Anthony Bourdain who subjected the world to this:
That's one version of Tony I do not wish to play doctor with!
Anyway, back to the review...
This Tarte d'Champignon is a thin puff pastry crust that is topped with a mixture of crème fraîche (if you're unfamiliar, think of the best sour cream ever -- only thicker and less sour -- and you would have crème fraîche) and Emmental cheese (sometimes also referred to as Swiss cheese in the U.S.) "sauce" (it's more of a spread). The topping has five different types of mushrooms, which include porcini, Paris, oyster, shiitake, and boletus, and then the whole thing gets a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and parsley.
I officially don't care what they call it, because it was so good it almost takes the sting away from seeing what my once-beloved Tony Bourdain has been reduced to.
They don't recommend that you microwave this item, and I think you'd be crazy if you did. Just follow the simple baking directions and you'll be fine. The puff pastry crust is super-thin and the outer edges crisped perfectly. The bottom, sadly, stayed a little too soft -- but I have a feeling that was more the fault of my baking sheet and/or my oven than of the product itself. (Incidentally, it stuck to the sheet in several places, and was extremely difficult to remove without reducing it to a mess of gooey shreds. So even though the box doesn't mention it, you really might want to grease your baking sheet beforehand.)
The cheese "sauce": again, it's more of what I would consider a spread than a true sauce. The consistency is somewhat similar to whipped cream cheese. It's really savory. I love the tangy zip that the cheese brings. The easiest way to describe it is to tell you to think of a good, strong Swiss cheese.
The mushrooms: They are a little more sparse than I would have liked, but they are meaty and moist without being soggy or rubbery. I won't lie -- outside of the porcini and the shiitake, I couldn't tell you which 'shroom was which, but they all tasted pretty darn good.
This was just outstanding. Snark aside, it is waaaa-a-a-a-ay more special than a mere mushroom pizza. I really can't say enough nice things about it. Everything about it is delicious.
Definitely one of Trader Joe's best frozen options. Actually, one of the best frozen foods you'll find anywhere.
300 calories per half tarte
Made on equipment shared with eggs, fish, and shellfish.