I've been meaning to try nutritional yeast for a long time. I've encountered it on various food blogs, especially vegan-oriented ones. Apparently nutritional yeast, aka "nooch," is the cheese-less cheese-tasting Christmas miracle. For awhile you could only get it at health food stores, some of which ironically don't even sell actual food, but TJ's has finally caught on. This discovery, however, still begs the question - is this even a food??
Beware of the traces of nuts for those with allergies. Probably means they are processed in the same facility or something. But fortified with vitamins? How nutritious.
Now obviously, nutritional yeast is meant to be used as a flavoring agent. Don't eat it by itself. It doesn't really have any redemptive qualities. Paired with salt however, it takes on a cheese-like flavor that is reasonably pleasant. It flavors popcorn decently (though the popcorn must be oiled a bit for the seasoning to stick), which I've been stove-popping lately. It's not REAL cheese but cheese flavored, like a cheddar popcorn or something. I tried it topped on this pasta too (it worked well with the creaminess of the yogurt sauce. I'm not sure it would work in a tomato-based sauce), and it provided that hint of cheesiness sans the GI rejection associated with lactose intolerance. I haven't been adventurous enough to try it in other forms, but seeing as it's probably mildly healthier than copious amounts of chile lime seasoning on my popcorn, it would be worth the repurchase for me.
Make sure you store this properly, otherwise you might end up with a stinky mess. Does it smell like cheese? Depends on who you ask. Definitely smells fermented. A says wet socks. I don't think it smells that bad, but it is relatively similar to a cheesy feet smell (WHICH I DON'T FIND PLEASANT. I SHOWER I PROMISE.) You get the idea. That's if you stick your head into the bag and really give it a good sniff. Waft with caution y'all.
As far as I can tell, the price point is very reasonable. $2.99 for 4 oz. is a fraction of the cost of what I've seen on Amazon and at Whole Paycheck for sure. If you're on the market for some nooch, look no further than your friendly neighborhood TJ's.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Nutritional Yeast. I can't believe it's not cheese! Oh wait. Yes I can. 6 out of 10.