Sonoma Jacks Gourmet Cheese Wedges

Sonoma Jacks Gourmet Cheese Wedges

Smoked Gouda, White Cheddar, other flavors

Six wedges per wheel

$2.99 (Fishers Foods, World Market)

Saimi Bergmann: Magic. Has to be. How else could a creamy wedge of smoky, soft “Gouda” cheese be only 25 calories?

Laughing Cow should be pretty worried right now. They have sold a soft “Swiss” version of these wedges for decades and should have expanded to other flavors years ago.

Enter the competition: Sonoma Jacks. These wedges come in Smoked Gouda, Parmesan Peppercorn, White Cheddar and Garlic & Herb.

Now, my snooty friends will turn up their noses at this processed cheese, but I spread a wedge of Smoked Gouda on a toasted onion bagel this morning and it was creamy, cheesy heaven.

I wasn’t as enamored with the cheddar cheese flavor — there’s a bit of a sour aftertaste. But it can’t be said too often — 25 calories.

Jim Hillibish: Honesty required here. These little, overpriced, phony-fancy cheese wedges are processed cheese closer to Velveeta than the fine gouda that I expected. Not that processed is bad. To me, Velveeta is the only way to make grilled cheese. But on fine crackers with a gold medal Bordeaux? I don’t think so.

One wonders how much effort it would have taken to offer the real thing. Gouda is a beautiful cheese deserving of more. Save your money and go for one of those red-waxed balls of authentic Gouda from Holland. Anything less makes no sense.