So much better than I expected!
The nearest Target converted to a partial grocery store about six months ago, but I guess they're still working out some of the details. They had to carve out an entire quadrant of the store, which caused a huge rearranging. And what with the laws of space time being what they are, it meant squashing the rest of the store by 25%.
After being annoyed at this compression, with the Bedding section now reduced to only two short aisles, I was ready to pick on Target a little. I snagged a frozen cheesecake as I scooted down the grocery aisle. It is from Archer Farms, Target's house brand. The brand is so self-consciously country style, so patently false, that I figured I'd get a good chuckle out of what I assumed would be a failed attempt at cheesecake.
Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that… it wasn't half bad. And for the price ($6 for a 21 ounce cheesecake) I would be surprised if you could find better.
The cheesecake is six inches in diameter, and about 1.5 inches tall. I bought the plain flavor, because I wanted to try it unadorned. The flavor is bland, as you might expect. It lacks some of the tartness I prefer in a cheesecake. But it isn't overly sweet, which is a common fault of cheap cheesecake. It also lacked the chemical aftertaste you often find in cheap cheesecake. The texture isn't as dense as "real" New York cheesecake, but again - it's only six bucks.
This cheesecake will be all about the topping. I bought a jar of Archer Farms Caramel & Sea Salt Chocolate Sauce as a companion. It was delicious. I ate a lot of the sauce with a spoon. When I put it on the cheesecake, it was still delicious.
If I was assigned to bring a dessert to a party, I would probably bring this one - and make a super-fancy sauce. You could put a homemade cranberry sauce drizzle atop it, and no one would know the difference.
Compared to other entrants in the "cheap cheesecake" category, this one is a real winner!