Creative Commons photo by Steel Wool is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Californians are especially fond of this unexpected yet delicious item

Alix Martichoux, SFGate  – March 4, 2019 | Updated March 12, 2019

When you think of Trader Joe’s signature items, you probably think of frozen orange chicken, cookie butter or Joe Joe’s, its version of the Oreo. But the item that Californians seem to love the most is quite unexpected — literally.

According to some data crunching by Workwise, the most popular item in the Golden State is Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. The cheese is named as such because its taste is said to transform mid-bite, starting as a pretty classic aged cheddar, with a more tangy Parmesan flavor coming later.

Customers nationwide have given the cheese a stamp of approval — it was a runner up for favorite item overall in the 2018 customer’s choice rankings.

Workwise (who put together the data and graphics in the gallery above) is a customer relationship management company. They wanted to take a look at Trader Joe’s because of the grocery chain’s “dedicated following of fans and happy customers,” so they studied Google search trends in each state.

Workwise found that while Californians are obsessed with Unexpected Cheddar, the rest of the states are more taken other products. Customers searched for sweet chili sauce, macaron cookies and “Everything But The Bagel Seasoning,” a blend of sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion and poppyseed meant to taste like an everything bagel.

MORE: Trader Joe’s reveals which items customers like best in 10th annual awards

Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north in Oregon love the vegan banana bread out of the bakery section, New Yorkers go crazy for the dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and New England states love spanakopita, a Greek pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese.