Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cheese Louise

So I was at Target the other day and was to pick up a 2# block of sharp cheddar as I commonly do, especially such as it is, a universal ingredient, and does not require a great degree of effort to feed a starving bachelor who should be applying his time to packing and house repair instead of Culinary Repartee.  I digress.  I was struck at once with the dizzying selection of sharp cheeses by Cabot Creamery.  My passion won out and I returned to my mountain palace (pronounced pall-ass, although not in the 'buddy' sense) with my spoils.

Cabot Creamery is of the state of Vermont.  The first state in the union to abolish slavery.  A state that's only 7% American and 50% Christian.  The birthplace of the Mormon Prophet Mohammed Joseph Smith, and the biggest producer of maple syrup in the United Kingdom States.  None of which has anything to do with cheese.

This posting is to accentuate the relative merits and provide objective musings on the subject of fine supermarket cheeses from the dairy isle of a large multinational grocer.

Exhibits A-E

Fat Free
The Fat Free offering is a fairly bland moist cheese I would consider a medium cheddar.  Rather decent by itself and perfect for those who don't care for sharp cheddars.  Just eat it by itself.

Smooth Sharp
Surprisingly good.  Crumbly in texture.  A slight cheddar sharpness that melts quickly to a delicate creaminess.  I would serve this with crackers and perhaps a touch of olive oil and sea salt.

Extra Sharp
Moist texture.  Strong cheddar sharpness that melts slowly to a buttery nuttiness.  This would be great grilled as the flavors would hold up well and be accentuated by browning.

Seriously Sharp
Crumbly texture.  Indeed it is sharper and more lingering than the Extra sharp.  Again either for grilling or on crackers.  This cheese would work well with a fancy olive to juxtapose.

Best of the bunch.  Crumbly texture.  Complex cheese flavor, not particularly sharp.  Benefits from aging.  Perfect with a fine porter.

I have to give Cabot credit, they are cheesiry masters.  Each cheese was indeed distinct from the other.  They certainly don't hold up to the 4yr or older cheddars for complexity of flavor, but what can we really expect for $4/lb.


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