Tag: Cheese

Foodstuff: Bothwell™ Horseradish Cheddar

Bothwell Horseradish Cheddar 1

I can’t say I have ever thought about pairing horseradish with cheese before so I was curious to see what this product might be like. I have tried quite a few different Bothwell brand cheese products and, so far, they have been pretty good. I have to say, though, that this particular idea didn’t work that well.

The cheese itself is very good. It has a very nice texture that is a bit creamier than many cheddars and the basic cheddar flavor is apparent, albeit quite mild. Unfortunately, the horseradish component, which is plainly identifiable, gives a very harsh, bitter note to the overall taste. I don’t want to discourage others from giving the product a try, but I didn’t care for the effect overmuch.

To properly assess the product, I also tried cooking the cheese. I added small squares to pre-grilled rounds of zucchini and then put these under my broiler until the cheese was melted and a few brown spots were beginning to appear. When the cheese was very hot, there was no horseradish taste that I could discern (and the normal cheddar notes were diminished), then, as it cooled, both the signature cheddar flavours and the harshness reasserted themselves.

In all, this was rather an interesting idea but I can’t say I will bother with this particular product again…

 

Bothwell Brand® Maple Smoked Cheddar

Bothwell Brand Maple Smoked Cheddar

I have been seeing quite a few different varieties of Cheese from this Manitoba based manufacturer recently. I haven’t, as yet, seen Gruyere or Emmental on local shelves, which is a pity, as it is the cheese I most commonly buy for snacking, but this type looked interesting.

I was rather suspecting that the ‘Maple Smoked’ quality of the product would be an artificial flavour. However, the ingredients list states ‘Natural Wood Smoke’, and while this is not conclusive (Liquid Smoke is made using the oils from smoke and could be an additive here), it is possible that the cheese is actually smoked. In any event, the very clear aroma one gets on opening the package is, not exactly maple smoke, but rather the richness of bacon… sweet, maple smoked bacon.

The texture is very nice and creamy and the normal bite of aged cheddar is apparent. It is also dominated by the same very rich bacon quality as in the aroma. Thus far, other than eating it cold, I have only had it melted over rounds of ham sausage and garnished with caramelized onion, but I think it would be a great burger cheese. Indeed, one could almost have a bacon cheeseburger without using bacon. I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this product, to be honest, but I have to say that it is worth a try…

Appetizer: Wensleydale Bites

Wensleydale Bites 1

There is no actual recipe today (none really needed, actually)… Rather, I just thought I’d show you a little canapé I put together as a snack for my wife and me. I have called them ‘Wensleydale Bites’ because I used lovely Wensleydale Cheese which comes from Yorkshire in England and is a bit like a sharp white Cheddar.

Basically, I toasted some slices cut from a small baguette, brushed each with some of my homemade Garlic Oil, and then spread them with liver pate. On top of this, I put strips of the cheese straddled by slivers of pickled gherkin and then I grilled everything just until the cheese started to bubble. Finally, I drizzled over a little Cranberry-Chipotle Jelly and garnished with chopped parsley.

I have to say these were very good and I am looking forward to playing with the basic theme as my wife and I love this kind of ‘snackie’. I only used a cheap, canned pate on this occasion but maybe something a little more expensive and decadent will get used next time. I may even try making a flavored jelly of my own as well….

 

Notable Nosh: Irish Porter Cheese

Irish Porter Cheese 1

When I first saw this product at our local co-op, I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it. After reading the label, and seeing that it was a cheese made with beer, I just had to give it a try…

The label on the plastic clear package reads ‘Original Irish Porter Cheese’ and the ‘Irish’ in the name is not merely a fanciful marketing ploy as the product is made by the Cahill’s Farm cheese manufactory in County Limerick, Ireland. Being marketed in Canada, however, everything else on the package is printed in French as well as English and interestingly enough, although the English ingredient list includes ‘Porter‘, the French actually specifies that ‘Guiness’ is used. Guiness and other stouts or porters are something of an acquired taste, but I am quite fond of them and was interested to see how it would work in a cheese product.

The aroma of the freshly opened package was rather unremarkable – a cheese smell, obviously – but there was no particular sharpness or unusual notes. The taste, as best as I can describe it, is more like a fairly ordinary cheddar than anything else I could think of. It is moderately sharp, and there is a slight pungency at the outset but, again, there is nothing especially remarkable. In a blind tasting, I would say it would be difficult to guess at the presence of the stout but, once you know it is there, it is possible to detect a faint, slightly sweet, burnt taste that characterizes the beverage. It is alright, I suppose, but not likely to accrue any sort of cult following, I wouldn’t think.

My wife and I tried it alone, and then on rice crackers with a dab of redcurrant jelly (which was quite nice), and also skewered on toothpicks with sliced radish and a pickled cocktail onion. The rest, I think, will likely be used on the burgers I have planned for this evening’s supper and, that being the end of the little block I bought,  I don’t imagine I will feel any special urge to buy it again. Still, it was worth the try…