The Cheshire Cheese Company has the catchy slogan of “Cheese that makes you grin,” complete with Cheshire cat mascot. Happily, they deliver on this promise… and then some.
Cheeses have been the staple of many a dinner gathering, picnic, sandwich or a tasty snack. Understandably so, as a versatile food with a wide range of flavours and textures to suit every palate. As I unwrapped my cheeses excitedly I was struck by the elegance of their presentation. An individually-waxed truckle is always a delight to behold! Thus, these cheeses would make a perfect accompaniment for even the grandest parties or dinners.
Black Bob Extra Mature Cheddar
The knife slices smoothly through the elegant black wax of this cheese to reveal the consistent creamy-yellow colour inside. Black Bob is a firm and smooth cheese that begins to melt delectably the instant it touches the tongue. The flavour is rich and pungent, and perfectly befitting of an extra mature. The depth of the aroma further enhances the flavour. This cheese is less of a food and more of an experience. It’s easy to see why this cheese was awarded a Silver at the International Cheese Awards!
Caramelised Onion and Rioja Cheddar
Another silver-award winning cheese and instantly one of my personal favourites, this cheese is enchantingly unique. The chunks of real onion contained within this flavourful cheese give it a wonderfully soft and juicy texture. The rich flavours dance skillfully between sweet and savoury, with mingling flavours of onion and rioja in every morsel. A cheese well-deserving of its place in the ranks of the Cheshire Cheese Company’s gourmet range.
Irish Whiskey and Stem Ginger Mature Cheddar
The second offering from the gourmet cheese range and a Gold-award winner, this cheese was sceptically received. While the balance of cheese to ginger is ideal, this cheese is better suited to those with a more curious palate. The thick chunks of sweetish ginger slowly give way to a slightly bitter aftertaste lent by the whiskey undertones. Although the ginger makes for a moist-looking cheese, this cheese felt surprisingly dry on the palate. However, this was not unpleasant and was well-suited to the slightly crumbly texture.
Smokey Redwood Cheddar
This cheddar is proudly described by the Cheshire Cheese Company as the “supreme champion,” owing to its multiple award successes since 2006. And its reputation and acclaim is well-deserved. Admittedly, I was not expecting the strength of flavour this cheese delivers, because of the misleadingly pale colour it possesses. However, this cheese has an exquisitely smooth texture that is complemented by its outstanding and strong smokey flavours. This cheese redefines the definition of a cheddar!
Traditional Cheshire Creamy Cheshire Cheese
The Cheshire Cheese Company’s flagship cheese does not disappoint. The pale cheese exudes a gentle, pleasant fragrance. The flavours are distinctively sharp with a slightly salty undertone, a defining feature of this cheese which was rescued from the brink of extinction. The cheese is of moderate wetness and somewhat is firm. It would have been an absolute shame if Cheshire cheese had been forgotten. It is a delicious cheese with a history that provides an interesting talking point!
Vintage Gold Special Extra Aged Mature Cheddar
This cheese is another on the long list of award winners, having bagged a bronze in the 2011 World Cheese Awards. The texture is gloriously creamy and almost entirely smooth. At first bite, this cheese supplies a moderately strong flavour, but as the mouthful is savoured the flavours grow and develop. Thus, this cheese is to be relished. The aftertaste and fragrance is fairly pungent, as expected for a cheese of this maturity.
Ultimately, these cheeses are best savoured, with each mouthful offering an explosion of texture and taste. Because of the well-developed and skilful flavours, a little of these cheeses go a long way. I’d happily serve these at parties, dinners and give them as elegant and delicious gifts. Honestly, the only problem with these cheeses is, once you’ve tried them, you won’t want to share!