And When it Gets Older it’s Kept in a Cage.

BasketCheesesOf England
This episode of Hard Cheeses of Old England is brought to you by my employer. No really! For my 10 year anniversary I got a food basket with all sorts of AWESOME stuff in it, including three cheeses. They did not include any wine so we went out and bought a Chardonnay, a Shiraz and something called Retzna which was foul. Sadly we discovered that we only had Ritz crackers to munch our cheese with so…well…not so much with the cracker class.

Weird, the basket (put together by Whole Foos BTW) did not include any crackers. Huh! Anyway:

Jarlsburg, Ahhh Jarlsburg. It’s Swissy and cheesy but not so Swissy that TheMan won’t eat any. He doesn’t like it much but if it was the only cheese in the house he’d eat it. Grudgingly. This means it is less fungally than most Swiss cheeses and it also has a nice nutty taste and is pleasantly creamy. It’s a little too full of taste to pair with the Chard (overpowered it mightily) but the Shiraz held its own nicely. Apparently it also went well with the Retzna. The Ritz made the cheese even tastier with the buttery and the salt. Sadly, this was the least tasty cheese of the evening.

Rosewood Sharp Cheddar was the least sharp cheddar I’ve ever eaten. It was smooth and creamy and a little nutty but the pleasantly cheddary had me frowning. If I’m eating sharp cheddar I want my taste buds to stand up and yelp which wasn’t happening at all. We started calling it ‘Hint o’ cheddar’ but other than the naming snafu (blunt cheddar?) it was our second tastiest cheese. It was OK with the Shiraz but went better with the Chard (and also the Retzna). The Ritz crackers made the cheddar seem even blander if that were possible. Still, I expect it would make a pretty good grilled cheese sammich.

Piave is a hard cheese (actually the only real hard cheese of the evening) like asiago or parmesan. It was a little fungally but not overly so (re: TheMan still liked it) and it was a tad dry in that hard cheese dry way. Astringent? Well that quality of not smooth however you describe it. It was difficult to cut but very tasty once you did. Piave went well with the red wine, not so well with the white (but again well with Retzna…weird!). It totally overpowered the Ritz to the point that we just ate the cheese with itself and were happy. We thought it would be excellent grated on pasta…which we’ll try out later. This won the best cheese of the night award.

2008: Nothing to cheese here.

2007: Meijers had no pumpkins so there was no pie to be had. The zombies were very sad.

2006: Move along.

2005: JSFR: Cheesecake Pocky.

2004: You know, because a metric ton of fry cube, an entire underbelly of a pig and half of Wisconsin’s cheese output just wasn’t *quite* enough.

2003: Can you be…lets see…deca-mono-polar? What the hell is the Latin name thing for eleven? (you know, the bi, tri, quad thing-it-thing?)

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