July Asda Trip

Earlier today I was in Asda and decided to sample something from their special selection that I highlighted last month.  There were three small and similarly packaged cheeses that caught my eye, so of course I bought all three.

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These will be properly compared in the upcoming third edition of the Corral but for now I’ll provide the full descriptions to whet your appetite.

Farmhouse Red Leicester with Black Smoked Peppersmooth and smokey

{A simple description but it still sounds appetizing.}

Margherita Cheddarwith sweet cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of oregano

{I can imagine the oregano being tasteless and only included as an excuse for the gimmicky name.}

Wensleydale with Cranberry & White Chocolatemild and creamy with cranberries and white chocolate

{When it sounds this decadent, it doesn’t matter if the description is a copy of the name.}

But these weren’t the only cheese products I purchased!  There were also two types of burgers combined with different cheeses.

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Succulent British Beef Blended with Rich Wyke Farm Cheddar and a Sprinkle of Chives

Succulent Aberdeen Angus Beef With Tangy d’Ambert Cheese, Toasted Onions and Balsamic Vinegar, Finished with Cracked Black Pepper

Will the cheese flavours be noticeable amongst all of the umami-ness and fat?  I’ll be sure to let you know when I find out.

Verwood Farmers’ Market

Once again referring to this past weekend, I took a trip to Verwood to check out the Best in Dorset & Forest Farmers’ Market. I bought a few items, not least of which were, predictably, a couple of cheesy purchases.

Dorset Blue Vinney
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Producer: The Farmers’ Market Cheese Partners

This was a choice made somewhat out of curiosity as it had been some time since I had tasted a blue cheese. The samples available at the market were full of flavour and I, without worry, anticipated returning home and chowing down. Unfortunately though the domestic experience was not all that great.

The slightly salty, complex flavours immediately hit the back of the throat and stay there. In small doses this taste is great but even a single slice soon starts to grate, bordering on being sickly. So perhaps then this is a cheese whose flavours are best used in other dishes. Perhaps a small sprinkle on ‘normal’ cheese on toast? Whatever I end up trying I’ll keep you all informed.

Cheese Homity Pie
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Producer: Bridport Gourmet Pies

Although not the first one I visited, the pie stall was prominently located at the head of the market area. There was the obligatory steak pie but, although tempted by the safe option, the one that caught my eye was one covered in melted cheese. The ‘pie man’ told me what I had alread read on the package: that the pie I was purchasing was mostly cheese, onions, potatoes and garlic.

After a decent heating in the oven the homity tasted good if unspectacular. The cheddar cheese topping of the tart-like open pie was definitely the tastiest part, as the rest of the dish had interesting textures but little flavour. Didn’t Mr. Pie promise me the presence of garlic? It was an interesting dish though, one that I’d consume again but wouldn’t choose to splash the cash in order to do so.

However there are such things as blue vinney homity and blue vinney and steak pie, so perhaps I’ll be mixing these two experiences in the not too distant future.

The Cheese Corral #1: Triple Taste Test

Welcome back everyone to another inauguration of an ongoing procession of experiments. However, rather than find different uses for a single item as with my previous post, the objective for this series will be to test a selection of different cheeses for any given situation. So, with that said, it’s time to corral the cheeses and start the tasting!

What will win the European Cheese Championships 2012?

Jubilee present #1

Today in the UK, there is an additional public holiday to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. As a further celebration of the occasion (the jubilee, not the extra day off work), someone thought it a good idea to sculpt a stamp of the Queen’s head out of 60kg of cheddar.

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To be honest, I think the idea was bad enough but the execution was worse. The result reminds me of Mr. Bean’s reinterpretation of Whistler’s Mother.

Oh, and the phrase “Her Royal Macheesty?” Awful, just awful.

Wyke Farms & Crystals

Whilst looking at the Wyke Farms website for the previous post, I came across this beauty: Wyke Farms Crunchy Extra Mature Cheddar.

A vintage cheese with extra calcium lactate crystals certainly sounds scrummy.

The extra edge found in the texture of Wyke Farms’ own Simply Gorgeous Vintage is appreciably apparent so I’m looking forward to seeing if this iteration is even better. My mission tomorrow is to check out some Waitrose stores. They reportedly stocked Crunchy in late March and it’s still available on their website so I’m hoping to find some in person!