Apologies for our extended absence, readers – things have been absolutely insane in the Working Worlds of Fox & Michael lately, but we are
sort of mostly almost caught up with things to a point where we can return to our regular blogging. First post in the ‘catch up chute’: April’s Cheese of the Month!
April’s cheese box was an odd one: the cheese of England. It wasn’t necessarily their Englishness that was so strange though, it was their… flavored-ness. I had no idea about this, but apparently, flavoring cheeses is kind of a big deal across the pond. From savory to sweet, you can find pretty much any flavor in British cheeses (these are the folks who master the fruit cake, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised).
First up was the Wensleydale cheese with lemon from Coombe Castle. This is just what it sounds like: a cheese filled with bits of lemon. The flavor of the cheese itself is quite mild, and the lemon chunks are what really show through in the flavor profile. The cheese is soft, and if you’re a fan of lemon, this could honestly be used in place of butter on a muffin or biscuit.
Next was the Ilchester Double Gloucester Onion & Chive cheese. This was probably our favorite flavored cheese of the batch. It still tasted like cheese, just with the onion and chive filling the role of the dips and spreads we usually enjoy with our cheese. This cheese would be a great snack with just a stack of crackers.
The sticky toffee cheese is where things started to get really strange. This hardly seemed like cheese; it was more like a soft, sweet taffy. Since we were enjoying these cheeses over Easter weekend, my mum had made a few loaves of fresh Ukrainian Paska bread. While it was strange on its own, the sticky toffee cheese was a great spread on the Paska bread!
Finally, the most traditional cheese in our sampler was the Ilchester Top Hat Cheddar Cheese. This was probably the most versatile of the English cheeses we received. It was a good pair with our meats and bacon, and it was quite dippable in our different spreads.
Overall, I wouldn’t say this was my favorite cheese sampler so far, but it *was* quite interesting! Whereas most of the cheese we’ve gotten from PennMac is pretty all-purpose, the English cheeses seemed to be much more limited in their uses. Once we found what worked for each of the cheeses, they were tasty, but you’d have to really have a specific plan in mind to buy a full chunk of any of the flavored cheeses and be able to use it up before it spoiled.