Tuesday, 26 June 2012

'Puck' Spread - What the Puck!?

I think having started to do this blog, some people have started associating me with cheese. This is kind of weird for me even though I accept I rather like the stuff, because like I have said before, I have only been into it to this extent for the last year or so! So it was strange to go back to my family home in Essex and for my dad  to eagerly pull this out of the fridge...

...and say "Look what I bought for you from Hoo Hing [Chinese store in Chadwell Heath] Christopher! It's some sort of cheese spread thing". I gave my thanks along with a 'poker face' smile, like a father that gets another pair of socks for Christmas. Having been travelling a fair bit, I have come across quite a lot of random food stuffs, and not all of it is what its cracked up to be. I mean, what would you think picking this up, and the only information you had to go on was "Puck" and "spread?"

Surprise 1 - I read the back of the label: "A cheese spread alternative made with milk and vegetable oil". So it's not strictly cheese but still, it has milk in it I suppose.

Surprise 2 - It's from Denmark. Only a surprise because of the text on the label, which made me think it was from the middle-east or Asia.

Surprise 3 - It's not too bad!

Well, actually it's not astonishing either. I didn't know what to think of it for the entire time I was eating it as it doesn't have a very potent or distinguishable flavour. Maybe it's fatal flaw is that it isn't technically cheese. It is kind of the same in taste as the 'Laughing Cow' cheese spread that comes in little triangular segments, but a little more fluid and not quite as tasty. That said, it is not terrible - like I said - I was indifferent. It is a smooth cheese-like spread that would probably go well with something a bit stronger. Like in a bagel with some smoked salmon. On this basis then, it seems fair that I give it an indifferent score - 5 out of 10. I wanted to be able to say that its pucking good. But its pucking normal...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Cashel Blue - Salty Drug Cheese

It's a long way to Tipperary... so it's a good thing 'houseofcheese' deliver! The Cashel Blue grabbed my attention as I trawled through the list of goods on the website. I think the main reason it did so though was because it had filled a little bit of trivia pub knowledge for me by informing me that Tipperary is actually a place in Ireland. I owed it one.  I appreciate I may never get asked that question but you never know! I have been asked where Casablanca is before...

It is produced in Ireland then, by husband and wife, Louis and Jane Grubb who begin the process by heating the milk (provided by their healthy Friesian cows) in a hundred year old copper vat! Nice. I love the distinct local methods, and how perfect is their name for what they do!? It's like me working in Dixons and being called Chris Fridgeman...

This is a bit of a funny one the Cashel. I wasn't amazingly keen at first. It is a blue in the same sort of 'flavour village' as Danish Blue, which is not one of my faves. But somehow it has grown on me. I keep finding myself wandering into the kitchen, pushing a knife down into the centre of it, and just lifting it sideways to break of some crumbles. It is a salty cheese, which is why I was uncertain in the first place I think. But its also very creamy and mild which compliments it well. It kind of reminds me of the weird capuccinos that we get from the vending machines at work. I don't like them completely, but some lingering aftertaste and  combination of chemicals just keeps me coming back for more. It's like its a drug cheese or something! I'm sure there must be places in Ireland where they sell it on street corners to cheese junkies that need another hit of salty-crumble. Or people that try to ween themselves off it by wearing a Danish patch on their arm.

I digress. I usually do. This is actually a nice cheese but I'm not convinced everyone would like it at first sitting. I think you discover more about it the more you try it - like a good painting. I am going to give it a 6. Not bad, but likewise not really my cup of cheese. And I don't need another addiction (football and cheese take up enough of my time!).