I am easily called back to TJ‘s by its siren song (AKA Fearless Flyer) especially around any holiday period, like Pumpkinpalooza in October. Come December, there are a plethora of peppermint-enhanced products that hit their shelves. But in carefully combing through the most recent FF, I spied a new cheese that simply had to be sampled, Sticky Toffee Cheddar!
And then, I was near the Flatiron this past weekend, so I had to pop into Beecher’s again. My initial visit a few weeks ago had in fact been prompted in part by hearing of a certain cheese, and thinking it would be a good one to feature on the blog. In November though, Yule Käse had not yet hit their shelves, but it was there, this time–huzzah!
While I certainly could have unwrapped these two holiday hunks at home, I decided, in the seasonal spirit of giving, to take them into the library where I work. I was now prepared with my new camera (yay!) so I didn’t need Perlagrigia to join me, but I invited her anyway because her face always lights up at the mention of cheeeeese. Unfortunately, it turned out that she had caught the nasty cold going round our building. And if there comes a time that one doesn’t enjoy cheese, it’s when one can’t really taste it due to stuffed sinuses. Blergh.
I thought I might postpone the tasting to next week, but then I made impromptu plans to have lunch in the park with some colleagues including DiVino, who had joined Perlagrigia & me a few weeks ago at another tasting. Also in our picnicking party were Kiri and Ms. Fox Hill. We found a sunny spot on some rocks and situated ourselves there.
We munched upon the variety of lunchables we’d brought with us and then as our communal meal progressed, I opened up the cheeses and encouraged everyone to try them. On the left is the Yule Käse, which is Beecher’s Flagship cheese aged in red wine and blackberry honey. You can sort of see how these two products dye the edge of the wheel. It’s not very sweet and of the two cheeses, it was definitely the milder one. Beecher’s claims one can taste nuts, caramel, and the floral tones of the honey and berries. I’m not sure I sensed all that, but we definitely scarfed this one up.
On the right is the Sticky Toffee Cheddar. It’s based off the famous British dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding. The cheese-dessert hybrid features cheddar blended with dates, raisins, and toffee pieces. To the right, is a closer look. I had brought back what remained of the Scottish oatcakes that we used when sampling the Moliterno last month and I think that was a good idea, to have something quite the opposite to contrast the unique flavor of this cheese. While it may sound bizarre in description at first, I would almost compare it to one of those blended cream cheese spreads with some kind of nuts and raisins, except here the Cheddar, in place of the cream cheese, is a lot more sharp and less sweet. And yet, it did work! We found ourselves eating more and more of the STC and when I asked for feedback about it, most everyone remarked it was “good”. Only DiVino seemed to be on the fence; she said it was “interesting”, which at least in my mother’s book means “um, I don’t really like it”. I’m not sure if that was the case here or not 😉
But I am reasonably sure I, or another turophile contributing to this blog, will get up to some more cheesy fun during the holidays, so keep checking back to see where we went and what we tried. Happy Cheesemas!