Happy Thursday and hope summer is treating you all well. Another sunny day in Bristol, but not too hot. Its the kind of day you can spend hours just sitting in the sun, watching the boats on the harbor side. Although alot of people seem to be exploring the city, trying to find all the Shaun the Sheep statues which are on display until the end of August. For me, I spent some time along the river Avon. After a run along the river, I decided to open another one of the cheeses I bought at the Royal Three Counties show.
This time, I decided to try a mature cheddar with Worcester sauce and shallots, made by Croome Cuisine in Worcester (Church Lane, Whittington, WR5 2RQ). I’m not sure if they have an online site, but they seem to be quite active on their facebook page where they list some of the different shows and shops where their products are available.
But first a little foodie history. So, back home we use Worcester sauce in a lot of different foods, and most of us are probably pronouncing it the wrong way. Except those in Boston; they actually pronounce words like Worcester and Gloucester properly. Anyway, back to the sauce. My main reason for choosing this flavor was because the cheese was made in Worcester and also contains the sauce of the same name. But what is it exactly?
I don’t know about you, but I tend to use Worcester sauce when making beef dishes. It just compliments the meat in such a savory way, and when slow cooked, creates such a robust flavor throughout. Did you know it is actually a fermented sauce? The main ingredients tend to be barley malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, onions, and garlic, according to the Wikipedia page (although a lot of brands may use slight variations of this). Yeah, not what I was expecting either. Nonetheless, the result is a wonderful, multi use condiment. The sauce was popularized by Lea & Perrins in the 1800s, who still dominate the market today. Apparently, what they originally made was so strong, that it was abandoned in a basement. A few years later, they retrieved it with the intention to start again, and to their surprise, the sauce had fermented into a condiment with a much smoother taste. I really wish I can make that kind of mistake in my kitchen!
Anyway, this cheese made by Croome Cuisine is a mature cheddar with a strong taste. The shallots are steeped in Worcester sauce (although I couldn’t find how long for) and then added. This makes for a very robust flavor and you only need a little to make your mouth happy. It is soft and crumbly, with a very light brown color. As soon as you taste it, the Worcester sauce hits your taste buds in the same way it would if you were eating the sauce with a nice steak. This paired well with tomatoes, cucumbers, and some deli meats atop rye crackers.
I would definitely buy this again as its such a unique product that represents one of England’s most famous condiments. I don’t think I would use this cheese in cooking or adding to a separate recipe, because I wouldn’t want anything to mask that flavor. Well, actually, if I had a steak covered with a nice mushroom gravy, this cheese would be perfect if sprinkled on top. Otherwise, I would just enjoy it on some crackers while watching the world go by.
I’ll hopefully get around to a few more cider recipes soon. I have something sweet in mind that I’ve been looking forward to trying out. Until then, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!