Personally, to me, cheese is cheese. As I do the shopping and we are on a budget I tend to buy the huge heavy duty value 1kg mature blocks of cheddar. But hubby has more sensitive taste buds (after all it is one of only about 6 foods that he eats) and prefers it when I buy a named brand like Cathedral City or Pilgrims Choice. We don't really steer away from cheddar other then when we have pizza - however it's best not remind the husband about the time he tried to grate the mozzarella ball for home made pizza.
.... on shepherds pie.....
....in a wrap.....
... with some ham on crackers...
.... or on chips with beans....
....it's safe to say cheese forms a huge part of our eating life.
Tesco sent me some vouchers this month to try their Finest range of cheese, so I took up the challenge with their Finest Vintage Farmhouse Cheddar.
It's coming up to Christmas which is the best time for treating everyone and paying that little bit more for something special whether that's a cheeseboard for a dinner party or some Chaource (soft, crumbly French cheese) to make a fondue they have a great range. Tesco's cheese team have worked with some suppliers, like the Lincet family, for over 10 years. Their finest Gruyere is matured for 10 months in the Swiss Alps using traditional methods, unchanged since 1155 to ensure they bring you the perfect flavour every time.
It's easy for the cheese's natural flavour to become overpowered by other items in the suggestions above which is why I undertook the ultimate in cheesy taste tests, it's complex, so bear with me ....... good old fashioned cheese on toast.
Look - 9/10
With it's chalkboard style design this cheese looks really modern on the shelf, it also looks natural. The cheese itself is a lovely creamy yellow colour.
Sliceability - 5/10
The Finest Vintage Farmhouse Cheddar is really crumbly. When we slice our cheese we use a slicer rather than a knife, this cheese does not slice well, however when you use a knife it's far easier.
Meltability - 8/10
boy does this cheese melt. 2 seconds under the grill and it's almost invisable, bubbling away. The only downside to this is you really need to use twice as much cheese if you want a thick slice to sink your teeth into.
Flavour - 8/10
Personally I found the cheese tasted a little earthy and I wasn't overly taken with it, however hubby loved it. In fact I had to tell him to leave me some for my toast or he would have eaten the entire block in one sitting.
Price - 5/10
The Finest Vintage Farmhouse Cheddar is £3 for 320g (£9.38/ kg) which compared to their value chedder £5/ kg is really expensive. However if you compare it to Cathedral City at £11.43/ kg it's much better value and worth switching to see what you think.
Would I buy again?
Unless I was aiming to impress someone with 'expensive cheese' then probably not as it didn't give me much of a WOW factor. Saying that I've read some great reviews about others in the range and may try something else for a special occasion.
Disclaimer: I was given money off vouchers enabling me to get the above product for free as part of the Orchard at Tesco Programme. The thoughts and opinions remain my own.