Wednesday, September 08, 2010
9 yr old Cheddar, Ginger Gold Apple, Stoneground Wheats
The Apple: Ginger Gold--purchased this morning at the Monument Square Farmer's Market from one of the vendor's that also sells honey(sadly, the name escapes me now)
The Cheese: 9 yr old Canadian Cheddar purchased from K. Horton Specialty Foods.
The Cracker: Back to Nature's Organic Stoneground Wheats
I asked at K's if they knew who the producer was of the 9 yr. cheddar but she could provide me with no information. So, I can't say much about where this cheese is coming from--whether it's from the makers of Old Quebec Vintage Cheddar (they also make a 7 year, which makes me leans towards them) or if it's Black Diamond. Either way, the cheese was surprisingly subtle in it's sharpness, slowly sneaking up and then finishing off pretty sour and salty in the end. It had a pretty strong lactic acid bite and the texture was creamier than expected and slightly crunchy (from the amino acids breaking down over time, also known as 'tyrosine'). The oldest cheddar I've ever had, this definitely equals the $22.99/# price.
I'd say the apple was a bit mealy in texture and not as juicy as I had remembered but, I also think it was a little underripe. However, there was definitely a refreshing crunch that countered the creaminess of the cheese and it's sweetness popped more with help from the salt in the cheddar. It was a nice pairing but I think I was looking for something with a bit more sweetness to it.
The crackers were great for this pairing. Flecked with flax seed and topped with sea salt it lent both flavor and texture, bridging the gap when the other two fell short. It's become one of my favorite crackers to use when I'm not worried about incorporating other flavors that could overshadow the cheese (truly, I worry about things like this).
Overall, not a bad snack while I spent my day braising lamb and veal shanks..but, there will be more on that later. And if you have any ideas on who the maker of the cheddar could be let me know.