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Old 07-12-2006, 07:47 AM   #41
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[quote=
True well-aged cheddars, particularly the imported ones, can be quite yellow to a pale yellow-orange in color without any additives. The majority of the others do have coloring added - albeit normally a natural one such as Achiote, which is virtually flavorless.

[/quote]

I must disagree with your "imported" idea. The best world class cheese comes from Wisconsin and Wisconsin is among the 50 contiguous states. It is right there next to Michigan, above Illinois and East Minnosota. Now on to the color discusion. There is no taste or texture difference it is simply a marketing tool some cheddars are colored yellow.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:12 AM   #42
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I have to say the best world class cheddars actually come from the area around the Cheddar Gorge where the cheese type known as cheddars originated! But one of THE very best cheddars (IMO) is Isle of Mull cheddar from the small Scottish island of Mull. Cheddars here come in many colours, but some Scottish cheddars are much more 'orange' in colour than other UK cheddars. I have never discerned a difference based on colour, only on where they are made. For instance, a matured Davidstow cheddar is quite distinct from a mild cheddar from Somerset.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:55 AM   #43
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"Best" is in the mouth of the beholder, eh?

I consider myself a cheese freak and IMO, I agree with Ishbel that the "best" Wisconsin cheddars don't hold a candle to Montgomery cheddar and some other artisanal English cheddars. I also favor Shelburne Farms (VT) as a close second.

I'll be back in MN over the weekend, though, and will try to track down some nice WI cheese to try. But IMO, the notion that the best world class cheese comes from there belies the fact that there are so many incredible cheeses that are made in other parts of the world and can only be imported. WI can't even come close to them because the reason why they are so good is because of where they come from (the climate, what the animals eat, how it is made, etc).
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:07 AM   #44
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Exactly, Jennyema! I sometimes pick up 'Brie' made in Devon or even in Germany - (the packs are really similar!) and it's only when I taste it that I know IMMEDIATELY that it ain't Brie, whatever it says on the packaging
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:41 AM   #45
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Ishbel, it's ages since I had Isle of Mull cheddar. Whenever we get visitors come over from the UK, they are always under instructions to bring some cheddar. Next time I'll have to issue precise instructions - Isle of Mull only!

And you're quite right about Brie. Danish feta can't hold a candle to Greek feta. I remember there was a lot of hoo-hah in Britain over Yorkshire feta. I've never tried it, have you? I find it hard to believe that it's as good as the real thing from Greece.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:28 PM   #46
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If you really want to drool - go to www.ijmellischeesemonger.com His stop in Victtoria Street is AMAZING. He sells wonderful oatcakes to go with the cheese - almost as good as homemade!

Isle of Mull cheddar .. I'm off to find a piece in my fridge RIGHT NOW!
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #47
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Howl... howl... and thrice howl. Whimper with envy...

I see they do deliveries. I can see where I'll be getting Christmas presents from for my cheese-loving friends and family.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:55 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Brain
...I've been to the Tillamook factory by the way, and its quite fasinating. And OT: did you know Tillamook also makes ice cream? Its the best ice cream ever. I prefer it to Haagen-Dasz. They also make the best freaking ever vanilla bean yogurt.
When I lived in Oregon and my Wisconsin supply would run out (about mid-March), Tillamook was the next best thing. HOWEVER - about half of their cheese is packaged here in Wisconsin, about 20 miles from my house. Like many other cheese makers, they ship their blocks to Marathon Cheese and it is cut and packaged. As far as their ice-cream, it's alright. They have to add extra cream because, like their cheese, it would be drier than midwest ice-cream due to the lower milk fat content.

I agree that it's all in the eye of the beholder ... we grew up eating local cheeses and loved / love them all. I've traveled all over Europe and had some fabulous cheeses there as well but none (IMHO) as good as here at home.

Also, just because I'm full of fun facts today, Colby Cheese originated in the town of Colby Wisconsin, 2 miles from my home. I actually had a man argue with me at a deli counter about that one.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Snoop Puss
Howl... howl... and thrice howl. Whimper with envy...

I see they do deliveries. I can see where I'll be getting Christmas presents from for my cheese-loving friends and family.

Thanks for the link.
He also supplies most of the good restaurants in Scotland - even up to the Highlands! I am a regular customer. Can only eat cheese in small portions myself, but my family and friends more than make sure that Mr Mellis' profit levels have not dropped in the slightest.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:28 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
"Best" is in the mouth of the beholder, eh?

I consider myself a cheese freak and IMO, I agree with Ishbel that the "best" Wisconsin cheddars don't hold a candle to Montgomery cheddar and some other artisanal English cheddars. I also favor Shelburne Farms (VT) as a close second.

I'll be back in MN over the weekend, though, and will try to track down some nice WI cheese to try. But IMO, the notion that the best world class cheese comes from there belies the fact that there are so many incredible cheeses that are made in other parts of the world and can only be imported. WI can't even come close to them because the reason why they are so good is because of where they come from (the climate, what the animals eat, how it is made, etc).
I have to disagree. But only in a unique way. , I have a freind in the Telecom Industry, Who lives in Marquette, Michigan, who has a brother who lives in Wisconsin. This brother, who I don't know personally, makes an artisanal cheddar that is comperable to any I've tasted anywhere. But he only makes it in amounts too small to be sold comercially. There is world-class cheddar to be found in Wisconsin, if you know where to look.

In addition, most people have very limited availability of fine cheese. If I want good cheese around my neck of the woods, I have to travel into Canada. It's just not available in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Sharp Pinconning is the exception, and since being bought out by a larger cheese manufacturer, I would submit that the quality is not as good as it once was).

I have had wonderful cheese produced in Michigan as well, but again, the small cheese producer went out of buisness some years ago. Cheese doesn't have to come from the UK, or France, or Greece to be great. But it must be produced with a care and attention to detail that is unusual for the large cheese producers in the U.S.

This also is true for virtually any food type you want to discuss. I would submit that there are American and Canadian producers of almost any food imaginable who could rival the world's best. I will not say that one product is naturally better because it come from some region. And remember, we all learn to enjoy what we are exposed to. So what is a great cheese to someone in London, might be less than perfect for someone in San Diego, and vice-versa.

Someone stated in this thread that good taste is determined by the person eating the cheese. My favorite cheddar is Balderson 5-year aged Heritatge, but because it's the best that's available to me where I live. It is equaled by that un-named artisan cheddar maker from Wisconsin. But I can't readily obtain it. And Tillamook, well for me it rates poorly by comparison. And yet, to my eldest son, it's the best of cheddar.

Arguing about which cheddar is best is like arguing over who's blueberry's are better. If you like them tart, then you prefer one kind and will say that it's best. If you like them sweet, then you will swear that another variety is best.

And did you know that there are cheddars aged in caves, packed in hay to give the cheese a unique flavor componant? It's true. Adn other producers have their own secrets as to how they age their cheese.

And I will also say that the best cheddar is the one that tastes best to you, whether it comes from Kraft, Tillamook, Balderson, Isle of Mull, or whatever.

And yes, I do love my Colby (similar to Cheddar), but detest Colby-Jack.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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