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Old 07-12-2006, 06:47 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, 07:12 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, 09:55 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, 10:07 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, 10:41 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, 01:28 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, 01:37 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, 01:55 PM   #48
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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, 03:17 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, 04:28 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.

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Old 07-13-2006, 02:37 AM   #51
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Wow - another cheddar question that would have my neighbours here in Somerset, county of the original Cheddar cheese, screaming!

Real Cheddar does in deed age to different shades of "cream", varying from quite pale to a sort of sunny colour. That yellow stuff is not real cheddar!!!! In UK we have a cheese of relatively similar taste and a more rubbery consistancy that seems closer to what you guys call "yellow cheddar" but its called Red Leicester. It is similarly abused by mass production and I am told that around Leicester its taste is as revelationary as real cheddar (which is more widely available because real cheddar is available on most supermarket shelves in UK and increasingly exported.) One of the things I really enjoy doing for US, French and Italian visitors is giving them (UK sourced) cheese platters at a meal and watching reactions. US visitors are blown away by the taste of the hard cheeses, but in general are more reluctant to taste the soft cheese. A guest told me last year that the hard, mild goats cheese was more like the taste of his supermarket cheddar! The french and Irtalians never think the cheese will be very good but always like a few of them, admittedly they never fall in love with real cheddar, but they often like it a little more. The Italians often like it a lot.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:59 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMediger
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.
How true indeed. Nothing tastes better than home, no matter where your from. Unless you were born in say, a McDonald's resturaunt.

You got in an argument at the counter? Hehe. Thats funny. I don't know if this is just me, but I think people get in fights about cheese more than any other food. I'm always hearing about cheese fights, and its usually about something territory-based.
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:05 PM   #53
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Wow - another cheddar question that would have my neighbours here in Somerset, county of the original Cheddar cheese, screaming!

Real Cheddar does in deed age to different shades of "cream", varying from quite pale to a sort of sunny colour. That yellow stuff is not real cheddar!!!! In UK we have a cheese of relatively similar taste and a more rubbery consistancy that seems closer to what you guys call "yellow cheddar" but its called Red Leicester. It is similarly abused by mass production and I am told that around Leicester its taste is as revelationary as real cheddar (which is more widely available because real cheddar is available on most supermarket shelves in UK and increasingly exported.) One of the things I really enjoy doing for US, French and Italian visitors is giving them (UK sourced) cheese platters at a meal and watching reactions. US visitors are blown away by the taste of the hard cheeses, but in general are more reluctant to taste the soft cheese. A guest told me last year that the hard, mild goats cheese was more like the taste of his supermarket cheddar! The french and Irtalians never think the cheese will be very good but always like a few of them, admittedly they never fall in love with real cheddar, but they often like it a little more. The Italians often like it a lot.
Do you work at a cheese-tasting thing or something? Or do your friends?
I wouldn't really be suprized if the French visitors pretended not to like it as much as they did. I remember my French uncle one time suddenly yelling at his wife (my aunt) when she was talking about this English cheese she'd picked up and how great English cheddar or some type of cheese was. He started yelling, "No! They do have good cheese, it cannot be good cheese..."
Pretty funny. That was the cheese fight I was mostly referring to in my last post. And... yeah. Just thought I'd share.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:20 AM   #54
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Recall that "real cheddar" is any cheese made using the cheddaring process and can vary widely in taste and texture.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:25 PM   #55
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Ok, we all know that Cheddar cheese is made using a cheddaring process. But what is this cheddaring process? And what makes cheddar different than colby. They have similar texture and flavor, but are distinct in they're own way.

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Old 07-14-2006, 05:37 PM   #56
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Wow! I just looked up Cheddar Cheese in Wikipedia. The information seems very accurate and complete. And my above statement about colby being very similar to cheddar, well that would be becasue it is a form of cheddar cheese.

Cheddar process: After heating the curd, it is cut into small cubes to aid in draining the whey while the cheese is aged or cured.

And there is so much more info. I recommend the site as a reference to obtain quick and accurate information on many food related topics.

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Old 07-15-2006, 09:21 AM   #57
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Banana Brain...no my job is not related to cheese, but we entertain a HUGE amount, and have people dropping in from round the world to visit on a frighteningly frequently basis (one of the reasons we are moving to Milan for a year is because we are trying to shake off some of the regular free loaders, LOL). I am also passionate about food, and more so local food. All round the word people make great sparkling white wine, which although it IS similar or the same as Champagne is not aloud to bear that name. It is my feeling that Cheddar should fall into the same catagory, although I do agree there are wonderful wonderful cheddar (type) cheese made other places. Its not just local economy I think benefits its taste. I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE gumbo, and yet, eat it here in Southern UK even with really good ingrediants and its always disappointing. And paella. There is a great Spanish restaurant in a market we go to a lot in London where people say its the best paella.....outside Spain! Whilst I don't stop eating "foreign foods" outside there area, how could I be such a food bigot!, I DO like to remember where they are originally from.

Somerset cheddars come in a huge range, mild and sometimes coloured for the mass market, faux aged for the same, or true amazing cheddars that the dairies don't even sell in the next county. To get REALLY great cheddars you have to know the dairy farmers with their own dairies still.

Now, don't get me started on Somerset Brie, THAT is a real travesty!

Good weed, Wikipedia IS great isn't it? I used to "google" people I knew I was going to meet, now I Wiki them too or instead! Its wildly inaccurate (flattering) to certain salubrius people I know too well, though, so I take a lot of it with a pinch of salt!
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:59 AM   #58
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Why not ask the experts in Cheddar, Somerset? I'm sure they'll be able to clear up the difference!
http://www.cheddargorgecheeseco.co.uk/index.php
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:04 AM   #59
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The taste of cheese is very personal to most of us. I enjoy various types of cheese and it doesn't matter to me who says what is best, I still go with my own tastes. There aren't many I don't like but some more than others.
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