Now you already know that Howktown approves of taste tests, because they are very scientific. All you need it food to taste, blindfolds, and people who still have the ability to taste things! This means NO zombies, which is good because Howktown does NOT approve of Zombies... bleeeaaaggh
Anywho, I like to have taste tests for several reasons besides just scientific discovery.
- It is creative together time with your fellow tasters
- It is an excuse to buy something special in larger quantities
- You get to eat things that generally taste good
- You get to give your opinion about such things and tell everyone else why they are wrong and/or
- Form alliances with foodies that agree with you... at least until the next taste test.
This months taste test: Kerry Gold Cheese
When I was perusing the artisan cheese pile (seriously, do they ever stack these cheeses? It's like a scavenger hunt sometimes through the Pile O' Cheese!) at the local HyVee, I was looking for something specific when I spied a block of cheese with a black wrapper. I impressed by the Aged Cheddar's black package. "Ohh, it's wrapped in black! It must be some sort of 'can't see the light until you're ready to eat it' specialness about it. I held in my hand momentarily and then set it back down in the pile.
I proceeded to search for the cheese that I was originally looking for, the house favorite, Dubliner cheese. It is always a search for this one, I can wade through 2 dozen blocks of swiss and cheddar and only come across one of the Dubliner. I immediately grabbed it and cheered "AHA You can't get a way from me!" (But only in my head, because I didn't want to be carted away without my cheese).
Then I spied the black wrapped aged cheddar and thought, "you know, we always buy the same cheese because we don't want to miss out on it's yumminess, but what about these other cheeses. What if we are missing out on THEIR yumminess?" that's when it occurred to me. TIME FOR A TASTE TEST!
Doug did the honors of preparing the samples, he has a special way that he likes to cut the cheese (snirk). He slices it really thin, then he slices a Pink Lady or Honey Crisp Apple really thin as well. We ate some slices of cheese alone, and some with slices of apple. All the cheeses were put on a plate unlabeld and Doug didn't tell us which was which until we had made a decision over which we liked best. I was secretly voting for the Aged Cheddar, because of the black packaging, but I didn't tell anyone that.
We tasted three varieties: Blarney Castle, Dubliner, and Aged Cheddar.
The Blarney Castle cheese was very creamy and reminded us of Gouda. It was a semi firm cheese that tasted good, but wasn't very exciting. The texture was very different from the other two cheeses and you could tell right away it was different, just by looking at it. Oh, by the way, this wasn't a blind taste test, because I totally forgot to blindfold everybody.
The main debate was between the Dubliner and Aged Cheddar. These two looked similar, except one was a little more golden in color. The cheeses were firm and slightly flakey. I picked up the lighter cheese and put it in my mouth. It was moderately sharp and had cheddar flavor. It went well with the slices and apples and was overall pretty good. It had a slightly familiar taste, so I thought for sure it was the Dubliner and then went for the next cheese. The Golden One. This cheese melted in my mouth, the sharp flavor was strong and the aroma was robust. This was a cheese! As I laid it on my tongue, I tasted little crystalline nuggets of goodness. My oh my, it was my favorite. This cheese has personality!
What Doug revealed was the Golden Cheese was the Dubliner and the lighter cheese was the aged cheddar. Doh! Suckered by packaging again! All the cheeses were good, but everyone agreed that the Dubliner was by far the best. I suggested you hop on over to your local cheese pile and pick some up.