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Flavour Added Cheeses

A huge variety of cheeses are displayed in deli counters around the country, they can take on many forms with their bright colours and exotic rinds. Smoked cheeses have existed since man learnt how to make hard cheese and stored them near wood fires. While in the 16th Century Dutch cheese makers were quick to incorporate the exotic spices brought back from the West Indies creating a tantalising melange of flavours. Most of the flavour added cheeses today are well known hard or semi soft cheeses, that are combined with fruit, spices and herbs.

Flavour added cheeses can be classified into four distinct types.

  1. Natural smoked cheeses - Have a golden brown to caramel coloured rind with the internal colour not being affected.

  2. Traditional style - Are when the ingredients are matured with the fresh curds thus absorbing and intensifying the aroma and essence of the added ingredients.

  3. Rind flavoured cheeses - Have various ingredients such as vine or nettle leaves and toasted hops pressed into the rind.

  4. Reformed cheeses - Are the majority of flavoured added cheeses this is where a young cheese (just made) is broken up and blended together with the ingredients and reformed.

Herbs - Fresh herbs can deteriorate within a cheeses damp interior, so dried herbs is the preferred option. Common examples are sage, nettles, basil, rosemary, lavender, garlic and chive.

Spices - Cumin, caraway seeds, black or red peppercorns, paprika and cloves are widely used as they make natural partners with the savoury tang of hard cheeses.

Dried Fruit - Adding fruit is actually a recent modern trend. The most popular being candied citrus, dried berries, apple flakes, figs and apricots.

How to enjoy:

Uncooked - The choice of flavours to add to cheese is limited only to the imagination of the cheese maker. Flavour added cheeses with dried fruit are typically served in place of dessert. Those with garlic, herbs, chive, or that are smoked best work in salads. Any other variations that you come across are those based on pure experimental and taste curiosity.

Cooked - Traditionally made hard and semi soft cheeses behave like non added flavour cheeses when cooked. They can add character to basic dishes like baked potato and pasta, smoked cheese especially work well, adding a fuller deeper flavour.

With Drinks - A Beer is a lovely compliment to savoury flavoured cheeses with onion, chives, garlic, oak smoked and chilli. While the sweet (fruit) replacing the dessert cheeses is better with cider or a Chardonnay. The berry flavours of red wines tend to clash with all but the hard cheeses like Cheddar or Gouda.

See our cheese range


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