As reported here, while The Lady was visiting Wisconsin as a guest of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and DCI Cheese last May, one of the stops was to Woodman’s Grocers where one of the cheeses The Lady purchased was a block of Eight Year Extra Sharp Cheddar from the Laack Brothers in Greenleaf, Wisconsin.
Last night, The Lady cracked open the heavy black plastic wrap and served it with a freshly baked baguette, some sausage slices and strawberry preserves. WOW!! This is some extra sharp cheese and The Man and I both swooned, while The Lady attempted to be more composed in her reaction to this fine cheese.
This morning, I decided to review this cheese and report my tasting notes before we hit the road for Cheese-a-topia in Seattle. When I couldn’t find a website for Laack’s, I had The Lady call the cheese company to suss out more information for me… and to clarify something I had read on the web… BTW curiosity does NOT kill the cat… it makes him smarter and more likely to win in a trivia contest… just so you know…
To The Lady’s delight, Jeff Laack, one of the brothers and owner, answered the phone and was quite generous in chatting with her and answering her questions about his company and the cheese we tasted last night.
Jeff is a licensed cheesemaker and the Laack Family has been in the cheese biz for several generations. These days they do not make cheese but purchase high quality cheeses and act as the Affineurs during the aging process, which in this case resulted in eight years of caring for the cheese. Much of the flavors you taste in cheese can be attributed to the affinage. Cheesemakers send their cheeses to affineurs for aging, sometimes as far as across the country. Trust is an important part of the relationship between the cheesemaker and the Affineur.
This Eight Year Cheddar is a Wisconsin cheese although Jeff didn’t share the cheesemaker’s name.
This cheese was extra sharp and crumbly; yet it melted on the palate and the taste continued to linger after eating it. With the baguette, it was perfect… but when The Lady spread a little strawberry preserves on a slice, the two flavors were divine. The sweet of the preserves and the savory of the cheese made for a pairing not to be soon forgotten.
The block The Lady bought weighed almost a pound which means… lots more of this tasty cheese for The Man and me, your favorite Feline Foodie.
Serving Suggestions: Cheese plate is a perfect presentation point for this cheese. I suspect this would make a dynamite pimento cheese spread or a “to-die-for” mac n cheese.
Wine Pairing: 14 Hands Merlot, a favorite of The Lady
Beer pairing: A Pale Ale or a Porter
Source: Cows’ Pasteurized Milk
I plan to sneak the remaining cheese into my kitty knapsack for the road trip to Seattle and Cheese-a-topia… a trip set to begin in less than three hours… Seattle, here I come…