This posting is both a review of the cheese and a “teaching moment”…
Let me get the “teaching moment” out-of-the-way first. Adrian contacted me via LinkedIn and advised me the cheese was on its way… with all the excitement surrounding caring for my aging parents, Miss Anne and The Tall Guy, I missed the message. The Man and I were fifty miles away at the hospital for a week when Adrian followed-up on the shipment. I was more than a little dismayed. Knowing delivery services, it meant the cheese had been outside for several days in temps as high as 90°F. No frozen gel packs would endure that…
That evening we returned to my parents’ home and found the cheese sitting on the patio. I opened the package and immediately put the cheese in the fridge, hoping for the best. It looked fine and fearing the worst…
The next day I took one block out of the fridge and let it sit for about a half hour. When I opened the package, there was an excessive amount of liquid which I discarded and patted the cheese dry. No mold; aroma was toasty and nutty smelling… so far so good… and then we ate it…
The “teaching moment(s)”:
- While it is always recommended that cheese not be out of refrigeration for more than a few hours… some cheeses, such as aged cheddars, are quite durable and can withstand adverse conditions without being ruined. Granted the quality may be diminished with prolonged exposure but not ruined. I do NOT recommend you do this at home…
- Check your email more carefully.
Other than being maybe a little drier, from the loss of butterfat after exposure to prolonged higher temps, this cheese withstood its “abuse” well and we loved it!!!
The milk to make Mull of Kintyre cheddars is sourced from 34 local dairy farms on Kintyre and 3 on the neighboring Island of Gigha. It has been made from a long established recipe in the historic Campbeltown Creamery since 1923. Kintyre Peninsula is located on the western coast of Scotland
This cheddar is crumbly but becomes creamy on the palate. The aroma as mentioned above is nutty and toasty and as for the taste; it’s nutty with just a touch of sweetness. The Man noted a hint of whiskey, which I didn’t. However, the cheese is made in a facility that once also distilled whiskey. As with Sartori’s Antigo Plant, the plant retains its former “Angel’s Share” of whiskey from its days as a distillery.
We tasted this Award-Winning Cheddar** “naked” to enjoy its flavor and texture before pairing it with Miss Anne’s Strawberry-Fig, which was a dynamite combination. I also made cheese toast for breakfast.
The second piece I used to make Pimento Cheese:
- One large jar diced pimento and brine
- One large dollop of mayo (more or less depending on how creamy you want your spread)
- 7 ounces Mull of Kintyre Extra Mature Cheddar, shredded
- 6 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, shredded
- 4 ounces Amish Classic Sharp Cheddar, shredded
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Blend pimento, brine, and mayo in food processor until smooth, some of the pimento should retain its shape (making the presentation more visually appealing). Add the shredded cheeses, salt and pepper. Process until spread reaches desired consistency. Allow flavors to marinate for a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy.
My Aunt Dolly and Cousin Wayne were visiting and pronounced this pimento cheese “The Best Pimento Cheese Ever Tasted”… high praise from Southerners who have eaten a lot of pimento cheese over the years.
Using our still-loved and missed Spaulding Gray’s rating, I give Mull of Kintyre’s Extra Mature Cheddar 4 Paws.
Pairing Suggestions: Sourdough bread with fresh figs, topped with melted Mull of McIntyre and drizzled with honey.
Wine Pairing: I would choose a mellow red.
Beer Pairing: A Pale Ale
Hard Spirit Pairing: How about Scotch Whiskey…
** Awards include a Gold Medal at the 2013 World Cheese Awards and Best Scottish Cheese at the 2013 British Cheese Awards.
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