American-produced Cheddar Cheese got a bad name due in part to the industrialization of cheese manufacturing in the 1800s. It especially pissed off the English who spent centuries producing amazing cheddar cheese wrapped in cheesecloth, slathered with lard and carefully aged for months and sometimes years. For more on the history of Cheddar, I suggest you read Gordon Edgar’s Cheddar. (I am reading it and loving it!! Once I finish, I’ll share my thoughts with you.)
However, throughout the US, traditional cheddars are being produced everyday and they are a far cry from the industrial, rubbery, yellow cheddar many of us grew-up eating (and loving). It’s no secret that Cheddar is one of my favorite styles of cheese… proved by the number of cheddars Spaulding Gray (RIP) and I have reviewed over the years. Cheddar is always in my fridge along with a few other cheeses I call “everyday cheeses”. In no way, should the term “everyday” be interpreted as ordinary… these are cheeses that any respectable cook should keep on hand. Cheddar is my “Utility Player” to use a baseball metaphor… at least I think it’s a baseball term and a metaphor…
I met Brad Sinko, Cheesemaker at Facerock back in 2013 at the Oregon Cheese Festival, although it felt as though I had known him for years, going back to the time when he was making cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
Back in the day, Brad’s dad owned Bandon Cheese (acquired by Tillamook, which later closed the plant in Bandon…)… fast forward to 2013… Greg Drobot partners with Brad Sinko to open Facerock Creamery in the old Bandon Cheese plant, bringing Brad home and cheesemaking in Bandon full circle. It also made Gramma Sinko happy to have her grandson close… pretty sure she was glad to have Brad close also.
Now, about this cheese… it’s another 4 Paw cheese, to use dear Spaulding’s rating system…
Nutty and savory with a meaty finish, this cheese is perfect for your most “I want to impress” cheese plate. There are so many ways to enjoy this cheese in cooking but really, it stands alone in the snacking department. Let is sit out for about an hour and sit it on a 34 Degree Natural Crisp and your day is complete.
It paired well with Kelly’s Jellies. I tried four seasonal jellies and four of the pepper jellies and am hard pressed to pick a favorite pairing. The Man, who is not a big spicy food fan, is quickly changing his tune… choosing the Pineapple and Jalapeno jelly as his favorite with the Facerock Clothbound. My mom, ever the purest, loved the combination of Kelly’s Strawberry Preserves and the cheddar (she’s developing quite a palate for “fancy foods” as she likes to call them). If forced, I would choose the Marionberry and Habanero; it popped with the umami notes of the cheese.
Again, my thanks to Greg at Facerock and to Robert Harrison at 34 Degrees for donating product to our pairings’ project. It is truly appreciated.
Interviews with Cheese Professionals continue through 2016… sometimes, as “stand-alone” interviews and
sometimes as round-table discussions with several Pros answering the same question. Those participating include Cheesemakers, ACS CCPs™,Cheesemongers and Cheese Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.
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FTC Disclosure: The manufacturer sent me these products, without any obligation on my part, hoping I would review the product. Please see my About Me Page for details.