Now that the excitement of Independence Day has finally died down, I’m thrilled to be able to sit down again and talk some cheese!
This month, we’ve gotten the opportunity to feature a cheese that I’m pretty excited about. If you don’t know me really well, I love most cheeses, but I can be a little bit picky when it comes to my cheddars—it takes a lot for me to really fall in love with a cheddar. For me, they should have a slight tang but not be too sharp, yet still be very flavorful, and they should always be rich and creamy.
Well folks, this month I think we’ve hit the grand slam with Westminster Rustic Red. If the name gives anything away, you might have already guessed that this is a red cheddar. Contrary to popular belief, cheddar cheeses generally start out white or yellow-ish off-white; the orange or red cheddars most of us are familiar with are actually colored that way with the use of a natural coloring agent—annatto—which is derived from the seeds of a tropical fruit and gives these cheeses their gorgeous bright color.
To my surprise, this red cheddar was actually the product of an accident! Westminster explains that a “helveticus” culture was accidentally added to one of their batches of cheddar, and before realizing it, Rustic Red was made and aged into a brand new variety for the creamery. And what a delicious mistake it was.
A pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from England, Westminster Rustic Red is slightly crumbly in texture yet incredibly creamy on the tongue. The flavor is robust but not overwhelming, and it has just the perfect bite to it. This cheese is a fantastic addition to a cheese board chunked into pieces, or alone as a snack with a glass of your favorite Malbec.
This is truly a cheese you don’t want to skip out on– stop into your local Bottle King Vineyard Market this weekend for a bite!