Product Type: Cathedral City Cheese
Newest Review: ... brands is this Cathedral City Mature Cheese. The cheese which comes in a large square-ish block is a light yellowy colour. It's quite a h... more
The king of cheese
Cathedral City Mature Cheddar
Member Name: yackers1
Cathedral City Mature Cheddar
Advantages: Great taste, great texture, very versatile, often on offer
Disadvantages: Can't think of any
****What? Where? Who makes it?****
Cathedral City is a brand name that is manufactured under the Dairycrest umbrella of companies. This cheese is made to a "special traditional recipe" (according to Dairycrest's website) in the West country, where it is matured for 12 months". It is a pasteurised, rindless cheese.
The website states that "Cathedral City is the UKs favourite cheddar brand and that one in three households' has a Cathedral City product in the fridge". This is quite a claim and how accurate, or not as the case maybe, this statement is, is anyone's guess.
Cathedral mature cheddar cheese is available in many different quantities including pre-packed 200g, 400g and 600g blocks. In addition, there are "unique" cheesy specials including:
"10 mature yet mellow slices (200g) that are perfect for cheese on toast, sandwiches and wraps".
Personally, I question how an oblong shaped piece of cheese can be "perfect for wraps". I find this claim nonsensical as the shape is just totally wrong. Thin strips, yes. Grated, yes. But oblong slices definitely no. I think pre-cut slices are pure laziness however they are convenient for burgers during a BBQ, but in these circumstances I much prefer to use the real processed plastic type slices over real cheese.
"Cathedral City Grated: tasty, natural, ready grated yet mature cheddar (200g) in a handy, easy to open re-sealable pack, ideal for use in cooking".
Pre grated cheese is just wrong in my opinion, and whilst I can understand people buying pre-cut slices, after all it can be difficult to get nice thin uniformly shaped slices, but grated cheese is just the ultimate in laziness. In addition, the additional price consumers have to pay to benefit from a machine grating their cheese is just extortionate.
"Cathedral City Dip & Go!: five mature yet mellow cheddar sticks with a delicious Branston pickle dip"
Whilst these are a convenient snack or lunchbox item I still refuse to buy them since it is so easy and much more economical to do your own. In addition to this, you get to choose just how thick the cheddar sticks are.
"Cathedral City Snack: 2 delicious mature yet mellow cheddar sticks (50g)
These are like the Dip & Go but without the pickle dip. As above, I think it is better just to do your own.
"Cathedral City Minis (20g)"
As the name suggests these are simply small pieces of cheese that are ideal for lunch boxes or to simply leave in the fridge and pick at every time you go in the fridge to get the milk for a cup of tea.
The range may be quite extensive but I think it is all too gimmicky and totally unnecessary. In addition, all products in the range are uneconomical and quite expensive when you consider the cost per gram compared to the cost per gram of a normal block of this cheese.
With its reddy brown corporate colour scheme, complete with an image of a cathedral, the packaging is unique but it is very understated especially when it is compared to other brand packaging on the market. I would even go so far as to say it's drab and boring. That said, it is easy to recognise the brand, and all products in the range are similar, so I guess the design team have done their job.
The packet has a re-sealable strip to ensure the cheese remains fresh, so there is no need to cover the opened end in a food bag, or cling film or tin foil or anything else you may have lurking in the cupboard. Personally, I think this is a great feature.
Whilst the packet should ensure the product stays fresher for longer it is clearly stated that the cheese should be consumed within 7 days of opening. Personally, this is no challenge for me and I only wished it would last that long, and because of this I am unable to comment how this cheese would look/feel/taste after a week.
One thing that I do find confusing is the fact that this cheese is "packaged in a protective atmosphere". Does this mean the environment inside the bag is protective? Does it mean that the packaging room of the factory is a protective environment? Hmmmm.....answers on a postcard please.
According to the website this cheese contains one ingredient, which is milk. I appreciate that Dairy Crest want to keep their "special recipe" secret and out of the way of the competition but the lack of information about the ingredients is absolutely ridiculous.
I always thought that some kind of liquid starter or live yoghurt was needed to make cheese but maybe I am wrong? Surely there must be more to this cheese than milk?
Whatever else may be in this cheese is suitable for vegetarians, well according to the packet that is.
100g of this cheese provides 416kcal, 25.4g of protein, 0.1g of carbohydrate, a whopping 34.9g of fat (of which 21.7g are saturates) and 0.7g of sodium.
Looking at the nutritional information it is pretty clear that it is ideal for those on the Atkins or some other low carbohydrate diet although the fat content is a bit of a worry, although that is to be expected. Whilst this cheese may be nutritionally unkind it does provide 739mg of calcium which is 92.5% of the recommended daily allowance.
This cheese is no better or worse for you (in nutritional terms) than many other cheeses so it can't be marked down for that and cheese eaters will have to put up and shut up. Besides, this cheese is just too good and the nutritional "goodness" or lack thereof will soon disappear once the consumption begins.
The smell of this cheese is simply divine. Opening the packet there is a distinctive "cheesy" aroma that will fill your nostrils and at that point you know it's going to be quite strong. Despite this initial wallop, the smell is not overpowering in any way and it doesn't stink the house out like other strong and smelly cheeses do.
In my opinion the Cathedral City mature cheddar has the best texture of any cheese I have tried. It is hard enough to grate and slice without crumbling up (a problem I find with many different cheeses on the market), but it is still smooth and plastic like. You know, like the processed cheese slices but better.
I have to admit that whilst I like cheese I am not a fan of the very strong and smelly cheeses (the stilton, raclette cheese and the like), I do, however, like my cheese to have a bit of flavour and the Cathedral City mature cheese fits my requirements perfectly.
Cheddar cheeses are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 1 being the weakest and 5 the strongest) and this cheese is rated at number 4, therefore it is considered to be strong cheddar. Personally, I find the taste mild to begin with before a tangy kick that provides a bit of bite. My other half describes this as a "full bodied" cheese and I think I'm inclined to agree there as this cheese is just so good.
One of the best things about this cheese is the versatility. The taste, and probably more importantly, the texture means this cheese is excellent for hundreds of different recipes and foods stuffs.
It is great for slicing making it ideal for cheese on toast, sandwiches, burgers and the like. It is ideal for grating making it a topping of choice for jacket potatoes, pasta bakes and much more. It melts easily so it can be used as a topping for home-made pizzas or used in cheese sauces. These are just a few uses and it is a product where your culinary imagination can run riot. The choice really is up to the individual.
****Availability and price****
The Cathedral City mature cheese is available from almost all food retailers so getting some should not pose too many problems. Whilst the entire range may not be readily available you will almost certainly be able to get a standard block of this cheese so you can always adapt it and create your own "cheddar sticks" or "dip and go" or whatever else you desire.
The price of Cathedral City mature cheddar will obviously depend upon what product in the range you purchase, As an example a 200g block will set you back £1.78 from Tesco (and I assume this price will be pretty uniform in all major supermarkets, a little more in smaller outlets and considerably more from garages) whereas a 600g block will cost around £4.99. It is obviously more economical to buy in larger quantities.
Whilst this cheese is not the cheapest on the market it definitely isn't the most expensive either and, personally, I think spending a little more on this is worth it as it is great value for money.
Something I have noticed is that this cheese is often on special offers in many supermarkets so it definitely pays to keep your eyes open.
Overall the Cathedral City mature cheddar is an excellent cheese and one I highly recommend, especially if you like your cheese to have a bit of flavour but not so much that it is overpowering and kills your taste buds, like many strong cheeses do.
This cheese smells great, tastes gorgeous and the texture, being hard enough to slice and grate but still smooth, makes it ideal for a thousand and one recipes.
(This review was originally posted on Ciao under the name of yackers1)
Summary: A great cheese ideal for many recipes