“ Brand: Cathedral City / Type: Cheeses „
First our story. My family and I lived in Wales for two years as expats. That alone is an experience not soon forgotten. Let's get to the matter at hand....British Mature Cheddar.
When comparing Cathedral City Vintage 20 to the American "sharp" cheddars, the offerings fall flat for the Americans I am afraid. Now, back in our homeland, we find ourselves shamelessly craving this fab cheddar. I have bought sevaral mature cheddars that claim to be "Brittish", but all fail to deliver. Not only that, but when one turns to the back side of the package it almost always says made in Wisconsin or New Hampshire (not Britain). What we crave is simple. It is the salt crystals followed by the robust flavours and crumbly texture of the Vintage 20 that we cannot seem to duplicate.
In conclusion I will say that this is not so much a review as it is a plea. Please bring this cheddar to the US. Please allow the deprived citizens of the United States to encounter a proper Aged Cheddar from the UK. It is shamefull what is considered cheese here. Please Help! If you can't help the whole of the US then help us. Tell us where we can find what we so desire! Our wine just isn't the same without this cheddar.
My son loves Cathedral City Cheddar and I always buy it for him. Personally I really love very strong Canadian Cheddar especially on my toasties, and so it was with great delight that I discovered this special variety of Cathedral City recently called Vintage 20.
Matured for 20 months this is a very strong and full flavoured cheese, and it won the gold award in the prestigious World Cheese Awards in 2007.
This is a full fat hard cheese, so it might be prudent to think of your cholesterol, and probably not one to indulge in too often, but at least 30g provides 28% of your calcium requirement for the day. Calcium is vital for bones and teeth. In there too is a lot of protein, ideal for vegetarians who need the protein meat eaters may get from other sources. It also contains B12, again another vital vitamin which keeps nerve and red blood cells functioning well and it is also needed to make DNA. Of course many experts in nutrition advise to choose these stronger cheeses so you are satisfied with less, so my advice is to use a grater so that you get the flavour without the quantity, if you are watching your cheese consumption with regards to your intake of cholesterol.
Presented in a rather sophisticated black packet it could certainly earn a place on any posh cheese board, but for today it only got as far as my sandwich. It is a beautiful yellow shade and the bag is resealable. Quite a handy little feature and it saves money on foil and other wrappings I buy to prevent the cheese going hard in the fridge. The cheese is sold in small 200g packs though, so it won't last long if you love it as much as I do.
The first time I opened it I wasn't sure I was going to be so complementary as the smell was intense, this intesity sometimes heralds a cheese I would only cook with but I shouldn't have worried. Soon it was sliced and ready to sample both on a cheese biscuit, and in my favourite- the cheese toasted sandwich. It sliced beautifully and was firm and fresh.
First the cheese and biscuits experience. I use Hovis Digestives for this. I love the rounded loaf shape they have and the salty crisp biscuit compliments the cheese so beautifully, but Jacobs cream crackers and all cheese biscuits do almost as well. Yes the flavour is intense just like mature Canadian Cheddar but it is not overpowering and you are left with a satisfying cheese, which would also benefit perfectly from the addition of a glass of red wine, and a bunch of ripe grapes or some fresh strawberries. You should not eat it straight from the fridge leave it out for a couple of hours for the best flavours to emerge.
The cheese toastie is also wonderful. It melts beautifully and the strong cheese gives this a delicious flavour and a substantial sandwich. This also benefits from a well chosen chutney or my good old friend the Branston!
My dear father loves nothing better than a cheese and onion sandwich and I have tried this using large Spanish onions and this delicious cheese -it's fantastic!
However you try it you will be left with a lovely cheesy taste in your mouth for ages afterwards.
Available in Tesco and Waitrose for the same price of £2.58 this is not a cheap option. It is however, vegetarian, so pretty good if you are like me into strong cheeses and often find they contain animal rennet.
I think this is a high quality cheese and is something rather special. One to try for sure, especially if you are fond of Canadian Cheddar. This is really the British version!
CATHDRAL CITY VINTAGE 20
~~~What's it like?~~~
I love cheese. Especially mature cheddar cheeses. I enjoy trying different ones and I was shopping recently in Tesco, when they were holding a tasting. This is a new cheese developed in the same family as the other Cathedral City ranges and is manufactured by Dairy Crest. The demonstrator gave me a 50p money off voucher, so I just had to give it a try.
I particularly like this sort of cheese with crackers or cheese on toast. I particularly take great pleasure in having snacks like this for supper occasionally. This is because as a child, I wasn't allowed cheese in the evening - it would give me nightmares, I was told. Now I am a grown up I don't really care about this and can eat it whenever I like!
The new slant on this cheddar is the time it has been matured. It claims to have been matured for 20 months and promises a 'crunchy texture with a well rounded flavour.'
The packaging is black and looks quite classy and comes in a packet that can be resealed.
On opening the cheese is a pale creamy colour and tastes quite strong, but not strong enough to make me wince, like some strong cheeses do. It is best cut into small slices or pieces, as it tends to crumble if you attempt to cut a large slice. It is a too good I think to use for cheese on toast and is best eaten either alone or with crackers to get the best out of it.
I wouldn't really say that it is crunchy at all, as the advertising hype claims, but it does have a fine, flaky texture when you cut into it. Even my children like it, which I find is a good measure for a strong cheese - if they find it too much, then I usually agree it is too strong and bitter. They liked this on crackers and also in a little tub, grated for a snack with cucumber.
Overall, I liked this cheese very much and would buy it again. It is quite pricey so I will probably look out for it if it comes on offer in the future. It is great for a cheeseboard or if you want to treat yourself. I often prefer something savoury as opposed to a dessert, so I will be able to justify the extra expense.
I am not expert enough to tell if the 20 months has made a difference - all I know is that it is a quality product that I will be buying again.
It is available in 200g packs and a 30g serving contains 28% of the recommended adult calcium intake. The same size also contains 125 calories and 10.5g of fat (6.5g saturated), so this should definitely be eaten in moderation. The packet I purchased had a best before date of May 2009, so you can have it in your fridge and it will keep for ages if unopened. I can't remember what I paid for it and it isn't listed on the Tesco online website. It is available from Waitrose though for £2.69 for 200g.