Sunday, August 19, 2012
Organic Valley - Raw Sharp Cheddar Review
I was browsing the exotic cheese section of a local store here in Ohio, when this cheese caught my attention. I've written almost 200 cheese reviews, and have never tried a cheese labeled as "organic" or "raw".
I do admit this cheese gimmicky, the back label proclaims it as being made from non animal rennet, and the milk being "raw and unpasteurized". They do not say, however, is that a lot of cheeses that are made today, are made with microbial ( mold ) based rennet.
The "unpasteurized milk" part is also a bit over the top, as the process of making cheese curds pasteurizes the milk ( depending on the process used ).
Name: Organic Raw Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Maker: Organic Valley
Price: $18.00 USD/LB
Type: Generic Cheese
This cheese's name and description are sure interesting, however once I sampled the cheese it's self, I soon realize that it was a generic bland cheese. I do not believe it's due to their "organic" approach, as I have eaten many "organic - raw" cheeses in the past ( but were not advertised as such ). I believe the main issue is the cheese maker does not know how to make cheese.
When I first opened the package, I smelled the cheese several times trying to figure out it's unique characteristics - sadly it has none. It has a generic "cheese" smell, not even having the distinct aroma of a cheddar or colby .
I than broke the cheese in half, being surprised they used small curds, instead of the typical medium curd found in cheddar.
From there had taken my first bite. It was clear from the time this cheese made contact with my taste buds, that is is NOT a sharp cheddar at all. It wouldn't even qualify as a mild cheddar - it was more like eating a very, very mild colby. There were no defining characteristics, no noticeable "tang" that both cheddar and colby share, just a taste of a bland lifeless cheese.
There was another problem I noticed right away when sampling the cheese. The front says "aged 8 months" - which I believe it wrong. No real aged "sharp" cheese has as much springiness and moisture as this cheese has.
In the end, I was left with no noticeable after flavor, and a bit of resentment toward the makers, for producing a "sharp cheddar" that is among the worse I have ever sampled.