7 Cheesy Ways to Enjoy Irish Cheddar
The modern-day Irish artisanal cheese movement, launched by Veronica and Norman Steele at their Milleens farm in West Cork in the 1970s, today yields scores of first-rate farmhouse cheeses in many styles, Cheddar among them. Because they come from small producers, though, not many of these cheeses are exported to America and those that are can be hard to find. Luckily, Kerrygold, the brand under which the Irish Dairy Board markets butter and cheese, produces several varieties of very good Irish Cheddar that is found (as is their luxurious butter) in supermarkets all over America. For sources of Kerrygold products near you, check out their USA site here.
The big secret of Irish cheesemaking is the grass the cows feed on. As the celebrated Irish cookbook author and cooking school proprietor Darina Allen puts it, "In Ireland we can grow grass like nowhere else in the world so we have fantastic butter, lovely cream, and of course cheese. Butter is the fat of the land. Our animals are grass-fed. Grass fed gives more flavor and more complex nutrients. This is what we are. Dairy products come from this beautiful, lush green grass."
Our Swat Team worked with two Kerrygold varieties, Aged Cheddar, a rich and creamy medium-sharp cheese with a firm, smooth body, and Reserve Cheddar, a more authoritative version, aged a year longer, but still rich and creamy.
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