Though the cheese world is all abuzz about the recent release of Hook’s Cheese Company’s 15-Year Cheddar, which the Wisconsin creamery is selling for $50/lb., this week our list takes us back to the birthplace of Cheddar – England. Currently made by the third-generation of Montgomery family cheesemakers in Somerset, this farmstead Cheddar is lovingly crafted seven days a week using milk from the family’s own cows. Y’all know how much I admire Wisconsin cheesemakers, but you’ve got to give props to the Montgomerys, too, who make their cheese on the land that some believe was the location of King Arthur’s Camelot!
Montgomery’s Cheddar is made with raw cow’s milk and been aged for 14-20 months, so it’s possible that your slab may feature crystals, though mine did not. Instead, my piece was smooth, pasty and an almost bewildering bouquet of flavors. It was hard at first to place the taste – was this cheese fruity, flowery, nutty or sugary? The answer is: all of the above. It’s not a Cheddar with which to cook – it’s definitely for savoring in slow bites with pieces of fruit or nuts. Your beverage should be a Claret or nutty lager.