Monday, October 8, 2012

Aged cheddar

In Wisconsin over the weekend, a dubious event was held. Ken McNulty, owner of the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee, had purchased several pounds of cheddar from Edward Zahn, owner of Z's Cheese Shoppe in Oconto. It was the oldest of several blocks of cheese that had been overlooked in Z's walk-in cooler for decades, including the 28-year-old block above. McNulty offered a limited number of tickets to tastings (1st image, Stephanie LaPhilliph serving) of what he billed as "the oldest cheese commercially available in the world." The 40-year-old cheddar was sampled on Saturday by a small crowd, some of whom were younger than it was. And, guess what? They loved it! "It was creamy, it was sharp, it was real sharp." "...probably the highlight of my life in a while." "...there's not much moisture left in it so the texture is unique." The outside had crystallized, but inside the cheese was said to be creamy, smooth, and overwhelmingly sharp, with a clean finish. Taster Ashley Mikkelson, who drove from Minneapolis with her husband, joked that she loved cheese so much she would marry it if she could - something I remember my sister saying as a kid about corn...
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