Back on the esteemed Appleby’s this week (click here for the all important Appleby’s part one).
Appleby’s is famous for its normal Cheshire, but sneak a look behind that cheese’s broad shoulders and you’ll discover, first with your nose, Appleby’s Smoked Cheshire.
It has a powerful smoky whiff. Be sure to double bag it swiftly, and do not allow it to share a fridge compartment with milk in an open container unless you like smoked milk. The cheese itself is smoked for three to seven days using oak chips and a smokehouse – the olden traditional way – rather than going the newfangled liquid smoke route.
Now, the producers describe the flavour as “delicate”. I have a number of smoked cheeses in my time, and this rates as one of the more powerful. Certainly one of the more delicious as well – you can really tell the difference between a smokehouse-smoked cheese and one that’s been flavoured with the liquid smoke (although the latter does usually go hand in hand with a generally worse overall product; of course, this isn’t always the case as best exemplified by the Nantwich Intl. award-winning Smokey Redwood Cheddar which is flavoured by liquid smoke of cheesemaker David William’s own devising. Smokey Redwood Cheddar, from the adventurous Cheshire Cheese Co, has won a gold medal for five straight years at Nantwich, plus multiple golds at the World Cheese Awards – very much the Michael Phelps of the cheese world. We’ll have to have a taste comparison here at some stage… but for now: stop pulling focus, digression cheese).
We quickly became addicted to this cheese. Smoked cheese is always very more-ish, but this one, with its extra depth and Cheshirey texture, certainly trumped our engagement with previous smoked cheddars we have enjoyed. Interestingly, when grated onto baked beans, the flavour did become more delicate. A changeling.
Next: Double or nothing