In addition to exotic meats, Anshu Pathak sells cheese through an internet based cheese of the month club. I visited him recently and he gave me access to his cheese locker where he keeps some cheeses for himself. He allows some of his personal cheeses to age longer because he likes the stronger flavors that result.
I previously had tried some Quicke's Elderflower Cheddar from him that I really liked. In that previous post, I gave a little background on the Quicke's family that live in Devon, England, southeast of Bristol. This time I got some Quicke's Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar that had been aged at least 12 months. They take mature cheddar, then cold-smoke it using oak chips from their own estate. Anshu had allowed this particular approximate eighth-round to age even longer. It had a nice bloom on the outside which he had cut-off and then cut into smaller portions, one of which I took home with me.
|The outer bloom is cut-off using a cheese cutter.|
|Quicke's Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar|
The taste of the oak smoked cheddar is very assertive, very cheddary, with just a hint of a crystal crunch, and a very pronounced smoky flower, but not overpowering.
Judy had just come home from a retreat at St. Andew's Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery in Valyermo, on the back-side of the San Gabriel Mountains. She brought home a bottle of jalapeno extra virgin olive oil which I believe is made by a different monastery further north in California. We tasted it and it had a wonderful strong, almost smoky, flavor.
|I love the angel on the bottle.|
As I thought about lunch, I decided to pair the oak smoked cheddar and the jalapeno olive oil in a salad full of bold and smoky flavors. So a cut up some red leaf lettuce; heated and then sliced up some bottled roasted red peppers; sliced up some avocado; roasted some white sweet corn on the cob with the jackets on on our outdoor grill, then cut the corn off using a knife; chopped up some sweet onion; broke up slices of the oak smoked cheddar; and then tossed them all together in a salad. I even added some cayenne pepper to my salad to give it more of a kick.
The result was great. I love olive oil as a salad dressing and the smokiness of the cheese, the corn and the red pepper combined well with the heat of the jalapeno and cayenne pepper.