Friday, June 17, 2011

Cheese: Tintern

Tintern cheese is a creamy Cheddar flavored with chives and shallots. It is a rindless cheese made of cow's milk, with a protective layer of green wax 
which highlights the green flecks of chives inside the cheese. 
I see it referred to as a "pub cheese," a cheese with "something in it," like garlic, onions or chives. 
It is made by Abergavenny Find Foods located in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales. It is said to be named after Tintern Abbey, which was established in 1151, in Tintern, on the River Wye, also in Monmouthshire, Wales. Apparently monks at the abbey farmed shallots in the abbey gardens and the packaging shows a monk in front of an abbey, working in the abbey garden. Despite the apparent ancient connections, I can't find any history of the cheese and assume it is of recent origin and the connection to the abbey a marketing gimmick. I recently did a post on Cotswold Cheese  which is Double Goucester cheese with chives and onions. Enough time has elapsed between eating the two cheeses that I can't give them a fair comparison, but they are two cheeses I would like to eat side-by-side.  

In December 2011 I got some Tintern 
and some Cotswold from Trader Joe's and had an opportunity to do the taste test between them. They are quite different from each other. The Tintern has a strong taste of chives and sour cream and is much stronger. 
I didn't love the Tintern on its own, but liked it much better when combined with a cracker. The Cotswold is much milder, somewhat nutty, and I like it much more. 

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