As the weather has been getting hotter, I've been less inclined to do any heavy duty cooking in the kitchen. When this happens, I like to fall back on a good old stand by that I enjoyed while growing up - pasta salad. This isn't the macaroni salad with a bunch of mayonnaise that many of us know and love, but a lighter, healthier pasta salad that is easy to make, delicious and filling.
We used to cube up standard medium/sharp yellow cheddar and mix it in with our pasta salad. I have since found an outstanding cheddar that I like to use and that is the Barber's 1833 20 Month English Cheddar. This cheddar is made by the oldest cheddar making family (the Barber family) in England. If you haven't already deduced, they've been making traditional English farmhouse cheddar since 1833. That's 180 years! Clearly these folks know what they're doing. The Barber's family has also been the sole guardians of the original starter culture and are the only farmhouse block-cheddar maker in the world to still use these original cultures. You can find out more information about the cultures on their website here: http://www.barbers1833.co.uk/page.aspx?p=culture If you're into bacteria (like me) you'll enjoy the read :)
Cheese: Barber's 1833 English Vintage Cheddar (20 Month)
Producers: The Barber Family
Region: Ditcheat, Somerset, England (right outside of the village of Cheddar)
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)
The Barber's cheddar falls under the PDO label of "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar". This ensures that you are getting a cheese that is made in the traditional method, the curds are still turned by hand (a.k.a. cheddaring), the milk is from local farms within the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, the cheese is aged on the farm for a minimum of 9 months and is assessed by a professional grader. Check out the cool video about this cheese here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdhIQk6LiU4
Now for the tasting! This cheese is another one of those yummy cheeses that has the tyrosine crystals as well as some salt crystals throughout the paste. The flavor is exactly what I look for in an aged cheddar, a little bit of nuttiness, a hit of salt and a nice acidic tang. Considering it is a block cheddar without the bandage wrapped around it like most other English cheddars, you really get TONS of flavor. I use this cheese in just about anything, and as you'll see in pictures below, in my pasta salad. :)
|Cut up ingredients: cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, celery and capers|
|Add cubed Barber's cheddar|
|Boil the pasta of your choice|
|After pasta has chilled, mix in with other ingredients. Drizzle with a little Italian dressing and you're all set!|
On a totally different note, I wanted to share some very exciting news! Today we received our first shipment of cheese at our new Distribution Center. So exciting! Here I am standings next to some of the cheese we received.
We'll be getting plenty more over the next couple of weeks, but since this was our first shipment, we were all pretty excited.
So... next time you're in your local Whole Foods Market, be sure to ask for a sample of the Barber's 20 Month Cheddar. You'll be in for a treat. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!