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Tasting Tuesday: Widmer’s Cheese Cellars


Each week we taste a sampling of cheeses in our Cambridge office and discuss their flavors, textures, and our general impressions of them. Yum!


Wisconsin Mild Brick
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – I’m a Midwest girl, and this cheese appeals to that side of me. Right away, the smell was very buttery. The texture and taste was smooth and soft. It was salty and a little sweet, with a fleeting taste.
Jesi – The first thing we noticed about this cheese was that it still had a very loose, curdy appearance, despite the fact that it was actually a solid block. It doesn’t have a lot of dimension, but it’s a simple, tasty, accessible cheese.
Katie – This cheese is super simple, chewy, easy to eat, and has an interesting texture.
Amy – The Mild Brick is very mild. It’s accessible and kid-friendly, and a bit salty (something I enjoy a great deal). The most notable thing is the texture. Just looking at the cheese it resembles cheese curds that have been pressed together. When I bite into it it’s bouncy and rubbery, just like cheese curds.

Final thought by Jesi:

Sure enough, the cheese has the same squeaky texture and mild flavor as unpressed cheese curds.


Lager Kase Brick
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – This cheese has a lasting taste, with a little bit of a sour aftertaste in the back of my throat.
Jesi – True to its name, this one emits a yeasty aroma much like a fresh-poured beer. It has the same springy texture as the mild brick, but a slightly bitter taste, as its beer aroma suggests.
Katie – While I’m not sure I’d think of lager if it wasn’t in the cheese’s name, the Lager Kase Brick smells slightly like yeast, and tastes a little like it too.
Amy – This cheese was a surprise. While the texture has the cheese-curd-esque bounce of the Mild Brick, the flavor is totally different. It smells really yeasty, like rising bread dough.

Final thought by Amy:

The flavor is definitely beer-y, like the lager it’s named for.


Colby
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – I’ve had a number of Colby cheeses in my day, and this one seems to be a good representative of the genre. 
Jesi – Like the two bricks, Widmer’s Colby is squeaky-textured and mild—even more so than any of the other cheeses we tasted. 
Katie – An easy and accessible cheese.
Amy – This mild, almost spreadably soft Colby, is friendly and perfect for a grilled cheese.

Final thought by Kate E.:

The taste is smooth and it cuts easily.


2 Year Aged Cheddar
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – The smell and taste of the cheese is very sweet. The flavor fills your mouth quickly but sticks around for a while.
Jesi – This cheese smells sweet, milky, and distinctly like cheddar. It has a smooth, soft texture with a clean break, and the flavor reminds me of the cheddar I used to eat when I was a kid: not too funky, not too salty.
Katie – bright orange, tangy, moister than all previous cheeses.
Amy – This young, mild cheddar reminded me of the Wisconsin Brick, but without the cheese curd texture.

Final thought by Jesi:

Just a delicious, easy cheddar.


8 Year Aged Cheddar
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – Similar to the 2 Year Cheddar, but stronger and more bold. It is sweet and has some lovely little crystals sprinkled throughout.
Jesi – Because these cheddars are aged in plastic, the texture of the 8 Year Cheddar is just as soft as that of the 2 Year Cheddar. It contains some of the crystalline crunch I hope for in an aged cheddar, but is more mild than most.
Katie – This cheese has tiny crystals that give a slight crunch, and has a crumblier texture than the 2 Year Aged Cheddar.
Amy – I like the slight sharpness given to the cheddar by aging and the tangy, salty crystals throughout. I’m a fan of bold cheeses, so I much prefer this to the younger cheddar.


Jalepeño
Cow’s Milk – Wisconsin

 Kate E. – I could smell the peppers in this cheese from the get-go. It made me crave jalepeño poppers the entire time I was eating it, even while the spice hits a little later than I was expecting. What sets this apart from other jalepeño-ed cheeses is the cheese around the pepper. It could be eaten on its own (though why would you? It’s so good with the peppers).
Jesi – A consistent feature of Widmer cheeses is their soft, smooth texture, and this one is no exception. It has a much stronger aroma, thanks to the presence of the peppers, and while the pepper flavor was more apparent than the flavor of the cheese, I really liked that it was spicier than most jalapeño cheeses I’ve tried before.
Katie – This mild to medium cheddar has a strong jalapeño spice. It tastes like the cheese used in jalapeño poppers. While I like the cheese, the most interesting thing to me is the peppers.
Amy – I’d love to make a spicy queso dip with this. It has a nice level of heat and isn’t too salty. I like that it’s an aged cheddar rather than a simple un-aged cheese or boring jack.

Final thought by Amy:

It’s nice to see a flavored cheese that puts effort into the cheese as well as the flavoring.

 

Amy Scheuerman

Amy Scheuerman—culture's former web director—spent eight years in North Carolina where she developed a love of barbecue and biscuits before moving up north to get a degree in nutrition. She now works at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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