Wednesday, July 23, 2008

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Cheese Roundup – Castello and Apetina

After two years you’d think I’d have a pretty consistent method for writing reviews and testing products and that would be true, if by consistent you mean doing something completely random and stupid in every instance.

Take this latest cheese platter. Methods dictate two methods of eating both cheeses and I managed to somehow stumble upon totally unrelated eating methods purely down to a lack of planning. First with Castello, the traditional method is to peel back the foil wrapper, cut off a satisfying chunk and spread it on to a cracker or piece of bread. In my case this involved scooping out copious amounts and applying them to a spag bol.

Unconventional yes, but in my haste to sample the product (and finding myself with no other cheese for my meal) I tried it anyway and was surprised by the results. The white Castello I had offered a milder taste to Brie despite its similar appearance; giving you less of an aftertaste with a slightly creamier flavour. The cheese melted down rather nicely too it must be said, and within a minute was nowhere to be seen, having absorbed itself fully in to the flavour of the dish, within tainting it in any way.

All in all then it proved to be a rather successful experiment, although the same can’t really be said of my curiosity surrounding Apetina. Despite it being a salad cheese similar to Feta I’m clearly not made for salads (pizza et al all the way) so this called for a bit of a more delicate approach.

Hindsight has taught me now that Apetina does work rather well in pasta dishes and other light bites options but for some bizarre reason I instead decided to try the cubes of cheese in a sandwich. It’s not really something I’d suggest you try at home as slightly wet cubes of cheese make for a soggy sandwich but never the less they did taste rather nice with a bit of ham wrapped around them. The slight saltiness of the liquid they come in did take away from some of the flavour a little, but perhaps it’s made to add in a new flavour to pasta and salad dishes? We may never know.

As much as I berate myself for trying these products in bizarre, often stupid ways, it is nice to shed some new light on methods that may not have been tried before and give others some fresh product ideas. Based on the above experiment I’d chalk that up to one win and one loss, which I guess makes me even.

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