April 17, 2012

National Cheeseball Day

“Bachelor's fare: Bread, cheese, and kisses.” - Jonathan Swift

It's National Cheeseball Day!

Sponsored byCabot Cheese

For many years, every autumn my parents and I would take a road trip to Vermont for three very important destinations: Ben and Jerry's, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and Cabot Creamery. Not only was the drive beautiful (seriously, have you seen New England in the fall? It's a sightgasm!), but the eats at the end of the journey were well worth the drive (and we may or many not have actually stopped at two different Cabot locations for snacking: the Cabot Visitors Center in Cabot and the Annex in Waterbury Center)!
Cabot Creamery is a 1,200 farm family dairy cooperative with members in both the New England region and upstate New York located in the hills of Vermont producing all natural, award-winning cheeses. As a co-op they are owned and operated by their members (the farmers and their families); as a result, Cabot highly values community, quality, democracy, and local ownership. It was started in 1919, when ninety-four farmers figured if they joined forced they could turn their excess milk into butter and market it through New England. Over the course of the next twenty years, Cabot's farmer-owners thrived, and in the 1930's they hired their first cheesemaker, and cheddar entered the product line for the first time. To this day,  Cabot continues to grow as a company as they blend their state-of-the-art facilities, entrepreneurial spirit, and personal commitment to quality.

Cabot also understands and values sustainability. According to their website, "Our fundamental approach to stewardship and social impact is based on the triple bottom line of social, environmental and economic impacts. Our approach is called context-based sustainability. The scope of our sustainability efforts runs from farm-to-fork, but we realize our greatest influence is from the cow to the creamery and from the creamery to our customers. Our cooperative's typical member/owner is a multi-generational dairy farm family, a trend we endeavor to extend for a long time to come."

I was generously given several different flavors of  Cabot cheeses (some I had never tried before and, trust me, this is a girl has seriously eaten her weight in  Cabot over the course of the past ten years) including:

Hot Habanero Cheddar - INSANELY HOT (like "WHOAMYTHROATISONFIRE" hot), but this certainly doesn't compromise the fact that this creamy cheese is still very flavorful.
Horseradish Cheddar - One of my favorites, but you really gotta like that pungent horseradish bite.
Chipotle Cheddar - Another one of my favorites from Cabot, and really one of the most perfect-for-Mexican-food cheeses there is. It would be excellent in a seven-layer taco dip, in enchiladas, or in chile rellanos. Seriously: it's smoky, spicy, and delicious.
Hand-Rubbed Tuscan Cheddar - This was the first time I got to try the cheese, and I really enjoyed the balance of quintessential Italian-flavors.
50% Reduced Fat Pepper Jack and 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar - The reduced fat line at Cabot is misleading, because nothing about it tastes or feels "reduced fat" like stereo-typically foods like these do. You may be cheating your hips out of widening, but you aren't cheating your mouth out of flavor!

Tonight, I used the Habanero Cheddar to make cheeseballs... and they were hot. Like no-words-could-ever-explain-how-hot-they-were hot.

Didn't stop me from eating the whole darn thing, though.

Happy National Cheeseball Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission of company.