The Good: Incredible flavor, Great ingredients, Surprisingly easy to work with!
The Bad: Ranch flavor is sublimated in the main flavor palate
The Basics: Surprisingly good, Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch cheddar delivers on its promises, especially when it is heated up!
After finally visiting the Yancey's Fancy cheese factory, it seemed like I might have hit a rut with the Ghost Pepper Cheddar (reviewed here!). Because most of the cheeses I purchased when I visited Corfu, NY were new and surprising flavors to me, I knew I was risking a lot by trying various flavors of cheese. I am, for example, not a huge fan of ranch dressing. My wife loves ranch and she puts it on almost everything. So, I picked up the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar figuring that if I didn't like it, she would gobble it up. She is not being given that opportunity as I found myself pleasantly surprised that the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar!
The bacon in the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar is delicious and the ranch flavor managed to truly pop when I made an omlette for my wife using the cheese. The Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar is near perfect and for those who do not share my love of very sharp cheddars might actually find it to be an ideal representation of its promised flavors.
Yancey's Fancy is a manufacturer of Artisan Cheeses in upstate New York and they make some very creative cheeses. The intent of most Yancey's Fancy cheeses is that they will be cheeses that hold their own as snacks that may be served to consumers in fancier settings. They specialize in cheddar cheeses that have different flavors infused into them: champagne, jalapeno, various nuts, etc., as well as more exotic cheeses like gouda with bacon. Yancey's Fancy cheeses come in wheels (usually ten or twenty pounds each) and most stores chop the wheels into blocks. Online, it is fairly easy to find the cheese in one pound blocks, though this new flavor seems to have limited availability and quantity.
The Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is exactly as its name implies. This is a solid white cheese with real bacon bits in it. Mixed throughout the cheddar block are the actual chunks of red, cooked bacon, though none of them are bigger than a 1/8" in diameter, which makes it all the more surprising how flavorful the bacon is in the cheese. Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese comes encased in a soft green wax which allows the cheese to maintain its shape and solid state. The green wax helps consumers distinguish it from other flavors of Yancey's Fancy cheese.
Ease Of Preparation
Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is a cheese, so more often than not, it is used on its own or as an ingredient in a recipe. Preparation of the cheese is pretty simple, starting with removing the plastic wrap it is sealed in. When that is done, simply peel back the wax coating on the outer edges. This happens with remarkable ease. The Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese seems to not adhere to the wax. This makes it a very easy cheese to separate from the wax coating and it may be placed on a cutting block or plate ready to be cut!
More than most cheeses with other things embedded in them, Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is very easy to work with. My cheese plane easily sliced through the block repeatedly, so the bacon bits in the cheese no way impede the cheese plane. This cheese is not so hard to fracture or otherwise fall apart. It is exceptionally easy to work with on its own or as an ingredient.
When the cheese is sliced, it melts beautifully with wonderful evenness and liquidity, making it an ideal ingredient to make flavorful omelets or to replace cheddar cheese in dishes like macaroni and cheese. It is delicious when melted into sandwiches, eggs or even a cream sauce (to make a cheese sauce). The first time I tried this cheese was in an omelet and it melted beautifully there; in fact, the flavor of this cheese reached its full potential when the cheese was melted.
On its own, the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese smells strongly of bacon. The aroma of the bacon becomes much, much stronger as the cheese moves toward room temperature. The scent of the cheese itself is surprisingly mild compared to the smell of the bacon in the cheese.
Placing the Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese in the mouth, the cheddar pops right away. The cheese flavor is strong and it augmented nicely by the bacon. The bacon in the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar is salty and flavorful in a way that is clear and delightful. The ranch manifests as a tangy aftertaste that finishes in a very complimentary way.
Melted, the ranch flavor comes to the forefront. While the Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar is hot, the cheese is tangy and clearly ranch flavored. The bacon and ranch flavors coat the tongue delightfully, making the cheese feel more like a medium, as opposed to a flavor.
The Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar leaves a slightly salty, very tangy aftertaste in the mouth after the last of this cheese is consumed.
Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is not a terribly healthy choice. The bacon and ranch do not seem to add anything of note to the cheese of nutritional value. A serving size is considered a one inch block (1 oz.). In that, there are 110 calories, 80 of which are from fat. This cheese has 25% of one's daily recommended saturated fat intake and 11% of the RDA of sodium. On the plus side, it does have 15% of the RDA of calcium and has six grams of protein.
Obviously, Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is a dairy product, so those who are lactose intolerant will have problems with it. This cheese is made primarily of aged cheddar cheese, bacon, and ranch seasoning. That makes it mostly natural, but it does have the preservative trisodium citrate, which robs it of being considered all natural. It is, however, gluten free. Obviously, as a cheese and one that contains actual bacon, this is not at all Vegan-compliant.
As a cheese, Yancey's Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese should be kept refrigerated. So long as that happens, it ought to stay fresh for several weeks. I am utterly unable to write about shelf-life as our 7.6 oz block was gone within five days of being opened! So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and supple. Our package bought two weeks ago had an expiration date of November 8, 2018.
Bacon Ranch Cheddar is a cheese, so it is not going to stain or ruin anything unless it is ground into a fabric. Baring that, cleanup of nonporous surfaces is as easy as wiping them with a damp cloth.
Yancey’s Fancy Bacon Ranch Cheddar cheese is quite good, even if it is not the sharpest cheddar cheese flavor. The cheese faithfully represents all three of the promised flavors when the cheese is melted and hot, but on its own it does not pop quite as much as it ought to.
For other Yancey's Fancy cheese reviews, please check out my takes on:
Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds
Pepperoni Cheddar Cheese
Buffalo Wing Cheddar
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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