The Good: Good flavor, Good ingredients
The Bad: Very hard - a little difficult to work with, Not incredible on its own (works better as an ingredient than its own cheese).
The Basics: Yancey's Fancy Chastinet cheese is interesting and makes other foods better, but not exceptional on its own.
I am so used to Yancey's Fancy cheeses being filled with additional (non-cheese) flavors that it seems like such a surprise when I find one that is just a cheese on its own. In the case of Yancey's Fancy Chastinet, this is my first encounter with the Asiago-like Chastinet. This is a Chastinet, unadulterated by added meats or wine flavors or onion pieces and it was a pleasant surprise. But while the Chastinet is an intriguing and good cheese, it seemed to work better as an additive to augment other dishes and foods than it was a good cheese on its own.
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, though the Chastinet appears to be a cheese intended as an accent piece. Yancey's Fancy specializes 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 and most stores chop the wheels into blocks.
The Chastinet cheese is a cheese that is hard, much like Asiago.
Ease Of Preparation
Yancey's Fancy Chastinet cheese is a cheese, so more often than not, it is used on its own or as an ingredient in a recipe. This is a very hard cheese, intended to be more of an accent than a cheese consumed on its own. Preparation of the cheese is pretty simple, starting with removing the plastic wrap it is sealed in. When that is done, one may simply shred the hard cheese using a decent cheese grater. I only discovered that the outer rind might be wax after more than half my block of cheese was already gone!
When the cheese is grated or shredded, it is able to melt nicely, though with its low moisture, it has a tendency to flake off things like bread when it is melted as a sandwich topper. This does not bond to other foods, it seems, but it does melt nicely.
On its own, the Yancey's Fancy Chastinet cheese smells salty and tangy. This smells like a Parmesan or Asiago and its bouquet distinctly implies something salty.
On the tongue, the Chastinet cheese is sharp and tangy, but much more moist than a Parmesan. Salty and flavorful, the Chastinet marries the sourness and saltiness of a Parmesan with the more milky qualities of a mild cheddar. The result is a flavorful cheese that is not as sharp as a sharp cheddar, but has a range of flavors akin to a blend of cheddar and Parmesan.
Melted, the flavor does not fundamentally change; this is a salty and tangy cheese that accents all it is put upon.
The Yancey's Fancy Chastinet, surprisingly, has virtually no aftertaste to it.
Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Chastinet cheese is not incredible. A serving size is considered a one inch block (1 oz.). In that, there are 123 calories, 99 of which are from fat. This cheese has 30% of one's daily recommended saturated fat intake and 7% of the RDA of sodium. On the plus side, it does have 15% of the RDA of calcium and has six grams of protein.
The Yancey's Fancy Chastinet cheese is a dairy product, so those who are lactose intolerant will have problems with it. This cheese is made primarily of milk, cultures, and salt. The Chastinet appears to be all natural. This Yancey's Fancy cheese is not marked as gluten free and, obviously, it is not suitable for Vegans!
As a cheese, Yancey's Fancy Chastinet 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 8 oz block was gone within a month of being opened! So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and hard.
Chastinet 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. This is so light a cheese that it is hard to imagine it staining anything.
Yancey’s Fancy Chastinet cheese is a wonderful hard cheese that augments all that it is put upon!
For other Yancey's Fancy cheese reviews, please check out my takes on:
Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Cheddar
Steakhouse Onion Cheddar
For other cheese reviews, please visit my Cheese Review Index Page!
© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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