Saturday, June 11, 2011

Even For Those Of Us Who Do Not Like Horseradish, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar Satisfies!

The Good: Melts well, Very flavorful, Nothing truly bad in it, Great price!
The Bad: Hard to work with.
The Basics: A delicious cheese, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon cheddar is one of the most intriguing cheeses by the innovative brand!

My wife has been exceptionally cool to me in the last few weeks. In addition to more time to review (and all she asks is that I balance that with more time selling on eBay and through my own online store!), she has been doing her best to surprise me with little things to review. The latest of these was a new (at least to us!) cheese. When she picked me up a block of Yancey’s Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar, I gave her something of a dirty look. I am not a fan of horseradish and when I reviewed the Yancey’s Fancy Wasabi Horseradish Cheddar (here!) I did not enjoy it all that much. But she smiled, said, “It’s new!” and “If you don’t like it, I think I will!” and she had me try it.

She hasn’t gotten much since! So, right off the bat, this is a great cheese for those who do not like horseradish!

My wife and I encountered Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese at the grocery store and we were surprised to find a block at $3.99/lb. Before they could raise the price, she had bought it for me!


Yancey's Fancy is a manufacturer of Artisan Cheeses here in upstate New York. 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. Yancey's Fancy cheeses come in wheels (usually ten or twenty pounds each) and most stores chop the wheels into blocks. On-line, it is fairly easy to find the cheese in one pound blocks.

The Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese is exactly as its name implies. This is a solid white cheese with actual bacon broken up in it. Mixed throughout the cheddar block are the actual chunks of red, cooked bacon, though none of them are bigger than a 1/4" long by 1/16" wide strip. Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese comes encased in a soft brown wax which allows the cheese to maintain its shape and solid state. The brown wax helps consumers distinguish it from other flavors of Yancey's Fancy cheese.

Ease Of Preparation

Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon 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: if it has been purchased in a smaller quantity than the entire wheel, remove 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 Horseradish & Smoked Bacon 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, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese is hard and fractures, making it problematic to work with. This cheese is hard and because of the bacon in it and it tends to break around the bacon. Even so, fresh out of the refrigerator, my cheese plane passes through it just fine, bacon and all.

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 actually as a grilled cheese sandwich and I was pleasantly surprised by how this cheese handled, melting perfectly before the outside of the bread burned!


On its own, the Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese has a bouquet dominated by the bacon, with only a mild hint of the more spicy horseradish sublimated. What it doesn’t smell like is cheddar cheese. Indeed, this smells more like meat and spice without a cheese scent in the aroma.

Fortunately, any fears I might have had based on the scent of the Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese dissipate the moment I tasted it! This is a very robust cheddar and instead of tasting like only bacon or horseradish, this tastes like a well-aged cheddar with accents of the meat. Placing a block of Yancey’s Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese, there is a sharp cheddar taste, accented by the salty rich bacon flavors. The horseradish flavor is biting, but it tends to lay in wait as an aftertaste, peaking as the salty flavor of the bacon fades. Interestingly, instead of tasting then like horseradish, it makes the cheese just taste like an older cheddar. This is absolutely incredible and it allows even those of us who are not fans of horseradish to love this cheese.

About one in ten bites of the cheese had the horseradish flavor at the forefront of the taste experience, but the bitter horseradish flavor fades quicker than actual horseradish, thanks to the overwhelming cheddar and bacon flavor.

The Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese releases the full flavor of the bacon when heated. This seems to dissipate the horseradish flavor and it allows the cheddar to act as a conduit to the bacon flavor.


Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese is not a terribly healthy choice. The bacon does 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 20% of the RDA of calcium and has six grams of protein.

Obviously, Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese is a dairy product and a meat product, so it is in no way kosher and those who are lactose intolerant will have problems with it. This cheese is made primarily of aged cheddar cheese, ground horseradish and bacon. That makes it mostly natural, but it does have the preservative trisodium citrate, which robs it of being considered all natural.


As a cheese, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon 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 one-pound block was gone within foue days of being opened! So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and supple.

Smoked Gouda with bacon 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. I have noticed, though, that more than most Yancey’s Fancy cheeses, this one leaves grease spots on paper.


Outside the issues with working with the Yancey’s Fancy Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar cheese, this is a perfect cheese. The cheddar is sharp and delicious, the horseradish flavor is not overwhelming and the bacon flavor is present in almost every bite. It melts remarkably well in omelets and on grilled cheese sandwiches, but when shredding or slicing it, it fractures annoyingly. This cannot reasonably be gotten around and should not in any way make one not want to stock up on this amazing cheese!

For other Yancey's Fancy cheese reviews, please check out my takes on:
Smoked Bacon Gouda
Peppadew Cheddar
Chive Cheddar Cheese Curds
NY Maple Cheddar


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page on the subject! That is available by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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