Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Without The Bacon, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Is Surprisingly Good!

The Good: Melts well, Very flavorful, Nothing truly bad in it, Good price, Easy to work with
The Bad: Inconsistent kick.
The Basics: A robust, flavorful cheddar, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish cheddar is easy to work with and delicious, making it a pleasant surprise for those who might not like horseradish!

There is something amusing to me about returning to review Yancey's Fancy Artisan Cheeses with their Horseradish Cheddar. This stems from the fact that the last Yancey's Fancy flavor I had in was Horseradish & Smoked Bacon Cheddar (reviewed here!). The irony of getting in the big blocks of cheese that my wife got for me last week was that the first one up in the new assortment was Horseradish Cheddar. What surprised me, though, was that the Horseradish cheddar fixed some of the problems of the Horseradish and Smoked Bacon Cheddar and led to a generally better experience for my wife and I.

We encountered Yancey's Fancy Horseradish Cheddar cheese at the grocery store and we were surprised to find it as part of a platter for only $3.49/lb. The price has since gone back up to $7.99/lb. and we figure that is what most consumers will find this intriguing cheese at.


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 Cheddar cheese is exactly as its name implies. This is a solid white cheese with no variations outside the normal bubbles occasionally found in cheese.

Ease Of Preparation

Yancey's Fancy Horseradish 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 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! The cheese plane cuts through this solid cheddar exceptionally easy.

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! Lately, we've been having the Horseradish Cheddar on baked ham and cheese subs and it adds a nice kick to the mundane, salty meat and the bready parts, melting well to spread over every free inch.


On its own, the Yancey's Fancy Horseradish Cheddar cheese has a bouquet that smells funny. Indeed, this smells like a cheese that has gone sour or like milk that is somewhat off. The aroma does not hint at the horseradish, but it does set the nose off to the idea that the cheese is not just cheddar. Warmed up, the cheese is dominated by the cheddar smell without any scent of horseradish.

That changes the moment one bites into the cheese. This cheddar is sharp and bites the tongue with the dry spark from the horseradish. The bitter flavor dominates for the first second the cheese is on the tongue, before the cheddar flavor mutes it and keeps one from feeling like their tongue has been burned. I noticed, however, that the Horseradish flavor was strangely hit or miss. The bottom half of my block, near where the wax was, was cheddar flavored without any horseradish bite. One or two slices of the twenty-slice block had this muted, inconsistent flavor, but it was noticeable enough for me to mention.

Yancey's Fancy Horseradish Cheddar cheese is intriguing in that the flavors reverse when the cheese is melted. Melted in eggs, sandwiches or on its own, the cheddar flavor rushes over the tongue before a bitter, rooty flavor follows to demand the consumer's attention.


Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Horseradish Cheddar cheese is not a terribly healthy choice. 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, 6% of Vitamin A and six grams of protein.

Obviously, Horseradish 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, ground horseradish and trisodium citrate. 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 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 ten days of being opened! So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and supple.

The Horseradish 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.


Easy to work with, but strangely inconsistent, Yancey's Fancy Horseradish Cheddar is another near-perfect cheddar worth stocking up on for those who like zesty cheeses!

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


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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