The Good: Melts well, Very flavorful, Nothing truly bad in it, Easy to work with.
The Bad: Limited sizes available/comparatively expensive.
The Basics: A truly impressive cheddar cheese, Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion cheddar is a surprisingly flavorful and worthwhile cheese from Yancey’s Fancy!
It seems lately I am running out of material to review from all of my favorite brands! In trying the Yancey’s Fancy Steakhouse Onion cheddar cheese, Yancey’s Fancy might well be entering the realm that Jelly Belly and Celestial Seasonings went before . . . that strange place where there is nothing left from the company for me to review! To be fair, there are some Yancey’s Fancy cheeses I have not yet tried. However, I am not a fan of buffalo wings in real life, so it seems unnecessarily cruel for me to review the Yancey’s Fancy cheese based on them. If I am likely to be biased against something and then have to write about how it lived down to my expectations, I try to not put myself through that. But, then again, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. That is how it was for me with Yancey’s Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese.
I have no particular love of onion (garlic yes, onion, not so much). My wife and I found Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese at the grocery store exclusively in 7.6 oz. packs for $9.99/lb. Despite the hefty price tag, we picked up a block and have been very glad we did.
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 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 Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese is exactly as its name implies. This is a solid white cheese with actual onion bits in it. Mixed throughout the cheddar block are the actual chunks of brown, cooked onion, though none of them are bigger than a 1/16" in diameter. Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion 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 Steakhouse Onion 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 Steakhouse Onion 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 Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese is very easy to work with. My cheese plane easily sliced through the block repeatedly, so the onion pieces in 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.
On its own, the Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese has a bouquet dominated by the onion. This cheese smells like big, frying onions and, alternatively and oddly, fresh red onions. The scent is not strong enough to make one’s eyes water, but it is robust and distinct.
Placing the Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese on the tongue is an intriguing experience. The sharp cheddar taste slowly gives way to a sweet, onion flavor. The two flavors are distinct and the cheddar is not the sharpest cheddar Yancey’s Fancy makes. Nevertheless, the cheese flavor washes over the tongue and is chased by the taste of sweet onions. The flavor finishes with a delightfully salty kick.
Melted, the onion flavor comes more to the forefront of Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese. When hot in omelets or sandwiches, the flavors reverse so one gets a fully sweet, onion flavor before getting the bite of the cheddar kick at the end!
Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese is not a terribly healthy choice. The onion 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, Steakhouse Onion 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, toasted onion pieces and sour cream. 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 Steakhouse Onion 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 October 17, 2012.
Steakhouse Onion 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. Even the crumbs, however, are aromatic, so this is one that is especially important to clean up after!
Yancey’s Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar cheese is delightful, but expensive. It makes for an excellent ingredient and the only caveat I have for eating it on its own is this: this is real onion in this cheese. Make sure to have a toothbrush and, if you are prone to fart after eating onions in quantity, people who are understanding around you when you eat this!
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 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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