The Good: Taste great, Generally natural, Good source of calcium
The Bad: Garlic flavor fades if not used with two weeks of packing date.
The Basics: Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds are wonderful for a snack, provided you can eat them relatively quickly!
It has been a while since Yancey's Fancy provided me with cheese for review. Alas, one of the perils of falling in love with a brand is that they know I will try almost anything they put out on my own! So, even though I was somewhat neutral to the Chive Cheddar cheese curds (reviewed here!) I picked up a year ago, when I had a coupon for Yancey's Fancy cheese this month and saw the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds, I decided I had to give the cheese curds another try!
At $6.99/lb., these are actually quite a good deal. Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds make for a pretty wonderful snack, provided you do not mind having somewhat garlic-scented breath afterward. In fact, for a cheese snack, the only thing that does not quite measure up on the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds is the longevity of the taste. While some cheeses - cheddars especially - get better with age, the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds lose their garlic kick the longer their package is open.
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. Yancey's Fancy cheese curds are intended to be little bite size cheese snacks that consumers eat to enjoy their love of cheese and indulge themselves every once in a while. The Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds come in tubs or bags. Bags of cheese curds are commonly found on-line in one pound sizes and in stores, it is possible to find custom made plastic tubs of these cheese curds with varying weights to them. Locally, we find ours for $6.99/lb, but frequently find the tubs which have a half pound of cheese curds in them.
Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds are infused with actual garlic that has been roasted and pressed (not necessarily in that order). Mixed throughout the white cheddar blobs of these cheese curds are the actual garlic pieces and they enhance the flavor of the cheddar exceptionally well . . . for a while. I have gone through three tubs of the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds and all three were packaged on the same date. I noticed a dramatic difference in the level of garlic flavor in the tubs the further they got from the packing date. So, while all three were packaged on November 27 (of this year), the tub I ate right away had a vastly more flavorful garlic flavor to the cheese curds. The tub I am currently eating has the garlic, but it is more of a texture than a flavor. So, my ultimate recommendation would have to be buy them right before you intend to consume them!
Ease Of Preparation
Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar cheese curds are a cheese curd product, so basically, one opens the container they came in and they begin devouring them. Opening the bag is like opening a bag of chips: open, eat. It's a pretty simple process! Be sure to seal them after opening them and if at all possible, eliminate the air from the package.
Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds are soft and require refrigeration. While cheese curds may be hard to work with for things like hamburger garnish, they melt exceptionally well and things like omelets may be zested up with these little cheese pieces very easily.
On their own, the Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds have a scent of delicious garlic, at least when they are freshest. Opening the little tub of them, the scent of aromatic garlic, sweet and sharp wafts out. As the cheese curds get older - whether you open the tub or not - the smell of cheddar begins to take over. The cheese smell has an oddly unfishished quality to the aroma, as if cheddar was not all that sharp.
The cheddar cheese in the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds is very mild. It synergizes with the garlic very well. The mild cheddar and the sweet garlic blend very well. This is a cheese curd that is strangely satisfying in that it has nothing in the way of salty in its flavor. As a result, these are a delicious, smooth garlic and cheese blend that is very worthwhile. The older these cheese curds get, though, the less the garlic presents itself as a flavor in the cheese curds and instead, the garlic in the cheese curds adds a weird texture and contributes a slightly sweet aftertaste to the mild cheddar curds.
Even when melted, the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds have a sweet taste to them and when the cheese curds are not holding their own on garlic flavor, using them as an ingredient seems to resurrect that flavor!
Yancey's Fancy New York Artisan Cheeses and cheese curds are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds are not the best choice, though they could be far, far worse. The garlic does not seem to add anything of note to the cheese of nutritional value (this cheese has 10% of the RDA of Vitamin A, which seems to be par for the course for Yancey's Fancy cheese curds). A serving size is considered a one inch block (1 oz.) and some of the cheese curds I ate from my current tub were about that size or a little larger, though most were about 1/2" spheres. In the recommended serving, there are 100 calories, 70 of which are from fat. This cheese has 25% of one's daily recommended saturated fat intake and 7% 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, Roasted Garlic Cheddar is a dairy product, so those who are lactose intolerant will have problems with it. This cheese is made primarily of pasteurized milk, cultures and salt. That makes it mostly natural, but it does have the preservative potassium sorbate to keep them fresh.
As a cheese, Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar should be kept refrigerated. So long as that happens, it ought to stay fresh for several weeks. Ours had a "sell by" date a full month after the packaging date and no expiration date I could find. So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and supple. As previously noted, though, the garlic flavor does change drastically in these cheese curds!
Roasted Garlic Cheddar cheese curds are a cheese, so they are 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 found Yancey's Fancy Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Curds to be delightful, but one of the rare foods I cannot recommend stocking up on. These cheese curds are worthwhile, but a "buy and eat on demand" food!
For other Yancey's Fancy cheese reviews, please check out my takes on:
Pepperoni Cheddar Cheese
Buffalo Wing Cheddar
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |