The Good: Melts well, Comparatively inexpensive, Nothing truly bad in it, Easy to work with.
The Bad: Not as flavorful as I might have hoped (could have used a little more sun-dried tomato).
The Basics: New Bridge Mediterranean cheddar is a good, but not exceptional cheese from New Bridge.
Tonight, my wife decided to restart one of our family traditions: early in our marriage, we kept things interesting by sharing new foods – specifically expensive cheeses – with one another. It was a fun exercise and she and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Tonight, she decided to restart our monthly exploration of cheese by picking us up New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar cheese. This was the first cheese from New Bridge we tried and it was okay.
I love Greek food, so I was biased toward the Mediterranean Cheddar cheese right away. My wife and I found New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar cheese at the grocery store on sale for $3.99/lb.
New Bridge is a manufacturer of flavorful cheeses in Atlanta, Georgia. The intent of most New Bridge 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. New Bridge cheeses come in giant blocks (usually ten or twenty pounds each) and most stores chop the blocks into little packages from a quarter to a full pound each. Online, it is fairly easy to find the cheese in one pound blocks.
The Mediterranean Cheddar cheese is exactly as its name implies. This is a solid white cheese with actual bits of spices – basil and sun dried tomatoes - embedded in it. Mixed throughout the cheddar block are the actual chunks of red sun dried tomatoes, though none of them are bigger than a 1/16" in diameter.
Ease Of Preparation
New Bridge Mediterranean 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.
More than most cheeses with other things embedded in them, New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar cheese is very easy to work with. My cheese plane easily sliced through the block repeatedly, so the basil and sun-dried tomato 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 either on its own or as an ingredient in something else.
When the cheese is sliced, it melts beautifully with wonderful evenness and liquidity, making it an ideal ingredient for such things as omelets. Tonight, we tried an omelet with the Mediterranean Cheddar and the cheese melted exceptionally well in it.
On its own, the New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar cheese smells of tomato and basil. The scent instantly reminded me of a tomato and basil feta cheese. The spices hint at a robust and flavorful cheese that should recall flavors of the Mediterranean countries.
Placing the Mediterranean Cheddar cheese on the tongue, the cheddar flavor is fairly mild and the spices manage to dominate the flavor palate. The basil is the dominant taste when one eats this cheese and there is a slightly tangy aftertaste to it that hints at the sun dried tomatoes in the cheddar medium. This is a softer cheddar, with a sour sharper cheddar flavor to it, though the spices augment all of the basic cheese flavors. Strangely, this is not a very salty cheddar and it also has no real aftertaste.
New Bridge Cheeses are not intended to be all that one lives on. But for those who try, the Mediterranean Cheddar cheese is not a terribly healthy choice. The sun-dried tomatoes does not seem to add anything of note to the cheese of nutritional value. A serving size is considered a one inch cube (1 oz.). In that, there are 110 calories, 80 of which are from fat. This cheese has 30% of one's daily recommended saturated fat intake and 8% of the RDA of sodium. On the plus side, it does have 20% of the RDA of calcium and has seven grams of protein.
Obviously, Mediterranean Cheddar cheese is a dairy product, so those who are lactose intolerant will have problems with it. This cheese is made primarily of pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, and salt. That makes it mostly natural, but it does have unspecified enzymes.
As a cheese, New Bridge Mediterranean 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 1 pound is almost gone already! So long as it is kept in an airtight, cold environment, it ought to remain fresh and supple. Our package bought tonight had an expiration date of August 5, 2013.
Mediterranean 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!
New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar cheese is fairly inexpensive cheese that is not as flavorful as I would have hoped, but is still enjoyable.
For other cheese reviews, please check out my takes on:
Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
Yancey’s Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar Cheese
Kraft Deli Deluxe Bacon Cheddar cheese slices
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.