It's hard to eat, look at, or write about this cheese without thinking of the old children's rhyme:
I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one.
Rest assured, Fiscalini's widely distributed purple cheese is not made from purple cows. Rather, it's a traditional Cheddar variety that is soaked in red wine to give its rind that groovy look.
Washed-rind cheeses like this one are not exactly novelties -- plenty of styles make elegant use of the technique. Still, Fiscalini's Purple Moon is clearly meant to be playful, from the dancing (drunken?) cow on the label to the way the cheese practically shouts "Look at me!" when it's arrayed on a cheese board.
Even so, it's a well made cheese. Creamy and moderately sharp, the inner paste is rounded and full of Cheddar flavor. But the wine-washed rind adds a pleasing note of sweetness to it all. It is, as another reviewer put it, sort of "a gourmet version of Port Wine Cheddar."
That sums it up. If you're looking for a basic, flavorful gourmet Cheddar with a light-hearted feel to it, Purple Moon is worth a try. And don't worry about the purple cows.