What's with all the Cheddar experiments these days?
A few posts back, I looked at Fiscalini's Purple Moon, a wine-washed Cheddar with a psychedelic purple hue. On today's cheese plate is the Chipotle Cheddar from Bravo Farms, whose white paste is marbleized with burnt-orange veins, courtesy of the smoked jalapeño pepper that gives the cheese its name and its spicy bite.
Perhaps they're efforts to break out of the Cheddar-is-Cheddar clutter, and establish themselves as just a little bit different. Perhaps they're brave experiments by cheesemakers intent on pushing the envelope. Perhaps they're just marketing vehicles.
Whatever the reason for all this colorful creation, these offbeat cheeses are fun. In the case of Bravo's Chipotle, what you're eating is a proper Cheddar, made from unpasteurized cow's milk. Then, they add a semi-spicy chipotle powder. The resulting combination matches a creamy, full-bodied cheese with the pungent, smoky spice.
On its own, the cheese is a good nibble, but not exactly a centerpiece. It's too quirky for that. But melt it into an omelette with onions and tomatoes, and the flavors of the Southwest come rushing out. I imagine Chipotle Cheddar makes a great cheese for nachos, too.
Bravo Farms Web site: Click here.