Let Loose with your Clothbound Cheddar Pairings
Did you know that we now have THREE clothbound cheddars for you to enjoy? This month we want to draw your attention to this special trio – Clothbound Cheddar, Peppercorn Harvest Clothbound Cheddar, and our newest Face 2 Face Clothbound Cheddar.
Clothbound cheddar is not a common cheese produced in America. Making clothbound cheddar, also referred to as bandage wrapped, is a process that requires equal parts quality ingredients, patience, and alchemy. Our head cheesemaker has perfected this process, and we’ve celebrated multiple first place ribbons for our Clothbound Cheddars at the highly competitive American Cheese Society competition.
Traditionally, clothbound cheddar is created by wrapping a cheddar wheel in cloth bandages, covering it in lard to form a natural rind, and aged. We take a unique approach and coat our 8lb wheels in butter made on site at the creamery using the same milk that goes into the cheese. Wedges of Face Rock clothbound, aged at least 13 months, present a flaky, creamy texture flecked by the crunchy crystals that indicate a premium aged cheddar. Since this cheese is not really a melter, we prefer to use it on cheeseboards and as a finisher. Think fine peels on top of a gorgeous spinach salad, or shreds to top a perfectly golden brown baked mac and cheese.
You will want to remove the cloth from the outer edge of the cheese before enjoying! You can certainly eat the rind if you would like! It's going to be a bit funky as any aged rind will be but that is the appeal for many cheese lovers.
Here are some delicious new pairings that rose to the top of a recent epic and experimental dive into pairings of all kinds for our three clothbounds.
Left to Right: Peppercorn Clothbound, Cranberry Butter on Sea Salt Artisan Cracker; Face 2 Face Clothbound, candied bacon and roasted fennel, on a smashed potato; Face 2 Face Clothbound, balsamic glaze, prosciutto, Effie’s Walnut with Cranberry and Fennel,
Left to Right: Clothbound Cheddar, Fig Jam, on Rustic Bakery Crisps, presenting clothbound bites on a long board makes a great presentation; Peppercorn Clothbound, Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce, on Blini (Mini pancake)
Left to Right: Clothbound Cheddar, dark chocolate bark with pretzel, ALL the goodies from the fridge!; Clothbound and Flaming Hot Cheetos (yep, try it!!),
So where to start when you want to play with cheese pairings? This might not seem helpful, but well, there aren't many hard and fast rules. When you bring in a wine, beer, or cider - you are going to want to be a bit more mindful about finding complements rather than clashes. But we're sticking to food pairings for this blog so the sky is the limit!
Ready to get started with pairing your clothbound? Here are a few guiding notes.
1. Trust your tastebuds. If it tastes good to you, go with it!!
2. Look for complementing flavors, or go for a big contrast.
3. Let yourself be surprised. We learned about Flaming Hot Cheetos and Cheese from Cheese Preacher Erika Kubick of @cheesesexdeath . This pairing is off the charts!! The creamy cheese and the flaming heat transform into a balanced bite that is incredibly addicting.
4. Think about different textures as well as different flavors.
5. Have fun!! We unloaded all our sauces, jams, crackers and meats and had a blast experimenting!
We invite you to share your pairings with us on social media! Tag us with #facerockpairing so we can make sure to see your creation and try it ourselves!
You’ll find Face Rock clothbound at cheese shops and retail locations that have a cheese counter. Don’t see it? Ask them to carry Face Rock! We also sell our clothbound in both our retail stores and online store, with cut to order wedges starting at ½ lb. When you order from our online store, be assured that your cheese will arrive in a shrink wrapped package for freshness and which also protects your wedge during shipping.