Incredible - Hook's 12 Yr Old Sharp Cheddar - bought at Madison Farmer's Market
Opened the 1/2 lb package I brought home last night - at $25.95 a lb, I has hoping for cheese nirvana... and I got it. Wow - I'm surprised it's called sharp, as it was really quite smooth and creamy, plus incredible calcium lactate crystals sprinkled beautifully throughout, adding a bit of a crunch. Move over 3 year Beemster Gouda - I've found my new favorite. And I really wasn't a big cheddar fan before this.
Husband is flying into Madison tonight, but has to leave tomorrow morning for Milwaukee, so he'll miss the farmer's market. Anyone know where it can be purchased in Madtown or MKE, other than on Saturday mornings?
Hi. You might try the West Allis cheese place at the Public Market, or out in West Allis. The on-line store didn't indicate Hook's, but they do carry a lot of artisanal cheeses from WI. This seems to be the Public Market # 414-289-8333, the West Allis, 414-543-4230
And by the way, if you haven't tried the Carr Valley Gran Canaria, you should. It's wonderful.
It's a mix of cow and sheep milk, wrapped/soaked in olive oil. It's hard, so we eat it like Parmesan, ie, shaved, or simply small slices. Not that salty, but the olive oil really makes for a great flavor, along with the aging.
The blurb from their website:
Aged longer-at least 2 years-this olive-oil-cured specialty is a real winner. It's fruity, nutty, intense, sweet and pungent all at the same time. How good is it? Gran Canaria was judged Best of Show at the 2004 American Cheese Society Competition
12 Year old cheddar . What is it about midwestern 12 year old cheddar ? Here in Michigan . our self pronounced cheese capital is Pinconning , just off Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron . Same deal , stopped in last weekend for some squeaky mild cheese ( the kids and all of us love it ) and tried some 12 year old super sharp . Not really sharp at all , crunchy and granular almost like a parmesan , but creamy and smooth with a nice delicate finish , one of the best cheeses I have had in a long time . $12.95 a pound to boot ! The most expensive thing in the place , except maybe the smoked sable . Can't help you with your local cheese purchase , I was just really interested to hear about the cheddar , I wonder how close they are in taste .Maybe it's time for a trip to Wisconsin .