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Help me find the world's best cheddar cheese spread!

g
girlwonder88 Feb 14, 2010 10:06 AM

(Not sure if this is the right place to post this question; please redirect if you need to).

I'm addicted to good sharp cheddar cheese spread-give me a tub of cheese, some water crackers, a glass of wine and a Macintosh apple and I'm a happy woman. However, a lot of spreads I've found are pretty disappointing, and I feel like I'm still on the hunt for the perfect combination of taste and texture.

I currently like the Black Diamond Cheese Spread the best: http://www.gsfw.com/invdetail.php?inv...

Tillamook is also good, though I haven't been able to find it locally in a long time. Kaukauna is my fallback choice, but I don't love it; not sharp enough and a little too elastic-textured. When I was young, Kraft made a variety called (I think) Cracker Barrel, that was packaged in a red triangular tub....haven't seen that in years.

So, what do you recommend? Bonus points if it's available online or on the West Coast in brick and mortar stores. (And recipes welcome, too-I've never been happy with any I've tried).

  1. t
    tidecreek Mar 20, 2010 01:31 PM

    Hi,
    I love Tillamook vintage white and the smoked version you can only buy at the factory they both make a killer spread, just mix with creamcheese in a food processor and some parsley or herbs??I sometimes do nuts, I got a tub of Asiago Cheese spread at a fancy market that I just loved it was asiago,cremecheese,garlic,parsley and almonds the thinly sliced ones, so I copied it with the vintage white and ITS SO GOOD!! I love sharp cheddars, I used garlic powder instead of raw garlic and it needs to sit for awhile but its really amazingly easy.
    Becky

    1. woodleyparkhound Mar 3, 2010 08:10 AM

      Di Bruno Brothers out of Philly.

      http://www.dibruno.com/Categories.bok...

      1 Reply
      1. re: woodleyparkhound
        l
        LisaPA Mar 20, 2010 01:20 PM

        I don't think the DiBruno's are going to be what she's looking for. They don't have any straight up spreads - they all have flavorings added. The Abbruzze is quite spicy, but I don't remember the cheese being particularly sharp.

      2. s
        Shann Mar 2, 2010 01:03 PM

        Zingermans has a couple of different cheese spreads including a pimento cheese and a liptauer (never had it but I think it has a bit of anchovy in it). Zingermans is wicked expensive but its always top quality, at least in my experience..

        1. k
          Katdono Feb 18, 2010 07:23 AM

          Old York is my favorite spreadable Cheddar cheese. It's sold by the Cuba Cheese Shoppe in Cuba, N.Y. A small town that even boasts a Cheese Museum. http://www.cubacheese.com/

          1. j
            just_M Feb 17, 2010 12:29 PM

            Try http://www.oldtaverncheese.com/

            I remember this cheese back to childhood, its the special cheese my Grandad always sent. It's a bit grainy when cold but as a child I didn't care and was caught more than once snagging spoonfuls out of the fridge, as an adult it can still be a challenge to wait for it to get to room temp. I can't believe it has just occurred to me to order it myself!

            Happy 40th! Its a great age to be!

            2 Replies
            1. re: just_M
              g
              gfr1111 Feb 20, 2010 11:45 AM

              I thought Old Tavern had gone out of business around 25 years ago. I agree that they had (and, now, hopefully still have) the best cheese spread around. It was sharper than everyone else's. Thanks, Just M. I can't wait to order some and see if it is as good as I remember.

              1. re: gfr1111
                j
                just_M Feb 20, 2010 04:23 PM

                They probably did. There was a long period of time when Grandad did not send it. Also the crocks we get now are brown not blue, but the cheese is still divine.

            2. smokeandapancake Feb 16, 2010 11:36 AM

              would you consider making your own? cheddar cheese ale spread is awesome serve with warm soft pretzels...

              1 Reply
              1. re: smokeandapancake
                g
                girlwonder88 Feb 17, 2010 11:44 AM

                I would, have just never found a recipe I loved. If you have one, throw it at me!

              2. f
                Fydeaux Feb 16, 2010 06:00 AM

                If Merkt's cheeses are available in your area, you might give their sharp cheddar spread a try.

                www.merkts.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fydeaux
                  g
                  girlwonder88 Feb 17, 2010 11:45 AM

                  I've had that recommended elsewhere but it doesn't look like it's sold here (though maybe Walmart at Christmas)?

                2. s
                  SonyBob Feb 15, 2010 08:03 AM

                  I know that Kakwana Club brand is very popular in the Missouri/Kansas area. We always had a crock of in at the folks place in Gravois Mills and usually served it for any special occasion at home in Kansas City.
                  Bob

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: SonyBob
                    g
                    girlwonder88 Feb 17, 2010 11:46 AM

                    Do you happen to mean Kaukauna? If so, that's what is most available here in Oregon. It's OK, but not quite sharp enough and a little more "processed" textured than I'd like.

                    1. re: girlwonder88
                      s
                      SonyBob Feb 18, 2010 07:40 AM

                      That's the one. There's also a local brand up here named after an eatery in Marshall, Mi., Win Schulers. A little sharper, I think, than Kaukauna. It's called Win Schuler's Bar Cheese. Very good but I'm not a real good judge of fine cheese. If it says cheese, I eat it!
                      Bob

                      1. re: SonyBob
                        g
                        girlwonder88 Feb 18, 2010 05:45 PM

                        My dad went to graduate school in Michigan, and he and my mom have very fond memories of eating Win Schuler's during their impoverished, barcheese eatin', younger days. He was delighted to find it online a couple years back, and actually brought some on a family vacation to Maui. It was good stuff, though not my dream cheese-I was still happy to stuff it in my face all week long.

                        1. re: girlwonder88
                          m
                          Mestralle Jun 30, 2010 01:20 PM

                          Win Schulers on Wheat Thins is definitely a favorite from my childhood. Weirdly, I don't eat Wheat Thins with anything else, even other cheese spreads.

                        2. re: SonyBob
                          c
                          Cathy Feb 19, 2010 02:31 PM

                          Win Schulers Bar-Scheeze.

                          Locations to buy, including online:
                          http://www.winschulers.com/faq.htm

                          Absolutely the best.

                          1. re: SonyBob
                            b
                            beachmouse Feb 19, 2010 07:58 PM

                            I'll join in with the Schuler's Bar-Scheeze love. I've tried a lot of other cheese spreads and haven't found one I like better yet.

                      2. alkapal Feb 14, 2010 06:43 PM

                        thought you might want to make the augusta pimento cheese spread. it's easy and it'll last a while. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611110

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: alkapal
                          cuccubear Mar 2, 2010 11:30 AM

                          Ah yes, the old pimento cheese thread! Mmm-mm good! :-)

                          Here's a link to anther thread about MY favorite cheddar cheese spread.

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475896

                        2. c
                          cinnamon girl Feb 14, 2010 05:02 PM

                          Do you get MacLaren's Cold Packed Aged Cheddar? It comes in a red container. I think you'd like it. You need to let it warm up a little for it to become spreadable. Until then, you just break a lot of crackers, but it's still good.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: cinnamon girl
                            g
                            girlwonder88 Feb 14, 2010 06:25 PM

                            Thanks, cinnamon girl. I googled it; apparently a Canadian product but I might be able to get it shipped to the US....off to check. Thanks!

                            1. re: girlwonder88
                              c
                              cinnamon girl Feb 14, 2010 06:33 PM

                              Oh good - I hope you can find it. It's got that sharp aged taste and crumbly texture. While I'm sure a lot of folks would have all kinds of applications for it, I like it just plain on crackers or toast. Although it's been ages.

                              1. re: girlwonder88
                                DockPotato Feb 15, 2010 10:09 AM

                                MacLarens is very good, but I've sampled Pine River Spreddar and would recommend it.

                                http://pinerivercheese.com/store/prod...

                                1. re: DockPotato
                                  c
                                  cinnamon girl Feb 15, 2010 04:34 PM

                                  Thanks - I'm intrigued. Is it in any of the chain stores that you know of? Or do you mail order? Is it as sharp tasting as MacLarens?

                                  1. re: cinnamon girl
                                    DockPotato Feb 16, 2010 02:00 AM

                                    Pine River is a regional Ontario product and I doubt that you'd find it in a U.S. chain. I've never directly compared Kraft's MacLaren's Imperial to Pine River Spreaddar, but will say that it is more spreadable. My memory impression is that the MacLarens was sharper and certainly more crumbly than than the other. Sorry I can't be more help there.

                                    1. re: DockPotato
                                      c
                                      cinnamon girl Feb 16, 2010 01:33 PM

                                      Yikes - I'd completely forgotten that MacLaren's became Kraft years ago. I don't buy it that often. Anyway, I live in Toronto so I'll look for Pine River. But I do like sharp, aged Cheddar. The drawback of MacLaren's is that it doesn't spread easily.

                                      1. re: cinnamon girl
                                        g
                                        girlwonder88 Feb 17, 2010 11:48 AM

                                        I think I'll go online and order both! Having a belated 40th birthday weekend away with girlfriends, and I get to pick all the snacks :) (no cooking as we'll be in a hotel room with only a fridge). It'd be a perfect opportunity to do some serious taste-testing.

                                        1. re: girlwonder88
                                          c
                                          cinnamon girl Feb 17, 2010 04:23 PM

                                          Happy birthday Girlwonder! I hope you have a wonderful b'day weekend. With LOTS of cheese. And laughs.

                                        2. re: cinnamon girl
                                          DockPotato Feb 19, 2010 02:28 PM

                                          Kraftness shouldn't be a drawback in this case or others of the brand - still a good choice for many whose shopping choices are constrained - especially the Cracker Barrel. Decent cheddar is still excellent cheddar in my book.

                                          Yes, you need a sturdy biscuit for to spread MacLarens.

                                          1. re: DockPotato
                                            c
                                            cinnamon girl Feb 19, 2010 07:23 PM

                                            Oh yes I agree. I was just saying "yikes" about my failing memory. After all this talk of the stuff I got a container of MacLarens yesterday, just at Loblaws. I didn't see the Pine River, but that store is a disaster. It's as good as I remembered it.

                              2. katidid00 Feb 14, 2010 11:33 AM

                                Search for Welsh Rarebit Bites on ChowHound-sounds like it will be right up your alley. Haven't had it but it sounds wonderful so I saved it to mychow. I was looking for rabbit recipes but it has nothing to do with rabbit! Take a look and if you make it let me know what you think!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: katidid00
                                  g
                                  girlwonder88 Feb 14, 2010 02:37 PM

                                  I love welsh rarebit and will check this out, but it's not really what I'm looking for. I want fabulous spreadable cheese!

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