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Feb 14, 2010 10:06 AM

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

(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:

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).

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: girlwonder88

          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

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


            1. re: DockPotato

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                    2. re: cinnamon girl

                      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

                        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. thought you might want to make the augusta pimento cheese spread. it's easy and it'll last a while.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alkapal

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

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


            2. 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.

              6 Replies
              1. re: SonyBob

                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

                  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!

                  1. re: SonyBob

                    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

                      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

                      Win Schulers Bar-Scheeze.

                      Locations to buy, including online:

                      Absolutely the best.

                      1. re: SonyBob

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


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fydeaux

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