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Cabot's Cheddar

In response to kosher doc's mention in the thread about the imported Greek feta with a fraudulent OU, I just want to say that the mail order Cabot Cheddar he mentioned is a revelation.

Compared with every kosher cheddar I've tasted, it is a different food altogether. I would be curious to hear how someone with access to the taste of non-kosher cheddars finds it. But I urge any cheese lovers on this board to send for some. it keeps, or you could slit the shipment with a friend. It is so good, and gives a hint of what we've been missing.

I suppose I could compare it to the moment fresh kosher mozarella first became available. A whole new level of taste.

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  1. Cabot compares favorably to good quality non-kosher cheddar and the OU tastes no different from the table-K, imo.

    6 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane

      Thank you. That is nice to know. I do love the flavor and mouth feel.

      1. re: DeisCane

        I believe I read somewhere that the only change for the OU run is that the mashgiach is the person who adds the rennet. So from a taste perspective, it should be identical.

        1. re: avitrek

          Yes, pretty sure that was posted here.

          1. re: DeisCane

            this peeked my curiosity, I just ordered 6 bars of the O-U cheddar

            1. re: berel

              Enjoy, and do let me know what you think of it.

          2. re: avitrek

            According to their website they use only non-animal rennet for all their cheddars. So the distinctions are solely in supervision.

            I had a friend who was a mashgiach for a large Kosher label and I accompanied him on a visit to a local Midwestern dairy for a Kosher run. He was present for the steam-cleaning of the milk vats, the pouring of the milk from the trucks to the tanks to the vats, broke the seal on the OU-certified rennet (which is all they had at that location, but that's a story for another day), poured the rennet and then - after a bit of waiting - dropped the company's label on the drums of cheese the curds were pressed into before the drums were sealed. SO based on what we were told by the cheesemakers, the process itself was identical on the day we were there as any other day - as were the ingredients used. However, we could only know for certain what happened the day we were there - hence the OU certification.

        2. Absolutely delicious. It is real cheddar cheese as it is meant to be.
          I've been eating Cabot since I was in college in Vt. 40 years ago (pre-Kosher times)- kept a block perched on my windowsill every winter.
          We do use the Tablet K. We love the extra sharp, "Private Stock" black wax cheddar. I've kept it in the basement fridge for a year after I've loaded up at Trader Joe's. It just gets sharper.
          Take care and continue to enjoy.

          1. Have you tried The Cheese Guy? (Pretty good and reasonably priced). Or alternatively (at a higher price), 5 Spoke?

            6 Replies
            1. re: masteraleph

              I find the Cabot sharper than 5 Spoke.

              1. re: avitrek

                I agree. I don't think I would use the world sharper, although perhaps that is the correct term of art, but I find Cabot better, more complex and just better tasting than 5 Spoke.

                In case anyone reading this thread is new to taking cheese seriously (it's not that long ago, after all, that Ashkenazi Jews, knew of cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sliced cheese), make sure to do your taste test at room temperature.

                5 Spoke is sold at Fairway. I don't know why Cabot is only sold by mail.

                1. re: AdinaA

                  You can find the OU cabot at Supersol, Kosher Marketplace, and I think at Fairway too.

                  In regards to 5 Spoke, I think you need to be careful to only talk about their cheddars in comparison to Cabot. Their Tumbleweed is clearly not cheddar, but it's more complex than any other kosher cheese on the market.

                  1. re: avitrek

                    Thank you. I only meant to compare the 5 Spoke cheddar.

                    I haven't seen Cabot with the OU at Supersol, Kosher Marketplace, or Fairway. But, then, one of life's minor frustrations is the erratic stocking of grocery shelves. They are so often out of the item you came in for.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      You are right that there is spotty stocking. Fairway has the OU Cabot around yom tov. I picked it up at Kosher Marketplace and Zabars. I have not ordered it on line, but it actually seems less expensive there. I wish they would make an OU version of their other cheddars, especially the private stock, which I remember as wonderful.

                      1. re: jeffrosenbaum

                        I suspect that the complexities of supervision on long-aged (2+ years) cheese makes it unlikely.

            2. Yes, Cabot is one of the best American Cheddars out there, kosher or not. What I'm really missing, though, is the KP Cabot. Used to be they'd do a KP run every winter and put it away to age until Passover. You would be able to pre-order throught the website. Last year I didn't get notification of the run. They sometimes have had trouble with the Passover run and I'm hoping that's what happened laste year. I'd hate to think they've stopped producing KP cheese entirely.

              5 Replies
              1. re: rockycat

                I ordered 6 bars online yesterday so obviously they haven't stopped producing the KP cheese

                1. re: rockycat

                  it says on cabot's site that it is kosher for passover

                    1. re: koshergourmetmart

                      The Costco in Glenview, IL had a surprising (by Costco standards) assortment of Passover products last year, including steaks and brisket now-defunct Colorado Glatt as well as a variety of Israeli and domestic cheese, including IIRC the Cabot.

                      1. re: koshergourmetmart

                        Thanks for the heads-up. I used to get an e-mail notification that they were available. I guess I'm off the list. I guess we get cheese again this Pesach!

                    2. I second the Cabot Cheddar, it is one of the best kosher cheddars I have had. I also love 5spoke and I think they are not really comparable, even though they are both cheddars they taste very different. I love them both in their own way and Cabot usually comes out with their OU line for Passover. I spoke with someone there who said if they could prove more demand they would make more. Wish they would just make their whole line OU, it is so easy to find, it would make it so easy to get kosher cheese all over the US.

                      P.S. My favoirte cheese of the moment is a Pecorino I found a few months ago, not easy to find kosher so I am eating it sparingly.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Tamar Genger

                        Added cost is everything.. Cabot's has a hechsher on most of their cheese, albeit one that is not accepted by many. I am sure that the OU is more costly and that is why they smaller runs. I do agree with you that it would be lovely to be able to eat all of Cabot's cheese.

                        1. re: Tamar Genger

                          Tamar -
                          What is the brand of Pecorino that you found? And where did you find it?

                          My son, who is in college in New York, scouted Fairway and, I think, Kosher Marketplace (UES?), before winter break, and brought home a delicious block of "Goat Milk Cheddar" . Lovely. I think it was either "The Cheese Guy" or 5 Spoke. I will have to beg him to bring some more on his next visit.

                          1. re: p.j.

                            I've bought kosher Pecorino in Fairway on the UWS. They don't always have it though, and sometimes it's buried under other cheeses in the kosher case. If your son can find it, definitely ask him to buy a few pieces.

                            Also, Pic n Pay in Brooklyn has pint sized containers of pregrated Pecorino. Not the same as the chunks from Fairway, but I use it mixed with cornflake crumbs to bread eggplant or zucchini and it's very good.

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              Thanks, cheesecake! I'll have to add the Pecorino to his Fairway shopping list before he comes home for Pesach.
                              BTW, kosher panko is now widely available and makes a great crispy coating.

                              1. re: p.j.

                                I use the Iron Chef brand panko for lots of different things, but I prefer Kellog's cornflake crumbs for breading zucchini and eggplant.

                                BTW if you're looking for good fresh mozarella, Fairway has one brand with an OU. I always forget the brand, but not in the 'fancy' cheese section. It's with the regular dairy and packaged cheeses. The company (something Italian sounding) does a kosher run every so often.

                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                      Yes, we used to get Capiello's cheeses here in St. Louis at Trader Joe's. They are in upstate NY, I believe. The marinated mozzerella is great for grilled cheese. All their products are OU kosher. TJ's stopped carrying them here about 3(?) years ago. Now we have a "North Beach" brand from Ca. that is not nearly as good. Grrr.....p.j.

                                      1. re: p.j.

                                        I saw a marinated braided mozzarella at TJ's this past weekend. I'm going to look at the brand next time I go there..

                                        TJ's also had mini logs of herbed OU goat cheese.

                          2. re: Tamar Genger

                            I also like "The Cheese Guy";s OU certified Cheddar from New Zealand. I strongly suspect, though do not know, that it is repackaged Mainland Cheddar that was briefly available in the US under (I think) the OK but the hechsher was withdrawn when they began repackaging bulk sizes into retail portions. This is good cheese, IMHO.

                          3. WOW!! Back to the original topic of this post....I finally ordered Cabot's OU cheddar a few weeks ago, given the rave reviews it got on this board. It is totally different than any cheddar i have had in the past. Creamier, with a whole flavor previously unknown in my waxy, kosher cheddars. I find myself adding it to omelets, soup, sandwiches....and just easting it plain by the slice. Ordering a few bars cut down on the shipping. This was one totally worthwhile purchase!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Hirscheys

                              I`ve seen Cabot OU cheddar at Zeytuna Market on Maiden Ln. downtown in my neighborhood ... They also carry The Cheese Guy New Zealand kosher sharp cheddar as well.... I tried both before and they are worth a trip down...

                            2. Fairway (at 72nd St.) has Cabot chedder for Pesach, and more. the case is filled with a truly fabulous selection of cheeses for Pesach, especially strong on European imports.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: AdinaA

                                Just out of curiosity, do you know what they are charging for it? I was surprised to see it at a local place for $6.00 for the 8 oz. bar, when Cabot was only charging $3.39 from their own website, and even less if you bought 12 bars. Yes, there is a shipping charge on top of that, but almost double?!

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  Double. $ 5.99. Groceries in Manhattan are overpriced.

                                  1. re: AdinaA

                                    Yes, but I saw it in Queens for $6.00, so in this case, Manhattanites aren't overpaying any more than us in Queens.

                                    1. re: queenscook

                                      There is cabot cheddar for sale in Teaneck, N.J. at $4.00 per 8 oz bar

                                      1. re: kosheretiquette

                                        Actually, I generally don't even like cheese, but I do always make a matzah lasagna in which, of course, I use cheese. I figured that after the raves here about Cabot, I'd give it a try, since I usually put both cheddar and mozzarella in the lasagna. When I saw it for $6, though, I ordered it directly from Cabot. It is good to hear that not every kosher store is marking it up, though.

                              2. Living on the Vermont/Quebec border I have access to the best English, Canadian and Vermont cheddars. Most of the American cheddars I have experienced were not to my liking and Migdal and the other Kosher cheeses even more so. I grew up on Canadian cheddars and I guess that is why I prefer them. Cheese production of the major retailers is somewhat different here so even Kraft retails some excellent cheddar on a regular basis since it does not make or blend their cheddar.
                                Cabot makes a very good American style cheddar in fact I was just eating some Cabot Hot Habenero before sitting down at the computer. It lives up to its billing and for those familiar with Cabot's Pepper Jack another excellent cheese this is a must for those craving more heat.
                                Anyway back to the subject at hand I think the diet of American dairy cattle has something to do with what I find in many American cheeses, there does not seem to be the creaminess and the mouth feel in many American cheeses but Cabot seems to have gotten it right. The Kosher cheeses I have experienced have been even waxier and blander than most. I would like to editorialize on "kosher cheese" but this is not the place.
                                In closing my experience with artisanal cheddar and what one misses if one never experiences an Artisanal cheddar. Firstly a really superb artisanal cheddar is produced from a small local herd. Secondly the taste changes as the seasons in that the feed changes. Thirdly artisanal producers are proud to introduce you to their herds as they are treated very humanely"the essence of Kashrut. Forthly because the animals receive love and are not stressed the milk and cheese have a complexity of flavours that one cannot duplicate on a large scale.
                                Cabot is a coop and does not use hormones to increase production and are to be commended for producing a quality product at a low price to consumers which I attribute mostly to pride in producing a good product.

                                There are virtually no cheese producers these days using non kosher rennet.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Moedelestrie

                                  I respectfully disagree about the non-kosher rennet. Having attended many American Cheese Society conferences, and specifically this year talking with a few dozen artisanal cheese producers about the possibilities of making kosher cheese runs, I have found that many of the smaller, artisan, high-quality cheesemakers use animal rennet, quoting a desire for a "more authentic" flavor profile or a "more natural, traditional" process. Whether I agree or not about the results of a vegetarian rennet is a different matter. As many pf the posters here can attest from their tasting of Cabot, as well as my tasting of many other artisan kosher cheeses (many of which carry the tablet-K, just for information's sake), quality milk plus a quality process can lead to a beautiful product.

                                  1. re: Moedelestrie

                                    Not to get into a discussion or lecture on kosher, and I'm certainly not arguing the fact that your Canadian cheese is better, but there is more to making a cheese kosher than determining if the rennet is vegetable or animal. There is also an issue of "Givinas Akum". Any orthodox rabbi should be able to explain it to you.

                                    1. re: chicago maven

                                      Firstly let me admit my prejudice and state of the many Orthodox rabbis I know very few of them do I trust. But I will keep an open mind when meeting Rabbis in the future.
                                      I am reminded of the Miracle Food Mart's first kosher sections in Toronto where each sect allowed only its Rabbi "Mashgiach" to determine its proper level of Kashruth.
                                      Virtually all Cabot cheeses carry the Orthodox Union label which is good enough for me.
                                      My wife won't let me get into discussions of Kashruth anymore because I must watch my blood pressure.
                                      Secondly mass production Canadian cheeses are more familiar to me but there are some excellent American mass producers such as Cabot which do a good job and with the combining of American and Canadian markets these days one really does not know origin. I am sorry for the generalization but Liberty yogurt is made with Vermont milk.
                                      For my final comment let me state I would be more than happy to buy all my food products were they to contain the religious Orthodox certification and the Conservative Ethically Kosher seal but I guess choosing sides is more important than recognizing the others attributes.
                                      I gave up arguments about Kashruth when I was told by my Orhodox Rabbi why pork rinds and pig cartilage were kosher.