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January 29 - Virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day" Cheddar Tasting

Melanie Wong Jan 28, 2014 03:50 AM

On Wednesday, Jan 29, the White House is reviving President Jackson's open house tradition by inviting everyone to interact online with cabinet members and White House staff. The name of the event comes from Jackson's final reception that featured a 1400-pound block of cheddar.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/01/24/first-ever-virtual-big-block-cheese-day-white-house-open-questions

Naturally, I took a special interest in the cheddar and discovered that it came from Oswego County, NY.
http://www.shapell.org/manuscript.aspx?president-andrew-jackson-big-cheese-tasting

This piece tells us more about the giant cheese and its "legacy".
http://mentalfloss.com/article/27228/andrew-jacksons-big-block-cheese

Since the current White House won't be passing out any cheese on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun for us to mark the day with a tasting of cheddar. Go out and get a piece of cheddar - New York or otherwise - and then report back here on what you did with it. Melted on apple pie, grated over toast, carved into a sculpture, gnawed on a hunk . . . whatever, just come back to tell us about it. And if you want to try something that might be close to the original, McAdam http://www.mccadam.coop/and Buttercup http://buttercupcheese.com/ are from the same general region.

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  1. Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2014 05:26 PM

    Hmm, no takers.

    I've brought home not a big block, but a small wedge of Yancy's Fancy New York Cheddar, roasted garlic flavor. A first-time purchase. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but dinner's a couple hours away.

     
    1 Reply
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2014 09:44 PM

      Roasted garlic was an interesting flavor to start with, as I've consumed so much garlic Monterey jack cheese over the years. The roasted garlic is much sweeter with a broader palate presence and not nearly as pungent as what I'm accustomed to in Jack cheese, Boursin, etc. At room temperature, the texture's pretty soft and crumbles if you try to slice it too thin. There's a nice butteriness to the paste, so I'd say that this was a quality cheese even without the flavorant. That is, the added flavor isn't disguising poor quality.

      I ended up melting some on a fried corn tortilla, topping it with some leftover Dungeness crab meat, and chopping up some pico de gallo as a salsa topping. The cheese was too heavy for that application, probably would have been better to leave it off or just grate a bit unmelted over the top.

      Here's the photo of White House staff cheeseheads answering questions today:
      https://twitter.com/CEABetsey/status/...

       
    2. h
      HillJ Jan 29, 2014 09:26 PM

      Maple Smoked Cheddar Vermont Raw Milk cheese from Grafton Village, $6.99/8oz. Something I've never experienced before. Tasty! And, I usually stay away from smoked cheeses.

      http://graftonvillagecheese.com/whole...

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ
        Melanie Wong Jan 29, 2014 09:46 PM

        Looking at the local grocery store today, I was surprised to find that though it stocked Cabot and Yancey's, there were no plain and unflavored cheddars from either of them. Everything was flavored.

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