50 Shades of Cheese: Blacksticks

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I spent a long time standing in front of the cheese counter at my local Sainsbury’s wondering whether anyone would mind if I chose a blue cheese two weeks in a row, but then I realised that if I restricted myself in that way then I might run into troubles later on. So, for week 2 of my cheese project: Blacksticks Premier Cru.

THE TASTE TEST

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This cheese is… pleasant. If you we’re going to introduce a friend to blue cheese, this would be the one you would choose before hauling out the Gorgonzola. Nutty, yes. Salty, yes. Pleasant. For film buffs, this is the Hyde Park on Hudson to an aged Stilton’s Lincoln. I’ve gone to the cinema a lot recently.

THE BISCUIT TEST

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I shared this test with my housemate Will. His first word after taking a bite was “argguhhhrguahhghhthaatttssgoooooddddd”. That gave me slightly too good an insight into his private life, but basically sums up how good this cheese is on a biscuit (TUC, in this case). Maybe because it doesn’t overpower, there’s a balance there… There’s certainly a difference between eating it on its own and enjoying it on a biscuit.

For reference’ sake, we coupled our cheese and biscuits with two of the finest beers available, both from BrewDog. Punk IPA and 5am Saint are intensely floral, strong beers that I adore, and that you can now get in most supermarkets.

THE BREAST TEST

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Following in the tradition started last week, we decided to see how Blacksticks fared in a chicken breast wrapped in bacon. To make it a fair test it was the same bacon (new packet), and it was partnered with roasted vegetables again. I have to admit, I wasn’t as taken with this cheese as an ingredient as I was with the Saint Agur last week. It was fine, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the taste explosion in my mouth that I experienced last week. It melted well, had a nice sauce, but it’s just not quite as creamy, which I think is the sign of a good cooking cheese. I don’t really know what I’m talking about though, you might love it.

Overall, I really liked this cheese both on its own and on a biscuit, but I probably won’t be cooking with it again. Next week I promise I’ll choose something that’s my a blue!

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