Another week, another favourite cheese to devour and claim that it’s for creative purposes. Port Salut was a staple part of my diet back in my last year at University. I didn’t care that it wasn’t the strongest, or that it’s made by the same people that make Babybel, I just really enjoyed it. With that absolute lack of bias in mind, let’s go ahead and 50 Shades this bad boy.
THE TASTE TEST
First off, Port Salut just looks beautiful. It has that slightly tempered orange edible rind, and it gives you a good whiff as it’s a mature cheese. It’s the MILF of the soft cheese world (this post is called 50 Shades – what did you expect?). The texture means it’s easy to masticate, and it tastes milder than the smell prepares you for. Weird. To me it’s addictive – it has a hint of danger lurking behind the delicate interweaving fronds of rind (frinds?) that leave you begging for more. Ahem.
THE BISCUIT TEST
Now, the picture above may not show Port Salut on a biscuit, but it DOES show it getting up close and jiggy with the delightful Pure Gold ale from the Purity brewery. We found this beer in our local Asda, which suggests to me that you should be able to get it all over the country. I have never tasted so pure a beer – the taste was so refreshing and lacking in bitter aftertaste. Definitely one for the future.
Anyway, when you DO put Port Salut on a biscuit, something magical happens. I chose a TUC biscuit again because, well, because it’s my blog and they’re my favourite. The flavour of the cheese, the salt of the biscuit… Having not had this combination since my old Cheese, Ale and Xbox nights with my friends at Reading Uni, I experienced an odd sort of nostalgia. Not so much so that I started playing Call of Duty at 4 o’clock in the morning again, but I whacked on the soundtrack to the musical we all appeared in that term (youtube links available on request to those not possessing a weak disposition), reveled in ale and started eating the cheese without a knife, tearing into it with my teeth like some kind of rabid cheesehound.
THE BREAST TEST
So far so good, yeah? Tastes great on it’s own and orgasmic on a biscuit. How about cooking with it? Well, if any of you have experience of Port Salut you would probably query the wisdom of that question. And… you would be right to. Port Salut is not a cheese that you should cook with, at least not stuffed inside chicken and wrapped in bacon. When I cooked the same meal but with Saint Agur two weeks ago it turned into a delicious sauce, but maintained some structure inside the chicken. Similarly with the Blacksticks last week. Port Salut? Not so much. It didn’t so much melt as rubberize, and practically nothing bubbled out of the chicken. The taste was still fine, but the texture… I love Port Salut too much to do that to myself again. It may well turn out that Port Salut makes a lovely sauce, or that you can melt it on top of something, but based on this experience I probably won’t be the one to try and find out.
Love the cheese on it’s own and on a biscuit, cannot discourage you enough from cooking with it.