Hey folks, bit of a last minute switcheroo this week.
I was going to be showing you another Mahi product – One of the many extra marinades that they sent me recently – but then I took another look at its ingredients list and realised something:
Their Lime & Coriander Rub & Marinade has no chilli in it!
And sure, I’ve featured a couple of non-chilli products before and done recipes that focused on non-chilli spices but that’s the thing; they all focused on their heat source.
The marinade in question does no such thing. Despite claiming a medium heat intensity, it has no burn to it, nor any obvious black pepper flavour. It’s just sweet yet tangy, in a way that makes it rather like ranch dressing.
I can imagine it would make a gorgeous caesar salad with a bit of anchovy blended into it or an equally wonderful new potato one without but, as a spice freak writing for other fiery food lovers, I just can’t make a main feature out of it.
So instead, here’s some cheese:
These were a festival find last summer and, as you might hope, I actually wrote about the both of them at the time. I’ve been saving my cheese post as a backup for when I needed a break or something last minute.
In fact, I’ve been saving it since before Reading. Since my time at the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show, where I helped out on stage.
It was there that I found the Great British Cheese Company and took home two of their products, each clearly labelled with the british flag and waxed in a colour to match their flavour.
Sadly, since the posts that I’ve adapted for this one had been in my backlog so long, they lacked any ingredients lists for me to provide you with. Hopefully you’ll appreciate my review all the same, though. Here goes:
First up, let’s take a look at their Mature Cheddar with Smoky Peppadew Peppers & Garlic. It’s a bit of a mouthful but it should be a tasty one, just don’t expect much heat from it.
You see, as I briefly mentioned in my recent fish recipe, “Peppadew” are actually a brand with their own sub-strain of malawi picanté peppers, not a unique pepper.
They’re a mild chilli, despite the “picanté” in their true name meaning “hot” and, while they do have a little bit of fire to them when pickled whole, they rate a mere
in the cheese-stuffed state that many salad bars sell them. I don’t feel the majority of them at all.
So, stuffed into cheese like this, I already know I’m not going to get any burn from them and I doubt you are either. Yet I’ll be very surprised if the chilli isn’t the focus of its flavour, and isn’t that at least part of what we eat it for?
It’s certainly what my blog’s about and I, for one, am a big fan of this variety. I really don’t care about their disappointing burn. I just love the taste so, without further ado, let’s give it a test in this cheese:
Here, on my plate, we can see just how all in the company have gone. This mature cheddar is chock full of the chillies and has been heavily orange-tinged by their presence. You can get away with vast quantities when you don’t have to worry about exceeding your customers’ heat preferences and clearly the Great British Cheese Company are capitalising on that fact.
Yet, despite their striking appearance, they aren’t just here for show. They definitely add flavour to the cheese and they add a lot. A flavour from which, I’m told, the pepper gets its name. Or at least its brand.
Its original grower and trademarker reportedly named them “Peppadew” because they had all the flavour of a red bell pepper and all the sweetness of morning dew.
To me, though, that’s doing them a disservice. They may have a similar red pepper flavour but, even ignoring their sweetness, their taste is much more pleasant than a bell.
I’d liken them more to a fully-ripened, red jalapeño – rich and fruity in a deep red fashion – but they are, ultimately, their own thing. Their own delicious pepper.
And, pleasant as they are, they aren’t the only thing that gives this cheese its bold taste. There’s also a strong undercurrent of smoke flavouring to it and the cheddar itself is definitely a bit beyond what most supermarkets would call “mature”.
It’s an intense flavour but one that still has subtlety to it, with both a touch of garlic and some sweet notes from the peppers.
Personally, I feel it’s not quite perfect. Smoking the peppers with a sweet wood like mesquite or maple, instead of using a generic smoke flavouring, would have brought the flavours together a good bit better, in my opinion, and so too might the addition of onions.
But it’s still a bold, high quality round of flavoured cheddar that I would recommend.
If you want something with a bit of actual firepower, though, there is always the other one that I picked up. Their Cheddar with Chilli & Lime.
It’s not quite as interesting a name and it doesn’t state a specific pepper anywhere but it’s still just as chock-a-block with chillies as the last. Chillies that, interestingly enough, aren’t all red this time.
And I can’t say for sure but they certainly taste like jalapeño, both red and green, giving this cheddar a
that grows in slowly and throatily as the dairy does its best to hold the fire back.
It’s not “hot” but it’s a hell of a lot hotter than its Peppadew partner, easily earning the lower end of my scale’s medium, while providing flavour notes similar to most other peppered cheddars.
Yet, even ignoring its above average heat for such a product, this one definitely manages to stand out from its competition. Both with the strength of its cheddar and, more interestingly, the slightly perfumey lime oil, the flavour of which grows in slowly alongside the heat.
A flavour that I found too artificial in CaJohn’s Hydra but find actually works rather well here.
It’s an interestingly different taste for a chilli cheese that I think is going to make it quite suitable for pairing with fruit chutneys, spreading with fruitier chilli jams like red jalapeño ones or the Jam Horse’s “Horse Kickin’ Hot”, or perhaps even crumbling over a salad.
And, speaking of that “Horse Kickin’ Hot”, I feel it’d go great with the Peppadew cheese, too. That sweet, yet smoky flavour could only work with such an earthy yet fruity scotch bonnet jam.
Or perhaps, since I found it begging for onions, a nice relish might be an even better fit?
Either will also go into a cheese on toast/welsh rarebit but the cheese dish that I’d most recommend them for is a macaroni cheese. Either as a topping or just strewn unevenly throughout, for pockets of bold and exciting flavour to add a little excitement.
I can assure you that both of these disappeared from my kitchen very quickly.