By Kylie Meyermann
Working at Jamie Kennedy’s Gilead Bistro, I’m used to dismally watching the coming and going of exceptional dishes on the dinner menu. It’s an ever-changing seasonal menu, after all, but it still ails me to watch such beautiful dishes as the ‘Beef Brisket in Handkerchief Pasta’ be wiped clean from the blackboard menu. The cheese plate is no exception. There is a constant rotation of new cheeses being offered, often a varying selection of sheep, goat, cow’s milk and a potent blue cheese. However, it’s seldom to see a new cheddar cheese on the plate. The Extra Old Cow’s Cheddar from PEI never leaves the menu, because just like the JK Fries, it is that damn good.
Extra Old Cow’s Cheddar is a cheese of common appearances. It’s sold in a generic shaped brick, concealed in a protective plasticine mold (unlike its more famous cloth-bound Avonlea cousin). It isn’t of any exceptional color. It lacks the vivid orange intrigue of Dutch Mimolette, nor is it a delicate amber hue like a hard sheep’s milk. It’s just an oily brick of light colored cheese. Anyone could easily walk past it in any cheese boutique.
Extra Old Cow’s Cheddar genius is all in the palate. It starts off exceptionally light, much like butter. It has a oily volume that wraps around and takes hold of your entire palate. It’s salty, nutty and melts in your mouth at the same rate as vaporizing air. You can’t help but too fall in love with the crave quenching warmth of salt and goodness this cheddar cheese delivers.
It’s ultimate appeal beholds in its longevity. What began as a soft, nutmeg taste quickly evolves into a deep, toasted hazelnut that clings to the palate long after you have savoured your share of cheese. Extra Old Cow’s Cheddar starts off light, but finishes strong, deserving an accompaniment of an acidic Sauvignon Blanc.