I was selected to be a Sargento’s Taste Tester as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, so I tapped Beer Boor to join me for an impromptu blind cheese tasting session.
Can’t have cheese without condiments, right? (Actually, you can; I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes stands in front of the fridge, door open, munching on cheese…) C’mon guys, I’ve admitted in the past to having a drawer in my fridge dedicated to cheese, and at one point had up to 27 different kinds/types of cheeses in my fridge… I cannot be the only one who eats cheese like it’s… um, cheese.
Anyway, I bought some bread, summer sausage, there’s honey, cranberry mustard, hot mustard, elderflower & orange marmalade, pepper&onion jam, and cherry butter. Yes, the labels are all flipped around for a reason, I wasn’t cool enough to put masking tape on them to hide the brands so I just flipped them. Haha.
I know, I’m a funny little girl who likes to put stuff out in bowls to enjoy. Hey, I had company, have to impress, right? Smoked almonds, Kalamata olives, and a tumbler with breadsticks, melba toast and sesame breadsticks as well.
Onto the cheese. I bought three kinds, and put two slices each out on my bamboo board. Cutely, Beer Boor started tasting and thought the front and back slices were different kinds, though it was really three sets of two slices each. In any case, two of them were the same type (according to the labels) and one was obviously different.
Sargento’s pepperjack, sliced. I liked how spicy this was – I really like pepperjack (in moderation) – there was a lot of flavor with the peppers interspersed. Beer Boor noted that one slice had more peppers than the other, but that’s how most are, in my experience. This is definitely a good sandwich cheese for a little extra zing in your sandwich.
Without even tasting this, easily this was the worst cheese. I thought it was pretty obvious that this one was different – but anyway, this is the “other brand” sliced cheese I bought to compare. I got excited at the store when I realized this rather famous brand (that I grew up eating, actually) also makes sliced cheddar, because in all fairness, I didn’t think we could compare Sargento’s sliced cheddar to what I knew would be American cheese. So when I saw the sliced, individually wrapped cheddar, I grabbed it for the blind taste test. Beer Boor was not there when I ‘plated’ the cheeses, so he had no idea which was which, but we both immediately sneered at this one. Probably because there was about a 15-20 minute lapse between the time I put the cheese on the board to when he arrived, this cheese was oozing all over itself and just horrible. It stuck to the board and refused to come off; I guess if you wanted to melt it on a grilled cheese that would be OK but this was just… terrible. (I had a lot of trouble cleaning this off the board later.)
But you want to know about the taste. Well, Beer Boor didn’t know what it was and started eating it. He was not pleased. Worse, he began to argue with me about whether or not this was cheddar. He insisted it was American. Hey look, it’s par for the course – we fight all the time, that’s just how we are I guess – but I freakin’ said I bought cheddar, so it’s freakin’ cheddar. He wanted to see the label, which I eventually showed him, and we agreed that not only did it taste nothing like cheddar, it tasted worse than this brand’s American cheese (which I generally like – for grilled cheese sandwiches). Horrible.
Lastly, the Sargento’s cheddar. While I don’t tend to buy pre-sliced cheeses, I understand that if I made more sandwiches with cheese at home, I’d want to. And this was pretty good, as far as pre-sliced cheddar goes. I’m happy to still have some left in the fridge for any sandwiches in my near future.
I think it says a lot that after our blind tasting was concluded, we continued to eat the Sargento’s cheeses and completely ignored the horrible individually packaged one. After all was said and done, we probably ate about half of each Sargento’s package… along with the bread and everything else, of course. And the pepperjack definitely made an appearance on a sandwich I made for Beer Boor a few days later (with the Hellmann’s chipotle lime crusted chicken I mentioned). Yum! A little extra zing? Don’t mind if I do…
Conclusion: it’s nice to have pre-sliced cheese in the fridge for sandwiches or for grilled cheese, burgers, and all that. Since I like having stuff on hand as opposed to having to run to the store to get some, I think I’d do well to keep this in my fridge – and so would you. The flavor is right, the price is good, and it’ll make adding cheese to sandwiches a snap (I either do without [and just eat cheese on the side] or struggle with my non-existent cheese slicer).
Opinions expressed herein are my own (and Beer Boor’s). We received no monetary compensation for this post.