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Saturday Cheese Tasting with Sargento Cheese

It struck me this weekend: we are a mere two weeks away from the end of summer vacation. It leaves me tempted to cry Where has the summer gone? But I already know. It’s gone to lazy days at the beach, long bike rides along the shore, swimming and day trips. It’s been a good summer. And even though I didn’t get around to making that summer bucket list like Cate, we’ve done a lot.

Of course, we do still have two weeks to do so much more.

One cool experience we had though didn’t require us to leave home or do much … other than eat. This past weekend, we had a mini cheese tasting with our extended family. Yes, a cheese tasting — complete with wine for the adults and dried fruit for all.

It was so much fun.

Though I always serve cheese plates at parties, I have never actually had a cheese tasting before. A few weeks ago, the fine folks at The Motherhood contacted to see if I was interested in host a cheese tasting with Sargento cheese and then blogging about it. I love cheese and new experiences, so of course I said yes.

We had to try Sargento Cheddar Cheese Slices alongside typical American Cheese slices, comparing their flavor, texture and more. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it (I jest … it wasn’t hard, it was fun!).

I set up our cheese tasting with slices of Sargento Cheddar Cheese, generic American cheese, crackers and dried fruit. We all sampled both slices of cheese and talked about them.

Sargento had sent along a card with info about what to look for, which I actually didn’t read until after the tasting. Ironically, we still touched on all four points of cheese tasting:

Look – It’s easy to tell the natural Sargento Cheese from the processed American cheese just by the appearance. While the American cheese was shiny and unnaturally smooth looking, the cheddar was matte.

Touch – There was a more substantial feel to the Sargento Cheddar Cheese. It was firmer too. Meanwhile, the American cheese feel plastic-y and flopped around.

Smell – Ok. We didn’t actually sniff our cheese, but I can tell you that even from far away you could smell the cheddar. Not so much with the American cheese.

Taste – When it comes to flavor, there is no contest. The natural Sargento Cheese was filled with nuanced flavor with we loved. But the processed American cheese? It was bland to the point of being almost flavorless.

And the verdict? The natural Sargento Cheddar Cheese slices were the clear favorite. Everyone was wishing we had more to enjoy.

Having a cheese tasting party on an overcast evening was a great way to end a beach day. I would love to do another cheese tasting sometime, pairing a variety of cheeses with a fine wine or two. I think it’d make a really fun girlfriend date.

What about you? Have you ever had or attended a cheese tasting?

Disclosure: Sargento and The Motherhood provided the food for sampling. They are also going to be compensating me for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday 16th of August 2011

I'm a little jealous you even had a summer vacation!


Tuesday 16th of August 2011

LOL, I should clarify -- My kids had a summer vacation. I worked through it all, but did take time to enjoy it too.