Browning Gold: A Sweet Cheddar Cheese

February 24, 2011

Browning Gold is a humble cheese.  At the cheese counter, it does little to differentiate itself from other aged cheddars.  Yet what it lacks in visual intrigue, it makes up for in flavor.  Browning Gold offers warmth and sweetness, and seems a natural fit for a casual intimate gathering.  More importantly, Browning Gold retired my family’s bias against aged cheeses.

Browning Gold is a hard, cheddar-style cheese produced by 5 Spoke Creamery in Westchester County, New York.  It is farmstead produced with raw cow’s milk and cave-aged for 24 months before market.  The cheese is produced in a large brick format; each cheese weighs about 10 pounds.

browning-gold-cheese-by-cheesechatter-february-2011Browning Gold looks as if it has been wrapped in a white paper skin.  The rind’s surface molds give the exterior a velvety feel.  The interior paste is the color of pale straw,  darkening to nutmeg at the rind.  To the touch, the paste is solid and a bit greasy.

Browning Gold has a musty aroma.  Its rind smells like fresh earth and mushrooms.  Its interior paste has a baked cheese cracker scent.

Browning Gold has deep flavor and marked sweetness.  Its flavors are strongest at the start, then mellow while chewing.  Its dominant flavors are a warm nuttiness and pineapple sweetness.  The cheese also has a some sourness.  It leaves a mild aftertaste.

The cheese has a moist and crumbly texture in the mouth.  Browning Gold breaks into pebble-sized morsels on the tongue,  encouraging one to savor the cheese.

With its sweeter profile, Browning Gold was an easy sell at our table.  One juvenile taster commented that it tasted like a sweet and savory sauce.  We all liked this cheese a lot.  The day after our tasting, there was a hasty scramble for the remaining cheese.

Browning Gold is a superb stand-alone cheese.  Its crumbly texture demands slow eating and seems ideal for a casual gathering.  It would be fantastic on a day hike, camping or as an everyday cheese.

Purchase Notes:  I purchased Browning Gold at Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).  The cheesemonger commented that Browning Gold is available occasionally.

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3 Responses to “Browning Gold: A Sweet Cheddar Cheese”

  1. Paul Says:

    This cheese looks awesome.

    I am totally reminded of my tasting of Wyke Farms Ivy’s vintage cheddar when you mention pineapple and sweet and savory sauce (though I have more in mind the chinese-style pineapple soy “sweet and sour” sauce).

    I would be curious to confirm this by tasting Browning gold. Or if you ever get to taste some Wyke Farms cheddar (the only one I have tried is Ivy’s vintage) you may comment.

    http://www.wykefarms.com/our-range/ivys-vintage

    I wonder whether the raw milk is really important here too, and just how reproducible the flavor profile is. I am not well-versed in raw milk biology/chemistry. I comment this because the producer mentions raw milk is necessary, but I wonder just how much experimenting they have carried out to reach such a conclusion.

    Unfortunately I could not find information about 5 Spoke Creamery, like when the company was created. I am thinking that they hide it a little because it may not be long ago.

    Thanks alot for the post, this cheese looks wonderful.


    • Yes, awesome is a good word for Browning Gold. I hesitated to use it in my post but that is an apt description. I haven’t tried the cheese you mentioned from Wyke’s Farm, but will look to see if I can get it here (thanks for the recommendation!) and if I can, see how the two compare.

      If you are really curious about 5 Spoke Creamery’s raw milk claims, contact the cheese maker (I seem to recall that he is a former food scientist). Although their site exhaustively lists health benefits from raw milk, one wonders if there is real science behind the claims. Perhaps the benefits are listed so that health-conscious consumers feel better about eating cheese, which is more often a diet no-no. Honestly, I don’t need that much convincing to eat good cheese.

  2. Paul Says:

    That is great information, that the producer is a scientist. Thanks, it gives me alot more faith.

    I’ll have to learn about raw milk some day. There is much research still going on I think.

    Regarding my comment on Ivy’s vintage cheddar I meant that it surprised me how much pineapple flavor it had, I liked it but I actually cannot remember how much, I seem to have focused on the pineapple. So I was not really recommending it (even though it may be very good and I should have recommended it :)).

    5 Spoke Creamery itself looks awesome. Their cheese descriptions are most appetizing.

    They mention cantal and salers which are 2 cheeses cheddar-lovers should try (also melted) along with laguiole -of this one I had an impressive sample. They are the same cheese in a sense (three different PDO), but cantal has many variations (so you have to pick), with laguiole and salers corresponding to the more aged cantal -and these two are raw milk only.

    (A little mistake, “a Cantal Fermier (Le Salers)”: cantal fermier is not salers -the “Le” or “le” is also inappropriate, http://www.5spokecreamery.com/cheese_tumbleweed.html .)

    Their attitude is probably the right one on defending raw milk.
    Also: I think that people tend to be irrational when talking of bacteria and raw milk, myself included, and perhaps raw milk cheese should be defended a little like threatened species.

    Thanks for all the information on Browning gold and 5 Spoke Creamery.


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