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 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.