There is a season for every cheese and a cheese for every season. Be it for your Thanksgiving dinner or to use with leftovers, Whole Foods’ The Big Cheese of November can easily find a place at your table. While it may not be the best cheese by itself or on a cheeseboard, accompanied with other ingredients, Henning’s Cranberry Cheddar is a true delight. Try it melted on a turkey slider topped with cranberry sauce for a unique Thanksgiving appetizer or to use up your bounty of leftovers. Another idea is to tuck it inside a baked turkey and dressing rollup to “wow” guests with your creativity. Chris, an extremely knowledgable man who has worked in the Whole Foods specialty department for some 7 years, suggested that it be melted on a burger for a sweet and salty tang. However, if a cheeseboard is really where you want to try it out, give it a go with some toasted pecans, dried fruits, and hearty crackers. For a beverage pairing, something fruity and acidic would be a nice match since it is a younger tart cheese. Try a light pinot noir, fruity white wine, or a crisp lager. At around $4.00/per wedge, this is certainly a cheese worth trying out. The Augusta Whole Foods also has a sample display so that you can try the cheddar out before buying. Find it at the wooden cheese room nestled in the corner of the cheese department.
Henning’s Cranberry Cheddar is produced in Kiel, Wisconsin and aged around 5 months. The short aging process allows it to maintain a youthful tang while taking on the spongy consistency we know from most cheddars. Visually, it is an interesting cheese. Sweet cranberries speckle the cream-colored pate and leave little doubt that there will be a berry in every bite. The body slices smoothly with little crumbling. The first thing you will notice is the spongey texture with the first bit. Next a salty tangy is overshadowed by a sweet cranberry flavor. The final note is a concluding tang due not only to the cheddar itself, but from the bitterness of the cranberries. Think of it as a distant relative to the cranberry wensleydale. Try it with any of the listed suggestions and comment what you think. Cheers!