Monday, February 19, 2007

Chocolate Fudge Cheese

Here is a novelty cheese you definitely need to try: Chocolate Fudge Cheese. It tastes a whole lot like fudge and only a little bit like cheese. It has a rich, chocolately flavor and a wonderful, satiny texture.

The first bite I tried struck my taste buds as a bit strange. It wasn't ordinary fudge, and it certainly wasn't ordinary cheese. It was also unlike any other chocolate-flavored dessert I had tasted. My taste buds very quickly warmed up to the rich, new flavor, however. I now intentionally refrain from keeping this product in our house because my wife and I cannot stop eating it when it is around.

The chocolate cheese I buy is made by the Herkimer County Cheese Company in upstate NY. Many Wisconsin cheesemakers make chocolate cheese as well.

This rich, chocolate-flavored dessert item counts as cheese because the initial stages of its production are exactly the same as ordinary cheese. First, a starter culture (bacteria of some kind) is added to fresh milk. The bacteria feed on lactose in the milk and produce lactic acid as a byproduct. Then, rennet (a coagulating enzyme) is added, which speeds the separation of liquids (whey ) and solids (curds) in the milk. After you have curds, you can do all sorts of things to them to create a variety of cheese products. The curds can be cut, pressed, ripened or enriched with various additional flavors.

In the case of chocolate cheese, lots of fudgy ingredients are added to the curds. But since the whole process starts with cheese curds, the resulting product is technically a kind of cheese--even if not a typical one.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I used to manage a Cheese Shoppe in a Tops market in NY and I sold this cheese. It was wonderful and also useful as a fondue to dip fruits in. I've not found anything like it since. If you like strawberries dipped in chocolate, you have to ty this cheese. You'll never go back to an ordinary chocolate dip again!