Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carr Valley Benedictine

Benedictine is one of the many unique creations of Carr Valley Cheese. This washed rind cheese is made from the milk of sheep, goats and cows and is aged for twelve weeks. It is quite creamy and has a slightly robust, nutty flavor.

I have blogged and raved about Carr Valley cheeses before (cf. my posts on their Mobay and Billy Blue cheeses), but Benedictine is my least favorite of all of the Carr Valley products I have tried. According to the Carr Valley website, "The flavor [of this cheese] explodes with intensity." The cheese's flavor is certainly a bit stronger than one might expect, given its creamy, slightly soft texture. But I thought that its flavor was surprisingly bland and uninteresting, despite the various steps taken to provide it with flavor.

The blending of three types of milk seems to make the cheese taste like it is not from the milk of anything in particular. Instead of providing the cheese with a distinctive personality, the blending seemed to rob it of one.

Because of the somewhat high price of Benedictine, I had put off trying it for some time. Perhaps the fact that I like so many of Carr Valley's products and the expense of the cheese made me have higher than reasonable expectations. Benedictine is not a bad cheese, but given its price and somewhat disappointing personality, I would recommend buying other products from Carr Valley instead.

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