What is Applewood Cheese? A British Culinary Delight

What is Applewood Cheese? A British Culinary Delight - Cheese Origin

Discover the charm of Applewood Cheese, a British culinary delight that has won over cheese lovers worldwide. This semi-hard cheese is known for its distinctive smoky flavor and creamy texture, a result of being smoked over applewood chips and dusted with paprika. Its unique taste profile, coupled with its versatility in a range of dishes, makes it a cherished staple in British households.

Quick Facts About Applewood Cheese

Quick FactsDetails
OriginUnited Kingdom
TypeSemi-hard, smoked
MilkCow’s milk
TextureCreamy and smooth
FlavorMild, smoky, slightly tangy
ColorPale yellow with a golden-brown rind
RindNaturally smoked
Aging timeTypically 3-4 months
SmokedYes, over applewood chips for a distinct flavor
VegetarianYes, made with vegetarian rennet
PairingsApples, grapes, beer, wine
Popular usesMelting over dishes, sandwiches, cheeseboards
HistoryIntroduced in the 1960s
AwardsGold at the International Cheese Awards

What is Applewood Cheese?

What is Applewood Cheese?

Applewood Cheese, a delectable delight hailing from the United Kingdom, is a semi-hard cheese that has won the hearts of cheese connoisseurs worldwide. Its distinct character is rooted in its careful crafting process, which involves smoking it over applewood chips. This gives the cheese its signature smoky flavor that lingers on the palate, making every bite an unforgettable experience.

What sets Applewood Cheese apart is its unique texture. It strikes a perfect balance between firmness and creaminess, making it versatile for a variety of culinary uses. Its pale yellow color, complemented by a golden-brown rind, adds a visual appeal that matches its tantalizing taste.

The flavor profile of Applewood Cheese is nothing short of fascinating. It boasts a mild yet slightly tangy taste, with the smoky undertones rounding off its flavor beautifully. This makes it a delightful addition to cheeseboards, sandwiches, or simply melted over your favorite dishes.

Being vegetarian-friendly, Applewood Cheese is made with vegetarian rennet, catering to a wider audience. It pairs wonderfully with fruits like apples and grapes, and beverages like beer and wine, enhancing their flavors in a symphony of taste.

Lastly, Applewood Cheese is not just about taste, but also heritage. Introduced in the 1960s under the Ilchester brand, it has since been celebrated for its unique flavor and quality, even bagging gold at the International Cheese Awards. Its availability year-round ensures that you can savor this smoky gem anytime you please, making it a must-try for any cheese lover.

What Does Applewood Cheese Taste Like?

Applewood Cheddar is similar to traditional Cheddar but with a twist. It has a distinct smoky flavor that sets it apart. The cheese can be crumbled or melted, and in both forms, it retains its distinctive taste. Eaten raw, it’s delicious and has a woody smoked taste and texture that many find appealing.

The sides of the cheese are dusted with paprika, adding to its unique flavor. Whether enjoyed cold right out of the fridge or melted on your favorite dish, Applewood Cheese delivers a bold flavor that is both distinct and satisfying.

Applewood Cheese Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: Applewood Cheese has a pale yellow color with a golden-brown rind. The outside is dusted with paprika, giving it an amber hue.
  • Texture: It has a semi-hard but creamy texture. It’s firm but not crumbly, making it perfect for slicing or grating.
  • Aroma: The cheese has a subtle smoky aroma, reminiscent of a bonfire or wood smoke, due to being smoked over applewood chips.
  • Taste: Applewood Cheese has a mild yet distinctive flavor. It’s slightly tangy with a smoky undertone that lingers on the palate. The smokiness is not overpowering but delicately balanced.
  • Aftertaste: The cheese leaves a lingering smoky aftertaste, which makes it unique and moreish.
  • Pairings: Applewood Cheese pairs well with fruits like apples and grapes. It also goes excellently with a range of beverages including beer and wine, enhancing their flavors.
  • Uses: It’s versatile in culinary uses. It can be used in sandwiches, melted over dishes, or included in cheeseboards. It adds a smoky flavor to any dish it’s incorporated into.
  • Vegetarian Friendly: Made with vegetarian rennet, it’s suitable for vegetarians.
  • Awards: The cheese has been recognized for its quality, winning Gold at the International Cheese Awards.

10 Best Applewood Cheese Substitutes

SubstituteDescriptionBest Used In
Smoked GoudaA Dutch cheese variety with a rich, smoky flavor that’s similar to Applewood.Sandwiches, cheese boards, and melted over dishes.
Smoked CheddarAnother smoked cheese option that has a robust flavor.Grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, and mac & cheese.
ProvoloneAn Italian cheese with a smooth texture and mild flavor.Pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.
FontinaA semi-soft Italian cheese with a slightly nutty flavor.Fondue, risotto, and stuffed breads.
Monterey JackAn American cheese known for its mild flavor and meltability.Nachos, quesadillas, and burgers.
HavartiA Danish cheese that’s creamy and buttery with a slight tanginess.Cheese boards, sandwiches, and melted in dishes.
MuensterAn American cheese with a mild flavor and smooth texture.Grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and pasta.
GruyèreA Swiss cheese with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.Fondue, quiches, and gratins.
EmmentalAnother Swiss cheese known for its mild flavor and large holes.Sandwiches, fondue, and cheese boards.
JarlsbergA Norwegian cheese with a sweet, nutty flavor and large holes.Sandwiches, salads, and cheese boards.

What Pairs Well With Applewood Cheese?

What Pairs Well With Applewood Cheese?
CategoryPairs Well With
FruitsApples, pears, grapes, dried apricots, figs
Breads & CrackersSourdough bread, rye crackers, whole grain bread, multigrain crackers
MeatsSmoked ham, roast beef, turkey, salami
WinesCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay
BeersPale Ale, Stout, Lager
CondimentsHoney, chutney, mustard, apple jelly
NutsAlmonds, walnuts, pecans
Other CheesesBlue cheese, Brie, Gouda
VegetablesPickles, olives, roasted red peppers
GrainsQuinoa, brown rice, whole grain pasta

Also read: What Fruit Goes on a Charcuterie Board?

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