Yep, you’re looking at her ladies and gentlemen, your Cracker Barrel brand cheese ambassador for the next few months! Yaaay!
What does this fancy schmancy title mean? Well I get to give you all the 411 on these amazing Cracker Barrel cheeses, lots of yummy cheesy recipes, ideas, tips and also give you this coupon so that you can pick up a cute little bar of Cracker Barrel cheese to sample.
I was super excited when Cracker Barrel chose me to help spread the word about their cheeses. I won’t lie, I’d only tasted the cheese a few times in the past, usually whenever I made a cheese and cracker tray for parties. Cracker Barrel cheese was always my go to brand for things like that because they were the perfect sliced size for a cracker and they just felt “gourmet on a budget”.
It never dawned on me to use these affordable, award-winning cheeses in my everyday cooking. Yesterday I decided to whip up a cheese sandwich using the Mediterranean Herb cheese, which has basil, parmesan and oregano in it. Honey let me tell you….it got me a little closer to heaven. It was one of those close your eyes, exhale and shake your head experiences. Yep it was that good, but we have plenty of time to get into all those irresistible recipes in the next few weeks.
A quick little lesson on Cracker Barrel cheese:
Cracker Barrel cheese is not affiliated with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants. They have been in business for almost 60 years and chose the name Cracker Barrel after the iconic fixture found in country stores where people gathered to chat. Introduced to the market by Kraft, they began with a love of quality cheeses and a passion for the cheddar cheese making heritage. These two characteristics have continued to define the brand today. Cracker Barrel still uses the same proprietary heirloom starter cultures as when the brand was founded in 1954. This unique recipe is what produces that rich, full flavored cheddar cheese the Cracker Barrel is known for.
Cracker Barrel chose several bloggers to help spread the word and we were all given a trip to Chicago to learn all about the brand, attend cheese & wine pairings, the whole nine. Oh did I mention they also sent this big wooden box full of cheese and wine!?!
I couldn’t physically make the trip but I still got to attend…virtually!
They wanted me to feel like I was there so I was Skyped in and given a grocery list beforehand so I could participate in the cheese pairing for that day. On my cheese tray was cracked pepper crackers, shaved white chocolate, fresh basil, balsamic syrup, strawberries, and Cracker Barrel Vermont White cheese.
I couldn’t wait to dig in but honestly I was thinking, how in the world is any of this going to taste good and on a pepper cracker at that! Let me just say I was pleasantly shocked. My favorite combination was the white chocolate, strawberry, and cheese on the pepper cracker. Really taste buds? I guess cheese pairing really is about balancing the five flavor sensations like they taught us.
Even though this Skype meeting was like my own little private cheese sampling party it was enough fun to inspire me to host my own cheese and wine pairing party with my sisters this summer. I think I’ve been bit by the cheese bug. Now I see why Steve Urkel got so excited when his cheese of the month came in. I can totally see how this can become addictive. On Cracker Barrel’s website there are several different sampling tray ideas that you can create. They already have the cheeses paired up for you with complimenting wines, fruits, etc. I’ll be recreating those for my party.
You gotta try it or better yet, maybe we can do a virtual cheese sampling party together, what do you think? Just sleep on it and let me know.
There was also a cheese expert at the meeting who taught us the characteristics on how to professionally judge cheeses using all five senses. He also talked about all the national, international, local, and state awards and competitions that Cracker Barrel cheeses have won. You can see the award winners on their website. Very impressive.
A few fun facts that I learned:
1.) Human taste buds can only detect five different senses: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Spice is detected through pain receptors not taste buds.
2.) 80%- 90% of all flavor sensations are aromatic.
3.) Cheese has been used as a form of currency in some parts of the world.
4.) 40% of milk produced in the US is used to make cheese.
5.) Cheddar is the most widely produced and consumed cheese style in the world.
I’ve learned so much more through my virtual immersion and information packet and I can’t wait to share that with you all throughout the next few weeks as we discuss all things Cracker Barrel cheese!
Don’t forget to CLICK HERE TO go on over and snag your Cracker Barrel cheese coupon. They are available while supplies last so don’t miss out!