For a lot of us, all you have to do is look at Cahill's Irish Cheddar with Porter and the oral juices are already working up a storm. Even before cutting into it, the packaging seduces you with it's plain chocolate brown wax overlaid with bygone homespun images of women making cheese. If Norman Rockwell had been a nineteenth century Irishman, he might have painted the picture that now adorns Cahill's cheese wrapper.
Inside the wrapping, however, lies something else indeed. If Norman Rockwell did the outside, Marc Chagall did the tile work on the inside. Upon cutting into a Cahill's, the dark earth tones on the exterior morph into spider webs inside, segmenting the yellow matte paste into cells of irregularly small dimensions. Of course, maybe all of this isn't as unusual as I'm painting it here. Maybe with a little self-examination, it's actually my inwardly conflicted self that I'm describing and it isn't the cheese at all...but I digress.
Cahill's is actually very popular because of its uniquely artistic presentation but even more so, of course, because of its taste. While the cheese is categorized as a Cheddar, the 2% Guinness Porter taste overshadows everything else; and yes, it really is the historic Guinness that is flavoring this cheese. Cahill's firm creaminess may, in fact, be a mirror reflection of a healthy swig of draft Guinness Stout.
At their website, Cahill's cites Marion Cahill back in 1759 as a County Limerick cheese-making ancestor of David Cahill who emigrated to America a hundred years later in 1860. David made his fortune here before returning to Ireland and dairy farming in 1902. In the mid 1920's his nephew William took the dairy reins and ran with it until 1972 when his son David assumed ownership.
Cahill's is a full, rich, tangy, chocolatey/caramelly mouthful with a similarly rich, pungent finish. It is clearly a beer cheese down to that pungent finish. While the cheese has its long history, three things appear to reflect modernity: the cheese uses vegetarian rennet; it's described as a "truckle" (cylinder) but is, in fact, smaller; and since the 1950's, it's pasteurized.
Of course, we're writing about the cheese here because it's in stock and for sale ($19.99/lb) at the store!
Please join us this Friday for the weekly After 5 wine tasting. David Rimmer of Lynda Allison Cellar Selections represents some of the finest European wines in the marketplace. This time he will be introducing us to six new Italians. Of course, the cheeses will be flowing along with David's wines! We ask for a $10 charge to taste which is applicable to a $50 purchase.