I was sent a few of the new Simply Artisan Reserve cheese products for this review and post. All opinions are my own!
Litehouse brand, a company whose products we’ve previously reviewed on this blog has created a new line of artisanal cheese products handcrafted from cultures originating in the caves of Roquefort, France using local single-source milk that is both rBST and gluten-free. Simply Artisan Reserve is sure to become a household name in the cheese industry. Right now, they are focusing on vintage aged gorgonzola and blue cheeses as well as feta cheese.
Using traditional artisan cheese recipes, Simply Artisan has created a line of gorgonzola cheese that is aged at least 100 days in which you can purchase everything from a whole wheel to crumbles, including a larger pouch size, to the coveted center cut. The Center Cut is the premium selection of the cheese wheel. It is cored from the center, where the richest and most developed flavor is found. Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese that originated in the Italian town of Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola is typically made from unskimmed cow’s or goat’s milk. Penicillium glaucum mold is added to create the blue green veins in the cheese and it is aged in a cave for 3-4 months, with metal rods inserted and removed periodically to allow for mold spores to grow into veins.
The more traditional blue cheese variety is also offered by Simply Artisan Reserve in the same options from a whole wheel to crumbles to the center cut.
Blue cheese is actually injected with Penicilliuem glaucum mold and aged for several months in a temperature-controlled environment rather than the use of metal rods like in the Gorgonzola variety.
The center cut varieties of both cheeses definitely lived up to the hype. While I love most all cheese in any form, blue cheese is one that I can take or leave depending on my mood and just how pungent it tastes. That said, these were delicious!! Yes, they still had that sharp and salty bite you’d expect with a blue cheese, but it was balanced with a slight sweetness and the creamy quality of the center cut. This cheese was great on it’s own smeared on a cracker as part of an easy cheese board, but I could see it paired with crisp, sweet fruit or a meaty steak. The creaminess of the center cut also lends itself to melting down easily or mixing into another recipe like a cheese ball or dip. Although, you might be judged by cheese connoisseurs for using a center cut cheese for anything other than enjoying it on it’s own with a glass of wine. 😉
Simply Artisan Reserve also created a line of cheeses called Simple Seasons that are a shake-able version of their handcrafted blue cheese or feta cheese. And I LOVE this idea!! I absolutely hate the chore of trying to sprinkle cheese crumbles out of a square flat container onto a salad. Think about how popular the shake-able plastic jar of parmesan cheese has become over the years and how many millions of them a certain K brand has sold! It’s become ubiquitous in America with spaghetti or pizza night! I’ve dreamed of a day when somebody would wise up and start selling other topping type cheese in this form and it’s here!! You guys, Litehouse has done it! Now you can easily shake cheese onto anything! Can you tell I’m excited about this???
And it lived up to everything I hoped it would be. It’s currently available in blue cheese…
And also feta cheese. Now they just need to add a goat cheese variety for this girl’s goat cheese loving heart. 😉
With products like this, the worst thing in the world would be for it to get all gummed up and not shake out the product like it’s intended. So I ripped open the feta cheese to find a user friendly lid with a spoon side and a shaking side. I tested it out by shaking a little bit of cheese onto my counter just to see how it worked. What I like was that it didn’t just dump a huge mountain of cheese out onto my counter, but it really did provide just the right amount of perfectly sized crumbles. I am also not a fan of cheese globs where the crumbles are the size of my head, but that does not seem to be an issue at all with these fancy schmancy shake-able jars. Way to go Simply Artisan for winning the cheese game.
Speaking of winning…Simply Artisan Reserve currently has a $5,000 Beach Giveaway going on and the deadline to enter is Thursday, June 30th! So head on over to their website to enter here. You could win One (1) $5,000 gift card to a recognized travel booking site meaning you can go to the destination of your choosing!! How awesome is that???