Chow Town

Hook’s 5-Year Cheddar wears its age well

Hook’s 5-year-old sharp cheddar as a firm but not too crumbly texture, and pairs well with apple slices.
Hook’s 5-year-old sharp cheddar as a firm but not too crumbly texture, and pairs well with apple slices.

October is American Cheese Month. The American Cheese Society says, “American Cheese Month is a celebration of North America’s delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.”

So I thought I would bring a different cheese to Chow Town readers every day in October. Stay tuned to see what delicious cheeses North America has to offer! There are sure to be some classic favorites and new must-haves that will suit everyone’s tastes.

Hook’s 5-Year Cheddar

Producer: Hook’s

Place: Mineral Point, Wis.

Milk: Cow

Type: Hard, no rind

Tony and Julie Hook make some of the best block cheddars in the United States. For those of you who love a nice, sharp, but well-balanced Wisconsin cheddar, their five year aged version is where it’s at.

It’s great to eat with fresh apple slices, and you can imagine what it would do baked into the crust of your mom’s apple pie. The texture is firm but not real crumbly. There is a bit of crystallization, giving it a little of that tyrosine crunch that cheese lovers are looking for these days. Try it on a burger or in a grilled cheese. In many cheeses this old, melting is not easy to do, but even after five years Hook’s still melts pretty well.

This is one of our best-sellers at the Better Cheddar! So if you have not tried it, come see us.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society certified cheese professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.

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