Chow Town

Chandoka is cheddar with a fruity twist

Chandoka, a hard, bandaged cheddar from Wisconsin, is a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk.
Chandoka, a hard, bandaged cheddar from Wisconsin, is a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk.

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.

Chandoka

Producer: LaClare Farms (aged by Standard Market)

Place: Malone, Wis.

Milk: Cow and goat

Type: Hard, bandaged cheddar

Chandoka is aged for six to nine months with a coat of cheesecloth and lard. This helps this rindless cheese retain moisture as it ages.

Since Chandoka is 70 percent cow’s milk and 30 percent goat’s milk, the flavor profile is a little different from other cheddars, with a fruity note that is usually not associated with this variety of cheese. It still retains that tangy sharpness that we all know and love, but there are notes of grass, earth and some citrus.

The rocky-looking exterior of the cheese adds a moldy, dank, basement aroma, and that’s not a bad thing.

Chandoka is aged at Illinois retailer Standard Market right outside of Chicago. Its aging process brought Chandoka second place best in show at the American Cheese Society competition in 2015.

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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