Sunday, March 29, 2020

Product Review Blitz IV

This is the final installment (for now) of mass product reviews. Preview: Doritos Dinamita Mojo Criollo chips, Lays Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger chips, Kerrygold Skellig cheese, MontChevré Fresh Goat Cheese Peppadew, Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Sweet Pepper Heat, Carr Valley Creama Kasa, Underground Meats Saucisson Sec, and Underground Meats Finnochiona.

Doritos: Dinamita Mojo Criollo. These were just okay. The flavor was a little bit citrus-y and a little bit spicy, but not a lot of anything. Given that these are (by implication) supposed to be explosive, I was a little let down. The garlic flavor wasn't very noticeable…but then it came back with a vengeance a few minutes after I finished the bag. These chips certainly aren't gross, but they're not something I'll be craving, either.

Lay's: Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger chips. When I sniffed the open bag I didn't get any clue about how these would taste; all I could smell was greasy potatoes. The flavor was definitely wasabi [1], though. I'm not sure I could really taste any ginger though, just wasabi. The effect didn't do much for me; I'd rather have wasabi with sushi or sashimi, not on a potato chip.

Kerrygold: Skellig. Skellig is a sweet, white, cheddar-style cheese from Ireland. It was surprisingly moist and creamy. It had a slightly funky flavor that reminded me of the Dubliner cheese [2] and the Red Leicester cheese [3] produced by the same company. Perhaps someday I'll have to try all three at the same time to see if I can tell what makes them different. Despite the funkiness, I liked this cheese and would be willing to eat it again.

MontChevré: Fresh Goat Cheese Peppadew. The Peppadew peppers (a South African pepper cultivar [4]) were quite mild but still gave an interesting bite to the cheese. The cheese itself had that creamy texture and flavor that I like so much about chèvre. I'd gladly eat this cheese again. (Note: I also tried eating the crackers with some sun-dried tomatoes, which you can see in the photo on the right.)

Woolwich Dairy: Chevrai Sweet Pepper Heat. This cheese is produced by a company that only produces goat cheeses.[5] The cheese itself had a nice flavor and texture. But the flavor of the pepper just didn't work for me. I've had a similar preparation of goat cheese with peppadew that I really liked (see the review above), so it wasn't the combination of pepper and cheese that I didn't like―it was just their particular choice of pepper.

[No photo.]

Carr Valley: Creama Kasa. One Friday when we were still in Wisconsin, I had to go out to a field site to help some coworkers plant corn. On the way back, we stopped at a Culver's [6] for lunch. When we were done, I spotted a huge building, designed to look like a barn, with a sign that said "Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet".[7] I imagined that such a huge building, advertising itself as a cheese chalet no less, had to be brimming with cheese. No such luck. They didn't have much more cheese than your average grocery store. The majority of their wares were knick-knacks and souvenirs. They also had substantial space devoted to preserves, wines, candy, and sausages (including sausages in the shape of footballs). Despite their general lack of variety in the cheese department, I did manage to find something new that I was willing to try.[8] This is billed as a triple-cream cheese, which means that they skim the cream from two milkings and add it to a third. Naturally, this cheese was very creamy. It was similar to a Mozarella, but had a strong 'cow' flavor to it. This flavor, which I don't particularly like, became less pronounced as I ate more of the cheese (probably because I was getting used to it). After that it was quite enjoyable.

The following two meats are the cheapest offerings from Underground Meats.[9] Their other meats are quite expensive.

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Underground Meats: Saucisson Sec: This sausage was pretty good. And, as the name suggests [10], pretty dry. The flavor was pretty mild, without too much pepper. Judging by the amount of bloom on the rind, I would guess that this sausage isn't aged for very long. I would definitely eat this again.

[No photo.]

Underground Meats: Finnochiona: The bloom on this sausage was pretty extensive (Leann said it looked like a moldy dog turd). The underlying cured meat flavor of this sausage was really good. But it was overwhelmed by the fennel; and once you got past that, by the pepper. I love the fennel flavor in sausage, but this was just too much. I won't be revisiting this sausage.


[1] Perhaps I should've put "definitely" in quotation marks since wasabi is the last ingredient. In fact, wasabi is difficult to cultivate, which makes it expensive, so most of the time you're probably eating horseradish with green food coloring. That's probably the case here since horseradish is an ingredient and is higher up the list than wasabi. They probably put in the barest amount so that they could legitimately say it was wasabi-flavored.

[2] Read my review of Kerrygold Dubliner cheese here.

[3] Read my review of Kerrygold Red Leicester cheese here.

[4] See

[5] See

[6] See

[7] See

[9] See

[10] The French word sec, like the Italian word secco, the Portuguese word seco, and the Spanish word seco, means "dry". See

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