Amul cheese, the medium cheddar kind that comes packaged in a canned tin in India, was my first love. I remember creeping to our white fridge at night to steal slices of comforting white bread and cheese for a midnight snack. It was the only cheese that was readily available when I was growing up in India. I developed a deep affection for this cheese which was used in everything that called for cheese in India – pizza, on top of baked dishes, in white sauces.
I’ve grown to enjoy all kinds of cheese since, but I’m always searching for cheddar. These are some of my recent favorites: Grafton from Vermont (aged at least 2 years), Tickler (sold at Murray’s Cheese in New York City) and Mrs. Quicke’s Cheddar (also sold at Murray’s). In my search for local farmstead cheddar, I find Bobolink Dairy at the beautiful Warwick farmers market in Orange County, NY. Bobolink makes a rich deep yellow crumbly aged cheddar with milk from their own cows. They also bake some delicious bread that comes out of the oven in batches as you linger in their farm store in Milton, NJ, on a Saturday morning.
Here is one way that I love my cheddar cheese: about a quarter cup coarsely grated and sprinkled on top of a slice of bread (toasted or untoasted) and then sprinkled with a 1/2 tbsp of red onions and a chopped de-seeded green chilli. Stick under a hot broiler for two-three minutes or in a toaster oven until the cheese melts and the heavenly aroma of baking bread, cheese, onion and chillies fills your nose. Enjoy with a steaming cup of tea.