Posts Tagged ‘Horseradish’

alehousecheddarProduct Information:

Castleton Crackers of Vermont never ceases to amaze us with their delicious new crackers. The latest out of Vermont is their Alehouse Cheddar made with local craft ale, cheddar cheese and very mild horseradish mustard. All natural, and hand-made in Vermont.

I received a full sized box of these crackers in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose a mild white tea go to with these crackers.  I wanted something mild because I didn’t want anything to interfere with some of the more nuanced flavors of the cracker and I wanted something cooling to soften the effect of the horseradish mustard.  The horseradish is mild, as the description above states, but, it does build a little bit and the white tea helped to cleanse the palate in between crackers.  I chose this China Mutan White Tea from Mark T. Wendell – and the crackers and tea made for a lovely tea time!

What I Think:

I’ve tried a few different Castleton Crackers since I’ve started this blog.  The first package that I tried were the Windham Wheat crackers, and then I tried the Rutland Rye and the Sesame Graham crackers.  Now we have the Alehouse Cheddar Crackers and these are reaffirming for me why I love this company’s crackers so much.

Not only are they a handcrafted cracker that are made in small batches and obviously broken by hand rather than crafted in an assembly line in a factory somewhere, but the flavor of these crackers just cannot be beat!  You just can’t get this kind of taste in a commercially manufactured cracker.  The crackers not only look like they were made in someone’s home kitchen, but they taste like it too!  You can taste the love in them.

As much as I loved the salty and sweet contrasts of the aforementioned Graham Crackers that I tried most recently from this company, I think that these Alehouse Cheddar might be my new favorite.  It’s surprising to me, really, because I’m not a big fan of alcohol, as I’ve mentioned before, but, I love the way the flavors are represented in these crackers.

I taste the cheddar, but it doesn’t hit me over the head with cheesy flavor.  I taste notes of the ale, but the most intriguing note that captures my interest is the horseradish.  It’s not an overwhelming flavor … it’s in balance with the other notes in the cracker.  But, it is a flavor that builds and after I’ve eaten a couple of crackers my mouth is pleasantly warm and I can feel that enjoyable “burn” in the top of my throat and even that hint of a sting near my eyes and nasal passages that one gets from horseradish.  I love horseradish, so these notes were certainly a welcome surprise to this cracker.  I like that it starts out subtle but the heat builds.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these crackers.  Then again, I’ve really enjoyed all the different crackers I’ve tried from this company … but I think that the unique layers of flavor in this cracker might just make it my favorite!  They have the cheese, they’ve got some ale flavor, and some horseradish mustard … all that you need is a cup of tea!

Where to Buy:  SchoolHouse Kitchen on Foodzie

Product Description:

Our mustards contain a smooth creamy base that is unique and inviting. Take your pick from one that is a bit sweeter or one with a bit more kick. Our mustards are superb as rubs for roasting and grilling all kinds of fish, meat, sausages, poultry, and vegetables. Make your sandwiches extra-special, or add in as a base for salad dressings or your favorite potato salad. Try our mustards as ready-made dips for chicken tenders, mini sausages, egg rolls, pretzels, cheese, and vegetables. Like all SchoolHouse Kitchen products, our mustards are made without the use of additives or unnatural preservatives.

Wendy nudged Patsy. Patsy kicked it into gear and, after ages in the kitchen, she created an outstanding mustard with real flair and real kick! Bringing more spice than our first mustard, we have added horseradish to maintain the heat and dill to deliver a calming finish.

What I think:

Whenever I think of mustard, I think of my grampa.  He would have told you himself that he wasn’t much into gourmet food (although, my gramma was one heck of a cook, but she was more about comfort food than fancy-smancy recipes).  But one thing that he did have a great appreciation for was mustard.  He liked good mustard.  And he would have LOVED this mustard.

I tried this mustard two ways:  first, I sampled it as a spread on my turkey sandwich; and then I used it in a recipe (the same recipe that was provided to us in our Foodzie tasting box).

For my first sampling, I went simple and made a turkey sandwich and used this instead of my usual mustard.  And while my turkey sandwiches are usually pretty tasty, this mustard took the sandwich to a whole other level.   It never tasted as good as it did with this mustard!

Despite the horseradish in this, it isn’t super spicy.  It does provide a palate-pleasing heat, but I didn’t find it to be particularly hot.  I’ve tried other brands of horseradish mustard in the past; in comparison, this is very mild.  I barely felt the “horseradish effect” in my sinuses.  And while normally that is something that I want from horseradish – I’m not disappointed.  Quite the opposite – I’m very impressed with this mustard.

It’s actually very nicely balanced.  The texture is surprisingly smooth and creamy, and it has a well-rounded flavor.  The dill gives it a little tangy zip.  The horseradish comes in with it’s distinctive flavor and a mellow, pleasurable kick.  There is a hint of sweetness to this mustard too – it is a very pleasing contrast of flavors in one jar.  This really is a delicious mustard.

My less-than-attractive but still very yummy palmiers

For my second sampling, I thawed some puff pastry and made the Savory Mustard Palmiers from the recipe that was included in my tasting box.  Mine didn’t look nearly as good as the ones in the picture on the card, but then, I’m neither a baker nor a photographer.  I did alter the recipe just a bit – I didn’t use as much mustard as the recipe called for … mostly because I wanted a little bit for my sandwich.  But, I figured a thin slather of mustard would be enough to give me a good idea of what the mustard tasted like – and whether or not I needed to actually procure some of the mustard so that I can make these again.

When used in this recipe, the horseradish mellows a little bit.  The unique flavor of the dill pops out and comes to life.  Savory and even mildly sweet, with a slow and steady spicy note.  I can see why this recipe won the Foodzie Tasting Panel contest – it showcases the flavor of the mustard so perfectly.  My whole family enjoyed them!  These are so tasty – I’d eat these for dessert!

My Final Thoughts:

Best.  Mustard.  Ever.  Your hot dog never had it this good!  My grandfather would definitely approve.

Over the last week or so, I have been “stalking” the Foodzie website to see if they had updated their homepage to reveal what we might be expecting in our Foodzie Tasting Box this month.  It hadn’t been updated until yesterday (Monday, April 18), though, so imagine my surprise when I not only received notification that my box had shipped yesterday, but that it was actually in my mailbox yesterday as well!  Hurray!

My package contains:  Horseradish Dill Mustard from SchoolHouse Kitchen (as well as a recipe card for Savory Mustard Palmier), Thousand Layer Spice Cake from euforia, Plantain Chips from Estrellita’s Snacks, Ginger Snapdragon Cookies from Liz Lovely, Cinnamon Almond Granola from Fiona’s Granola, and Italian Butterhorn Cookies from Cici’s Italian Butterhorns.

Also tucked inside my box was the “map card” that included a brief description of each item in my box as well as the map on the opposite side to show me from what part of the US these treats came.  Here is a scan of both sides of the card:

On the homepage of Foodzie, it also shows that Toffee Nut Bars from Celine’s Kitchen might be included in the box, and I must admit that I was hoping for an opportunity to taste those.  However, I am more than thrilled with my box, because I’ve been drooling over the Thousand Layer Spice Cake for some time now, and I am so happy that this was included.

I can’t wait to start sampling these treats!  But where to start?  I’ll certainly be posting an individual review of each as I taste them!  Until then, if you haven’t yet signed up for the tasting box subscription … you are really missing out.  It’s like a little bit of Christmas morning each month in your mailbox!