Value for money
M&S Cornish Cruncher
Ardagh Cheddar from Aldi
Wexford rich and mature cheddar
Montgomery Cheddar €5.38 for 180g, €29.90 per kg
When we bought this hunk of cheese cut from a wheel at a very fine cheesemongers, we were assured we were getting “the king of cheddars”, but if this is the king, it’s one dangerously close to a popular revolt. It is undoubtedly a good product – and at this price it really would want to be – but it was perhaps a little too subtle for our tastes. It has a pleasingly nutty flavour up-front but one that fades rather quickly. It does have much of what you would expect from a good cheddar and would sit nicely on any cheese plate but when all things were considered, it was an emperor lacking in the wardrobe department.
Verdict:The king is dead
Star rating: **
M&S Cornish Cruncher €8.49 for 500g, €16.98 per kg
This is an excellent product from Marks and Spencer that is both wonderfully strong and beautifully rich and creamy. As you would expect from its name, it has a lovely crunch to it and it crumbles in a most pleasing fashion. It has a sharpness that you will struggle to find elsewhere and a saltiness that will sit well in the most upmarket of sandwiches. Its strength may be its biggest weakness for some people, however, as it is not a cheddar for the faint of heart.
Verdict: Strong stuff
Star rating: ****
Ardagh Cheddar from Aldi €2.79 for 250g, €11.16 per kg
This Irish cheese from the German discounter’s Specially Selected range is a real find. It is a wonderful product that marries quality and price. It has won all manner of awards and it is not hard to see why. It has a lovely creamy texture and a sweetness that is very appealing indeed. While the best thing about it is its taste and texture, it deserves an extra gold star for being the cheapest of the cheeses tried and one which represents excellent value for money by any measure.
Verdict: Great taste, great price
Star rating: ****
Wexford rich and mature cheddar 3.09 for 200g, €15.45 per kg
We liked this cheese a lot. It has a lovely smoothness that will fit nicely into the finest of lunchtime sandwiches and it is the most Irish of the products tried – the Aldi cheese is Irish too but the retailer that sells it isn’t. It is also the most widely available of the brands reviewed this week and the second cheapest. It wasn’t the strongest flavoured brand we tried and does pale in comparison to some of its more robust cousins but Wexford does have a more mature option on the market for the most hardcore of cheddar lovers – it’s a bit more pricey, mind you.
Verdict: Good not great
Star rating: ***