Two kinds of cheese that make you look like an un-brie-lievable house guest.

Two kinds of cheese that make you look like an un-brie-lievable house guest. Hunter Valley

You walk into a dinner party. You know the kind where you only vaguely know the hosts? Yeah, that kind.

You look around nervously, everyone’s seated and immersed in their own conversations.

All the normal things run through your head, you know the stuff like, “oh god, I can’t remember her name”, “don’t fall over”, and “how much wine do I need to drink before I’ll enjoy this”.

You walk into the kitchen and find somewhere to put down your things.

You pull out the bottle of Hunter Valley Semillon you bought, everything continues as normal.

You reach into your cooler bag to get out the cheeses you brought with you, you can’t just bring one, that’s weird.

What if nobody else bought cheese?

You can’t have a cheese platter with one cheese, that’s embarrassing.

The cheese leaves the cooler bag, all of a sudden it’s like the scene from that taco ad – you know, the one where the little girl suggests they have hard AND soft tacos and the villagers lift her into the air as they celebrate her brilliantly crazy idea. It’s like that, except thankfully, there isn’t a Mexican actor attempting to lift you onto their shoulder.

Why?

Well, you brought some killer cheeses.

1. Two Fat Blokes Sundried Tomato and Garlic Labna

This creamy ball of deliciousness is just magic. It is a taste sensation. Labna is made by straining yoghurt to produce a soft, creamy cheese that then is rolled into balls (of deliciousness) and preserved in jars of oil with various and optional flavours.

Not just spread on a wafer cracker (the experience is about the cheese, not the cracker guys, the cracker is just a vessel so that you don’t look like a crazed monster wildly stuffing cheese into your mouth with your bare hands) but Labna also has many, many other uses. Put it through a pasta sauce, toss some through a salad, make your mac and cheese just a little ‘extra’, or stir some through a soup. Labna has a lot of ways to make you love it.

Tangy, but also smooth and creamy, Labna is a really unique cheese that will delight lovers of soft cheese at any dinner party.

2. Caramelized Onion Cheddar

This is a piece of art. You know those people that you talk to and they make you feel like you’re the most important person in the room? They’re just so genuinely lovely that they make you question what traumatic experience you must have repressed that stops you from also being that lovely? This cheese is that person, but without the guilt you inevitably experience after realising you’ve been talking about yourself for 45 minutes.

It’s delicate but also bold. It’s sweet thanks to the caramelized onions, but tart and sharp thanks to the cheddar. It’s a good level of crumbly, enough to give it a nice texture, but not so much that you leave the dinner party wondering how much of it is going to fall out of your clothing before you go for a shower later.

The fun thing about this guy, is that the longer you leave him out of the fridge, the sweeter he becomes. The cold brings out the cheddar taste but as you mellow it out the caramelized onion starts to shine through even more.

BUT – because you really wanted to treat yo’self, you snuck in a third cheese…

BONUS CHEESE! Enter, Duetto.

An unassuming little tub containing one of the most surprising cheeses I’ve ever had, I was so impressed that it made an appearance at family christmas – because I needed validation that this cheese was as delicious as I thought it was – it was a hit. Like, So Fresh 2009 level hit.

Everyone loved it.

Duetto is a mixture of gorgonzola and mascarpone, being mostly the latter. It’s really quite spreadable, and goes really well with deli meats…but then again, what cheese doesn’t…

When I was reading about Duetto (I needed to know how it could be so delicious considering I am not a personal fan of any kind of blue cheese!) I read an interesting article that said it’s used mainly as a “table cheese”. If by table cheese it means that I am going to sit around it and finish everything it presents to me before I’m allowed to leave, then yes, I fully support its description as a “table cheese”. It’s dangerously good.

So there you have it. 3 cheeses to impress judgy Susan in her display home, or to share with friends over that bottle of Semillon you had earlier in this blog, or to sit at home alone and enjoy as you watch terrible reality TV, like I do.


Labna – Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic in Hunter Valley

Labna – Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic

$18.90

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Eat-in or takeaway, perfect for those wanting to create their own meal. Our delicatessen offers a tasty selection of local and international delicacies including smallgoods, cheeses, chocolates, condiments, oils, beverages, bbq items and more.

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