Country Cheese

February 13, 2013 at 19:55 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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Arnott's country cheese packSome time ago, I posed the question ‘Should I write more savoury biscuit reviews?’. Well, the results have been flooding in at a rate approaching one a week, such that I now have a statistically valid sample to judge the issue from. cheesy graphsAnd so <drumroll>, I can reveal that yes, you pretty much overwhelmingly voted for more cheesy reviews. This is excellent news, as it gives me a rich new vein to mine in my search for superlative adjectives and mixed metaphors.

So what’s up today? Well, today it is the ‘Country Cheese’. Like many of Arnott’s savoury biscuits, they are packaged up in a smart dark-blue box. Why only cheesy biscuits get this treatment, I don’t know – there are plenty of fragile sweet biscuits that would benefit from this packaging. The other intriguing thing about the savoury range is that the packs feature actual photography, which apparently requires the ‘serving suggestion’ disclaimer. Do people really believe that the box will also house a wooden board, a tiny bit of spring onion and some blurry cheddar? And are people who think that capable of reading the words ‘serving suggestion’? Or is it that this is actually how Arnott’s recommend you serve them, and across the land people are propping them up on little bits of onion in an oh-so-sophisticated way? All very strange.

One thing I will say about the pack photography though; that is a very small wooden board and a tiny piece of onion. And that bit of cheese in the background? Just a fragment that broke away from the main block. You see, the photo looks to me as if these biscuits are going to be quite large, perhaps packed flat with a plastic tray insert. But in reality they are packed in conventional end-on manner, and measure only 81mm by 44mm. The one on the box measures 73mm by 54mm, so either there is some very weird parallax error going on, or the ‘serving suggestion’ extends to carefully shaving the end of each biscuit to make them shorter, prior to giving your guests magnifying glasses that make everything look ten percent bigger.

Arnott's country cheese biscuitEnough of all of that – how to they taste? Well, they are light and crunchy with a pleasing crumbly texture. They have a certain cheese flavour, although it is fairly muted, and perhaps equally strongly present are notes of malt and vegemite. They are quite pleasant to eat on their own, but strangely get a bit sickly after a few of them. Funnily enough they don’t go very well with cheese. I tried them with all sorts of things, from the cheddar suggested on the box through to a soft rind Brie and even a robust Stilton, but nothing really worked that well – the flavours of the biscuit just fight too hard against the cheese. Such is the nature of country folk, so I suppose the name should give ample warning.

I’m going to give these a five out of ten.

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