The Cheese of the Irish
The newsletter that accompanied this month's selection of Irish cheeses from igourmet.com (thanks again, Molly and David!) says that the Kerrygold aged cheddar "deserves a place on the cheese board, alongside your choice of the world's other great cheeses."
The description for the Kerrygold Dubliner is even better: "Complex. Worldly. Somewhat sweet, somewhat nutty. All of these words just as easily describe Dubliner cheese as they do the city of Dublin itself."
I decided to have cheese and day-old cinnamon-raisin bagels (from Goldberg's in Silver Spring) for breakfast today. The problem is, you have to wait. You have to wait for these two Irish blocks to reach room temperature, so that their personalities are fully formed, like an awkward teen who matures into a graceful adult.
The Dubliner is exquisite; it has a country butter flavor with an undercurrent of tang, but what I really appreciate about the cheese is its texture, which is pleasantly gritty between your teeth. The aged cheddar is much smoother by comparison but no less complex: It has a more pronounced nuttiness but is no less creamy than that butter-bomb Dubliner.
Where can you find these Irish beauties? Y&H has done the leg work for you:
Cowgirl Creamery: No Kerrygold products, but the shop does carry an Irish cheese called Coolea, a two-and-half-year-old aged beauty from County Cork.
Cheesetique: The Del Ray shop carries both the Kerrygold Dubliner and the aged cheddar (though the one here is labeled "vintage cheddar," even though it's the same Kerrygold product). The former will cost you $12.99 a pound, the latter $16.99 a pound.
Balducci's: The Bethesda store carries both the Kerrygold cheeses, the Dubliner and the vintage cheddar. The shop is also holding a sale on them: They're both going for $7.99 a pound. Comparison shopping does pay off!
You might also check Whole Foods Market. I tried calling the P Street store but was put on hold so long, my ear turned numb.