Keen’s Cheddar

Keens Cheddar
Keens Cheddar

! EG-4202,EG-4201

October is cheddar weather. It’s a good month for carrying a loaf of crusty bread out onto the rooftop, along with a wedge of cheese, and enjoying a bird’s eye view of the fall trees. A picnic in the air.

I’m a fan of eating on the roof, but it’s a pain to haul too much up the staircase. That’s why bread and Keen’s Cheddar is a magical combo – Keen’s has flavor enough, without mustard or mayo. If I’m lucky, I’ll remember to put an apple in my pocket, but otherwise, I just grab bread and cheese, and off I go.

My rooftop has a gorgeous view of the neighbor’s pear tree, and the woodworker two row houses over has a pallet stove he gets going this time of year, so there’s the smell of burning wood and the yellow glory of the pear tree, and really, it doesn’t get any better on an October afternoon.

Keen’s is robust and rustic, perfect for eating in brisk weather at three stories above the sidewalk. It’s tangy, sweet, and earthy, with a pleasing assertiveness that evens out, without turning bitter on the finish the way some cheddars do.

In this world, there are two British cheddars that cheese lovers often compare: Montgomery’s and Keen’s. Both are clothbound cheddars made from raw milk, and both are divine. When you have the time to compare them side by side, it’s worth doing. But if you’re setting out to look at the fall leaves, try the Keen’s. It’s more autumnal, to my mind. And it pairs very nicely with wool socks and damp air, at any altitude, as long as there are colorful treetops in the distance.

For more cheese wisdom, visit Madame Fromage.