As Christmas time rapidly approaches, we have been of course trying out various goodies for snacking and sharing. However one of my other favourite foods at this time of year is cheese. I can't resist stocking up on some select cheeses and some crackers, it is one of my favourite snacks or light lunches. In amongst some of my favourites I spotted this curious sounding cheese in Marks and Spencer; Christmas Smoked Red Leicester Cheese. I couldn't wait to give it a taste test. It is Has a Christmas theme as this Red Leicester cheese has been smoked over Spruce trees, i.e. infused with the scent of Christmas pine trees, which sounded pretty special. Apparently there was Oak used in the smoking too, but thats not particularly Christmassy! :-D
The cheese is smartly wrapped in a paper cover, which open up to a sealed pack to keep the cheese fresh. There was a thin dark rind on the dark cheese that I removed before serving. The cheese had the texture of a firm Red Leicester, it cut easily with just a little pressure on the knife.
The aroma was slight woody, but not quite as smoked as I had imagined and the flavour was similar. The cheese had a nice mature edge and the smoked flavour was quite light, adding a lovely earthiness to the taste. There was a very slight taste of pine tree, you could pick up on it if you looked for it, but the cheese was a strong Red Leicester flavour and that combined with the smoke meant you had to stop and appreciate the cheese to spot it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this cheese, and would happily have it again. It is perfect for the Christmas cheese board, it's seasonal twist is novel but the base flavour of the cheese still sings through.