I don’t know a huge amount about US cheeses. They’re not widely available in the UK – it’s a long way for a cheese to travel. So when a friend was spending Christmas in the states, I begged for some cheese to be smuggled back with her.

Snow White Goat Cheddar

This is a hard cheddar cheese, made in Wisconsin from pasturised goats milk

Cheddar made from goat’s cheese seems incorrect, but of course I can’t wait to taste it. The block I have doesn’t gleam like the snow outside, but it’s a very pale off-white. It’s opaque in the centre, and turns slightly translucent towards the crumbly brown rind. There’s also some greeny blue mould growing on the underside, but I believe this to be an unintended addition.

The rind’s too hard and chewy to enjoy, and the blue-green mould growing on the underside is definitely not for eating; bitter and unpleasant. The paste inside’s sour and tart and slightly spiky, with a nutty undertone to it. My cheese eating companion, in a fit of hyperbole, pictures it as a grumpy old goat of a cheese, with a long scruffy twig-tangled beard and a bad temper.

We’re eating this cheese with a sweet, nutty mostly-rye bread made from the shook-out ends of all the flour jars. (It was too cold and I was too lazy to go to the shops.) I thought this bread would be far too sweet to cosy up well with a cheese, but it’s a perfect companion to this one, and draws out a smooth and mellow caramel, nutty creaminess that really rounds out the cheese and balances its grumbling and sharpness.