Roth Käse USA has launched what it calls "the perfect solution for customers searching for an upscale, yet attractively-priced, grab-and-go cheese selection" - three single-servings of cheeses and complimentary condiments, all packaged together as 'The Great American Cheese Board.”
This nifty little product includes Wisconsin cheeses, paired with three crackers, condiments and a wooden pick. The packaging is a technical feat in itself -- each cheese is individually sealed, allowing for a 120-day refrigerated shelf life.
Normally, I'm not a big fan of an extended shelf life, but this product is changing my mind. I can totally see these single-serving gourmet kits being used by airlines, theme parks, movie theaters, and any retail outlet looking for distinctive single-serve offering.
The Great American Cheese Board comes in three varieties, each with three-quarter ounces of three cheeses. We had some friends over last night and here are our reviews of each:
Artisan Selection: Starring three single-servings of Buttermilk Blue, Grand Cru Gruyere and Vintage Van Gogh cheeses, three water crackers and a single serving of fruit and nut mix. This one was by far the favorite. The Blue was excellent, the Gouda (Vintage Van Gogh) was nice and creamy and even had small eye formations, and the Gruyere was Roth Kase's signature cheese - of course it was yummy. The nuts were still fresh and crunchy. A winner.
All-American Selection: Featuring three single-servings of Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Colby Jack cheeses, three water crackers and a single serving of dried apple chunks and cranberries. First off, the dried apples looked terribly unappetizing, but tasted surprisingly good. They were still nice and juicy. The cheeses were better than I expected - the Cheddar had some age on it and was very flavorful, the Pepper Jack had just the right amount of kick and the Colby was mild and slightly salty - perfect. This would be a great choice for kids.
Italian Selection: Three single-servings of Gorgonzola, Asiago and Fontina cheeses, three water crackers and single serving of Kalamata olives. The Gorg was good - nice and creamy, great flavor, the Fontina was your basic Fontina - a mild, almost tasteless cheese, and the Asiago could have been aged more. I couldn't get anybody to try the olives -- no olive lovers in this group, apparently, so can't tell you much about the "perfect-paired condiments" in this one. Of the three, probably the least favorite.
All in all, this product is pretty cool. The packaging is innovative and attractive, the cheeses all taste good, and if you can get past the appearance of the dried fruits, you're set to go. Bring on The Great American Cheese Board!