A Gem from the Emerald Isle

My Irish and Italian ancestors are staring at each other across the Elysian fields, and the Italian ones are laughing: I ate lasagna on Saint Patrick’s Day (and it was delicious).

But I preemptively made up for it at lunchtime with a beautiful wedge of Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheddar. I discovered it while prowling my local fancy fooderie last Friday, and asked the man at the cheese counter about it. “It’s good. It’s like cheddar. It’s made with port,” he said, and looked to cheese man no. 2, who said “It’s made with Guinness.” I’ll add that these guys are usually very helpful and rarely off the mark.

Cahill’s Irish Porter is cheddar and is in fact made with porter, a dark ale that the Cahills brew themselves from an old Limerick recipe. (My cheese man wasn’t too far off: an earlier incarnation of Guinness was once classified as a porter.) A garnet- and cream-colored slice looks more like the work of a lapidist than a cheese maker, but “too gorgeous to eat” was never my saying. The porter adds a mild sweetness to the tangy cheddar, with a darker tinge of toasted malt at the end; it’s lovely with bread and a sip of porter or Guinness (”too much of a good thing” isn’t really my saying, either).

Cahill’s also makes elderberry wine and Irish whiskey cheddars. If someone tries them, please write and report.

Now, in honor of its home county, I’ll send a wedge of Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheddar to the first person who sends me a really brilliant limerick about it. In keeping with tradition, mild ribaldry is acceptable…but please be respectful of the cheese.

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9 Responses to “A Gem from the Emerald Isle”  

  1. 1 fitzmap

    Coming from the Italian side of the family, i would certainly be happy to offer a “filastrocca umoristica” on Lasagna. By the way, I had corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. 2 Sparky

    Here is a limerick - nothing baudy

    The fabulous cheddar from Cahill
    served best with a slight chill
    not sure how it’s made
    Port or Guiness was said
    Eat & eat till you get your fill!

  3. 3 grwold

    Here’s my attempt at a limerick, done with maybe not a lot of skill, but with lots of enthusiasm:
    There was an old man from Belize
    Who had always been quite hard to please.
    But he loved porter cheddar
    And said “Nothing is better
    Than eating a large wedge of this cheese.”

  4. 4 fitzmap

    Okay, okay, here goes –

    In Limerick there is a fine cheese
    From the Cahills - a Porter to please.
    It’s really quite fine
    With Guinness or wine
    or a stew with potatoes and peas!

  5. 5 mikenyc

    There once was a girl from Limerick,
    The Porter from Cahill’s her pick,
    When she wanted the cheddar,
    They said head is better,
    But try it and give it a lick!

  6. 6 admin

    Oh my. I tremble to imagine what you’d do with “Tex-Mex” and “Potluck”.

    Personally, I think head cheese is underrated, but cheddar *is* better.

    All this lyric outpouring has inspired me to pen my own limerick. As I’m brushing up on my French these days, I’m reminded that one should be careful to avoid saying “What cheese!” when “What a pity!” is in fact the intended sentiment. Here you go:

    There was once a cheesemaker so clever
    Who spilled ale in her latest endeavor
    First she sighed, “Quel dommage”
    Then she cried, “Quel fromage!”
    For her cheddar was better than ever.

    Check back on Tuesday morning to see who’ll be awarded the big cheese!

  7. 7 unclenyc

    There once was a girl known as Mabel,
    No joy in her life, on her table,
    Imagine the kick when in Limerick,
    She ate Porter Cheddar from Cahill!

  8. 8 auntie

    I vote for Fitzmap. Oh - did anyone ask for my opinion?

  9. 9 admin

    A pound of Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheddar goes to fitzmap, for technical brilliance and a very fine handling of the theme.

    Second place (half a pound of Porter Cheddar) to unclenyc for bold use of internal and feminine rhyme, plus an excellent message.

    A very honorable mention to grwold for getting us out of Limerick and into the sun.

    Thanks to everyone for your great contributions!
    More contests to come!

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