Cheese Review - Sage Derby
Sage Derby is fun to look at and fun to eat.
The first thing you notice about Sage Derby (pronounced "Darby") is the green marbled texture of the cheese. Because of the green coloring you can see the individual curds that make up the cheese. The second thing you notice about Sage Derby is how quickly it disappears.
The texture of the cheese is semi-firm and easy to slice. The small wedge we found at a specialty grocery store in Sacramento had a slight minty smell to it.
Not all Sage Derby is made the same. Some have sage added and some have sage powder or sage extract added to them. When I broke apart the cheese I could see individual sage leaves in the cheese, which is what I was hoping for. I'm not sure if the cheese that I bought was colored by spinach juice or not, since the store that I bought it from cuts and rewraps the cheese without putting a list of ingredients on the label. I suspect that it was colored with spinach juice and had dried sage leaves. Photos that I have seen of Sage Derby with fresh sage and no spinach juice aren't as green as the cheese I bought. So I believe I had a medium quality Sage Derby.
What it taste like
My Sage Derby was neither dry nor moist. A few of my guests compared it to Cheddar, but with a hint of mintiness that you almost don't notice unless you are paying attention to it. I personally didn't think it tasted that much like Cheddar, except that it is mild. I would describe it more like a Monterey Jack with a little something extra added to it to make it less bland.
My kids loved it. When we went back to the same store to get a different type of cheese they asked if we could get some more Sage Derby as well, which I was happy to do. The few times I served it to people visiting my house people usually asked for seconds. When I served it between dinner and dessert with Spanish Tetilla cheese, no one asked for seconds on the Tetilla, but my dinner guests wanted more Sage Derby. And when my wife had some friends over to scrapbook, they all liked the Sage Derby but not everyone liked the Wensleydale.