A few months ago, I was browsing one of my favorite websites and came across some unique canned food items. Canning is nothing new, but this was the first time I had seen canned cheese and butter.
We tried the Bega Canned Cheddar Cheese, an Australian brand and H.J. Wisjman & Zonen Canned Dutch Salted Butter, hailing from the Netherlands. Neither of these products needed refrigeration and both were reported to have a long shelf life.
I am a cheese LOVER and giving up cheese in the event of TEOTWAWKI was almost more than I could think about, so this discovery was very exciting! Creamy real butter from a can sounded too good to be true but I was hopeful that this would be a great addition to my food supply.
My Brother & Sister-in-law came to visit at work today, so along with my parents, we sat down for lunch. They were all thrilled to know that I intended to include them in the sampling of the cheese and butter. My Brother, being an avid hiker & mountain climber, gave the first observation: They are too heavy to carry in a backpack. But, since my intention was for long-term storage on a shelf, I wasn’t too concerned about the weight. The butter is about the size of a large tuna can & weighs in at 200 grams. The cheese can is smaller and weighs a total of 113 grams.
The butter was the first to be opened and everyone agreed, it looked like butter. My Dad immediately stuck his finger in the can for the taste test and announced that it did indeed taste like butter. Other than being room temperature, we could tell no difference in taste or texture in comparison to the whipped butter you would find in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. I would give this product an A+ and plan on stocking at least a few cans for spreading. Sprinkling powdered butter on bread vs spreading creamy butter on bread; I’ll take the creamy butter every time. 🙂
Although the cheese was labeled as being from Australia, the writing on it was Middle Eastern. The ingredients are listed in English as well, so you know exactly what you are getting in the can. Upon opening up the cheese, a combination of curiosity & a little apprehension was the overall first impression of our little test group. The cheese was white & almost had a glossy sheen. It had the look of a spreadable cheese but we were surprised to find that it had a very firm consistency. When I tried to remove it from the can to “spread” some on a cracker, it only flaked off in small pieces. The taste was very close to that of “Cheese Whiz” in the can but was firmer in texture. Overall, I would give this product a B- for ease of use & texture and B+ for taste. My Brother’s review was less forgiving; he said “it’s not gourmet cheese but would do if that’s all you had to eat” :-). As for me, if I can’t find better canned cheese for the price, I’ll probably stick with the Bega.
Both products can be purchased from http://www.campingsurvival.com. These items sell out often, so keep checking back with them if they are out of stock.
P.S. TEOTWAWKI = The End Of The World As We Know It