Yesterday afternoon I got an e-mail from reader sui generis that he had picked up some Habanero Ghost Pepper Cheese from the http://www.rybickicheese4u.com/”>Rybicki Cheese shop at the Mall of America.
Rybicki Cheese is a usual stop for me when I happen to be at the Mall because they’re always giving away free cheese samples. Who can pass up free cheese after walking around the mall looking at overpriced items all day? I certainly can’t. Although while I have made it a regular stop, I admittedly haven’t been inside the store more than once or twice ever. Thankfully, sui generis made his way through the line of sample eaters and into the store and asked if they had any spicy cheese. One of the salespeople pointed him to a newer offering of theirs: Habanero Ghost Pepper Cheese.
The cheese itself is straight forward and the ingredients are simple: pasteurized cultured milk, salt, enzymes, calcium chloride, habanero peppers, dried ghost chilies. It sells for $9.95/lb, which at first glance seems expensive for processed cheese, but thinking back to all the others I’ve reviewed over the years, it’s right on target. While the fact that they’re using dried ghost chilies is a little disappointing, I was none-the-less intrigued to give it a try.
I cut open the packaging and got two thin slivers of cheese. The peppers are quite evident visually but the cheese itself offers no smell which hints at the spice level hidden within. Being a processed cheese, it melts easily on the tongue but the consistency is even more processed than Velveeta which is something I can never get over thinking is just gross to eat.
The first wave you get in your mouth as it melts is the cheese flavor which is like any pepper jack cheese, however it is almost immediately followed up by the searing heat of the ghost pepper. However surprised I was by the heat, it never grew above a manageable level and thus the initial shock on my face which gave sui generis pause in his own sample never grew into the full blown burn I expected.
Overall, I liked this cheese and would certainly pickup some myself the next time we’re at the Mall of America. While I would need to try it next to Cabot’s Hot Habanero Cheddar in order to verify without absolute certainty, I think I still prefer Cabot’s to Rybicki’s Habanero Ghost.
Have you had Rybicki’s Habanero Ghost Cheese before? If so what did you think about it? Have you picked up any of their other cheeses? Do you stop there to just eat the samples instead? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.