As part of the Foodbuzz publisher program, I recently was selected to sample Sargento’s Natural Cheese slices and see how they compare with processed cheeses. We were given a $25 giftcard to buy a pack of Sargento cheese slices, a processed cheese for comparison, and an accompaniment for the cheeses.
I’ve purchased Sargento cheese in the past whenever it is on sale, but I never really paid attention to it enough to determine whether I like it better than other cheese brands. After much debating, I decided to try a mozzarella cheese. One of the reasons was that I was able to find a processed version that was sliced similarly, so that we could do a blind taste test.
I invited a few friends over for the cheese tasting. It was a little bit of a hurried effort since I did it the weekend before my vacation and had a lot going on that weekend. So the spread isn’t as pretty as I would have liked.
I had the cheeses set out side by side, with no package labels in sight. We ate the cheeses with fresh tomatoes from my mom’s garden and glasses of red wine.
We were encouraged to feel, taste, smell the cheeses. It was a little like going wine tasting. I was surprised at how different the cheeses were.
First, the texture was very different. The processed cheese was more rubbery. The Sargento cheese was much softer.
The smell was quite different as well. The Sargento cheese had a much nicer aroma to it.
Finally, the taste was also vastly different. I couldn’t believe both were Mozzarella cheese because they tasted so different. The processed cheese tasted very one dimensional. The Sargento one had a lot more flavors going on, with hints of sourness and other tastes in the cheese.
In the end, everyone preferred the Sargento cheese. Thanks to Foodbuzz and Sargento for giving me the opportunity to host this tasting party and learn a little more about natural cheeses.