Mini Cheddar Balls With Smoked Paprika and Chives

One of the cheeses I grew up with is cheddar cheese.  Commercially produced, always available and the taste is always reliably good.  It was actually one of the few I chose to snack on when I was young.  While in a delicatessen in Rome, I chanced upon two kinds of cheddar cheese from England.  I have always wanted to try the real thing but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.  It's close to impossible to find it in Italy.  I bought both kinds.  One orangey and one pale yellow.  The paler one was more aged than the orangey one which by the way, got its color from beta-carotene, a natural content of milk when the cows are pasture-fed with fresh grass in spring.  It's the same natural pigment that gives the orange color of carrots. 

My son didn't give me a chance to include the pale cheddar to a recipe I was thinking of doing because he practically wiped it out all by himself.   It was delicious!  I used the orange one to make these balls or spread.  I simply mixed it with cream cheese and smoked paprika (sweet paprika gives a different result) and another batch with piment d'Espelette (Espelette pepper from France).  Both were great but the smoked paprika gave it an excellent blend.  I loved it until the end.  Rolling them to mini balls and tying them with fresh chive each made it a beautiful appetizer.  If you are in a rush, just quickly spread it on a piece of cracker or toasted bread then you are ready to serve!   

Buon appetito!

For this recipe, please make a quick trip to She Knows where I also write other recipes.  Click on this link to take you there.  If you want to see my other recipes in their site, click on this link.  Thanks and enjoy your day!  

Coming up next will be my special post about the Food and Wine of the Langhe and Roero Hills of Piedmont in Italy.