I have many fond memories of eating Primula cheese spread as a child. I loved the fact that you could squeeze it out like toothpaste to write secret messages or draw funny shapes in your sandwiches that nobody else could see once you'd slapped another piece of bread on top ! I also loved the fact that, if you had the ham Primula in a tube and the nozzle got clogged with a lump of ham, you had to suck it out of the end to clear the blockage. (I hasten to add that this was childhood logic, it would be much more hygienic to shove the ham back in with a toothpick - but definitely less fun !)
Last week, I was sent some packs of their newest products to try out. They explain : "New Primula Cheddar Cheese and Black Pepper Spread and Primula Cheddar Cheese and Onion Spread are deliciously smooth and creamy spreads made with mature Cheddar cheese and the added kick of black pepper or onion. Aimed at Cheddar lovers of all ages, the new spreads are adapted from the secret recipe of the much loved original Primula and contain a high percentage of real Cheddar cheese, giving a stronger, distinctly Cheddar taste. Ideal for those who enjoy strongly flavoured cheese but in a lower fat, convenient spread, the new Primula Cheddar Cheese Spreads contain just 16% fat, compared to an average of around 33% for most hard Cheddar cheeses."
We tried out both flavours and, while the adults loved both flavours equally, the kids preferred the onion variety because the found the black pepper one too "spicy". I was intially surprised by how runny the spreads seem, as we're more used to the firmer Dairylea or Philadelphia spreads, but I actually prefer the slightly sloppier texture because it's much easier to spread on bread without ripping big holes in it.
It's good for a lot more than just eating on bread though. We've eaten it in wraps, with ham and salad in pitta pockets, stirred into mashed potato and as a baked potato topping. I also think it would make a lovely pasta sauce or a filling for a twist on Chicken Kiev. Primula have loads of other suggestions though : "The delicious new tastes make Primula Cheddar Cheese Spreads not only great for snacking - spread on top of crackers, oatcakes, toast or as part of Britain's favourite cheddar cheese and pickle sandwich - but the new distinct stronger flavours make fantastic, versatile ingredients to create quick and easy meals. Why not try Primula Cheddar Cheese and Onion Macaroni with Bacon for a simple intensely flavoured take on the favourite. Or try Primula Cheddar Cheese and Black Pepper Spread melted in to sautéed leeks to make a creamy leek and cheddar sauce, with added peppery zing, to accompany grilled chicken."
If you fancy trying out the macaroni recipe, here it is :
Primula Cheddar Cheese and Onion Macaroni with Bacon
125g Smoky Bacon, chopped into little pieces
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Clove of Garlic
125g Tub Primula Cheddar Cheese and Onion Spread
4 tbsp milk
1. Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender. Drain when cooked.
2. Heat a frying pan and add the bacon pieces. Fry until cooked. Remove the bacon from the pan into a separate dish.
3. Heat the olive oil and add the garlic, onion and red pepper. Sauté until tender.
4. Add the bacon back to the pan, stir in the milk and Primula Cheddar Cheese Spread.
5. Stir in the macaroni and gently heat until warmed through.
6. Serve at once.
Like all of the Primula range, the new Primula Cheddar Cheese Spreads are a good source of calcium, high in protein and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Suitable for vegetarians and gluten free, they are also pasteurised, making them totally safe for mums to be.
A 25g serving contains 53 calories making them a low calorie alternative to hard cheeses, if you're watching what you eat. Above all though, I love the fact that they are so versatile and big on taste.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £1.25 for 125g
Other reviews you may be interested in :