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Cheese Cheese Cheese


Treva
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I am in a metaphorical cheese cave at present and could use some fresh air on the topic of cheeses.

Please:

What are you favorite cheeses and do you have a memorable cheese experience to relate?

Do you prefer cow's milk, sheep's milk, goat's milk or combo?.

And… do you have a preferred type of cheese i.e. soft-ripened, washed, blue, semi hard etc. ?

And... do you prefer French cheese over Italian, Spanish etc.

And… what about the new world of American artisanal and farmstead cheeses?

And… flavor pairings. For instance - I've taken to a lovely honey & whiskey mustard - the mustard seeds are like caviar - and I serve it with five year aged Gouda. Screaming yum!

Then there are the wine pairings.

I invite you to wax poetically about cheese. If you have a cheese passion - tell us about it.

I thank you.

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Oh dear. I'm a bit overwhelmed with cheese thoughts and indulgences at present, but I will take a stab at my own questions.

I can't seem to get enough of these particular cheeses.

Brillat Savarin - a triple cream soft-ripened french cloud

Aged Gouda (5-8 years) - The 8 year cheese requires something like an ice pick to break it up. But the butterscotch caramel crystals explode in the mouth

Valdeón - wrapped in sycamore leaves - this blue dream is salty and sublime

Bayley Hazen Blue - from Vermont's Jasper Hill Farm. Like bark, mushrooms, crumble

Époisses - French washed in Burgundy rind, pungent with creamy tangy soft center

Banon - French ooze. It oozes and oozes

There are more: monte enebro, cravanzina, barrata, tetilla, valencay…

I remain eager to read about the cheese experiences of others.

I will muse over my cheese stories and see if there exists a worthy post.

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Oh dear. I'm a bit overwhelmed with cheese thoughts and indulgences at present, but I will take a stab at my own questions.

I can't seem to get enough of these particular cheeses.

Brillat Savarin - a triple cream soft-ripened french cloud

Aged Gouda (5-8 years) - The 8 year cheese requires something like an ice pick to break it up. But the butterscotch caramel crystals explode in the mouth

Valdeón - wrapped in sycamore leaves - this blue dream is salty and sublime

Bayley Hazen Blue - from Vermont's Jasper Hill Farm. Like bark, mushrooms, crumble

Époisses - French washed in Burgundy rind, pungent with creamy tangy soft center

Banon - French ooze. It oozes and oozes

There are more: monte enebro, cravanzina, barrata, tetilla, valencay…

I remain eager to read about the cheese experiences of others.

I will muse over my cheese stories and see if there exists a worthy post.

Hello Treva,

For a cheese experience approaching Nirvana, sauté some onions, make an omelet, put a slice or two of Brillat Savarin on top and pop it in the oven at 300° for 8-10 minutes. Pork products are optional.

If you really like Epoisses (like I do), it is a perfectly plausible excuse to take a weekend and go to France. Ripened unpasteurized Epoisses and a glass of cold Chablis is a revelation that will strike you dumb.

Another cheese not seen here often is Mimolette, but, again, a good ripened unpastuerized version is very tasty. Others to look for: Livarot (if you like really strong cheese), Saint Marcellin (runny, gooey fun), cave aged Gruyere, Uplands Creamery's Pleasant Ridge Reserve (the most award winning cheese produced in America, Gruyere style) and finally, there is Gjetost (called Brunost in Norway), a hard cheese made from cow's and goat's milk that is unlike any other cheese I've had. Slightly sweet, nutty and very tasty.

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If you really like Epoisses....
Maroilles: Northern France’s pungent answer to taleggio, sex panther cologne and the very, very tired hamburger accoutrement.

Boulette d’Avesnes: Made from stinky Maroille scraps, shaped in a small cone and rubbed with paprika or annatto. Recalls a cheesy suppository, in a good way.

Pélardon de Lozère: Soft-ripened raw goat’s milk 60g hockey pucks of varying ages; creamy white rind to crumbling, shriveled, burst-capillary-blue charcoal briquettes.

Pepato: Cheers to this tangy semi-soft California raw sheep’s milk nugget. Jeers to the whole peppercorns.

Ossau Iraty: One of the few remaining traditionally made hard sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées. Sharp, salty, creamy, nutty, tart and all around nothing short of awesome. What Vermont Shepherd is trying to channel.

Beaufort: 12 month cave-aged alpine cow’s milk gruyèrish derivative in massive 150lb. wheels. The zenith of fondue.

Bleu de Gex: Semi-soft blue raw cow’s milk. Dry -almost crumbly, yellow and nutty, similar to Oxford pedigree grandfathers with jaundice and mild schizophrenia. Clearly has more balls than Fourme d’Ambert.

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Ossau Iraty: One of the few remaining traditionally made hard sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées. Sharp, salty, creamy, nutty, tart and all around nothing short of awesome. What Vermont Shepherd is trying to channel.
:lol: I love this stuff. it's a wonderful treat alongside a dry Martini.

As far as flavor combinations, I like green chile with Gruyere and roasted garlic. The earthiness of the Gruyere is a nice foil for the sharpness of the chile and a good complement to the mellowness of the roasted garlic. Dammit, now I'm thinking about cheese. . .

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Yum!

Thank you Xochitl10, Poivrot Farci, Mark, Pizza man and Pat for your cheese puffs.

Sex panther cologne. Big chuckles.

I want more. Please.

Ideas for over-the-top decadent grilled cheese sandwiches?

~ Grilled lobster chunks with brie on a baguette grilled in truffle butter

~ Grilled Caprese: Roasted tomatoes, mozzarella di buffala, basil pesto on sliced ciabatta grilled in fine xtra virgin

~ Caramelized Onions, aged Quebec cheddar, honey & whiskey seed mustard on sour dough bread

~ Almond butter, Pumpkin & Orange Marmalade and Appenzeller on harvest grain bread

~ Thinking about green chiles, gruyere & roasted garlic on crostini - maybe? Thank you, xochitl10

~ Musing about a port poached pear, candied walnuts and roquefurt - on honey loaf bread

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Anything bleu... and epoisses for me too.

I once had a cheese outside of Munich called Miesbacher (sp?). It is still the only cheese I've ever gagged on-- I just couldn't take it. I could be mistaken, but I believe it was a cow's milk that had been formed into a round and then aged in the ass of a dead goat for 6 months. Again, I could be mistaken.

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I once had a cheese outside of Munich called Miesbacher (sp?). It is still the only cheese I've ever gagged on-- I just couldn't take it.

Northern Europe--the border area of Germany, Belgium and Holland--is apparently the home to many washed rind, really stinky cows milk cheeses, according to a family member who grew up in Holland. Limburger is one of the few that is regularly imported to the U.S., and that has become a caricature of stinky cheese. This same relative brought us half a wheel of a cheese from Northern Holland that he had brought back after a visit. WOW. It was amazing--runny and gooey inside, with a rich complex flavor. The smell, however, was more than Jonathan could tolerate. Even quadruple wrapped in layers of waxed paper and plastic, he could smell it whenever the refrigerator door was opened, and he threw the cheese away--over my vociferous objections. I know there are those out there who will be quick to say, "You can give it to me..." If we ever get any more, Ill be sure to let y'all know :lol:

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Epoisses - anything else is just not stinky enough.

Not taking a shot at Pete (well, kind of, I guess :lol: ) but am I just a crank or has Epoisses entered the cliche phase of its marketing existence? I'm almost embarrassed to to buy it these days, it's the Cheeze Whiz of the yuppie set.

BTW, I've never seen it in the U.S., but if you can get your hands on Vieux Lille, it's got a stank that makes Epoisses seem like Kraft Singles. As with Mr. Dente's Miesbacher, it's dang near inedible.

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This thread has been an education for me. I have not tried nearly as many cheeses as travel and opportunity would have afforded me, so my tastes are somewhat conservative. Still, some things will always be fabulous and are probably what you would get served in heaven:

A good farmhouse Stilton served with dried figs and Madeira (Port is wonderful too but overwhelms the cheese, I find).

Chunks of top-grade, old Parmigiano, broken right off the wheel and eaten as is.

Old Roquefort and Sauternes.

I share the OP's penchant for old Gouda, brittle and amber, served with apples and a good ale.

Brillat-Savarin or a similar triple cream smeared on a baguette and washed down with just about any wine while enjoying a summer lunch under a tree in the National Arboretum.

Raclette on new potatoes after a day of skiing.

Gruyere. If I were forced to live the rest of my life with just one cheese, it would be Gruyere.

Fresh, fluffy specimens of Mozzarella di Bufala, so hard to find--one of the great foods of the world. A well-made caprese is one of the most eloquent testimonials to the bounty and genius of Italian cuisine.

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Gruyere. If I were forced to live the rest of my life with just one cheese, it would be Gruyere.

Indeed. As my good friend Snoop once said, Gruyere is the shizznit.

Man, I remember walking into Suzanne's (remember? anyone?) and ordering cheese based on appearance only and tasting Gruyere for the first time and realizing that it was exactly the cheese that had had in mind for the preceding three years.

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Man, I remember walking into Suzanne's (remember? anyone?) and ordering cheese based on appearance only and tasting Gruyere for the first time and realizing that it was exactly the cheese that had had in mind for the preceding three years.

Suzanne's...a guy took me there for the chocolate chestnut gateau after dinner on a first date. He got a bunch more dates.

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Super stupid question.

I've had the opportunity to try ashed cheese on cheese carts but always refrained.

Question #1: For cheeses with an ash layer, do you eat the ash?

Question #2: If yes, is the ash gritty?

TIA

1) Yes

2) No

Cheesemakers use "vegetable ash" which is completely edible. It is traditionally used in and on various goat cheeses.

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Questions Ashed Above: 1: Yes. 2: No.

Thinking of Morbier and related cheeses w just a thin line of ash, residue of traditional use of ash to preserve cheese. I'll leave it to the erudite to explain how and why the thin layer made its way from coating the cheese to bisecting its innards.

* * *

Shopped on way home as night descended and the air cooled last night. Dangerous with bare legs, short sleeves and hunger. While I enjoy feta, chevre, mozzarella or grated, aged cheese on pasta during the summer, autumn restores desire for more. First choices:

1) Parmesan

2) Stilton for crisp apples

3) Gorgonzola for pears and mac/cheese

4) Aged gouda for making decadent Dutch cheese-crepes (cheese is part of batter vs. a filling)

5) English cheddar

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Super stupid question.

I've had the opportunity to try ashed cheese on cheese carts but always refrained.

Question #1: For cheeses with an ash layer, do you eat the ash?

Question #2: If yes, is the ash gritty?

TIA

Eat the ash. Usually, it is charcoal ash. It isn't gritty; it's fine.

Ash was placed on top of the morning milk to protect it, then the afternoon milk was poured on top of the ash layer. Now it is a style of cheesemaking. Morbier, Mobay, Humboldt Fog, Krotovina have a layer of ash.

Other cheeses are coated in ash to help form the rind. Ash, which is alkaline, is used to mellow acidity as well as promote and mesh with molds for flavor. Valençay, Sottocenere al Tartufo, Saint Maure, Coupole, Montbriac Rochebaron, Humboldt Fog and Montboissie are sprinkled with ash.

Yummy stuff.

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I've started a twitter to reinforce my cheese pleasure studies. This is a non-commercial non-affiliated effort.

If anyone wants to follow along it is http://twitter.com/CheeseTease

As twitters are limited to 140 characters - my posts can be a bit cryptic - also lyrical and silly. If CheeseTease gains a few more followers, it will encourage me - which might be a bad thing.

I welcome comments and contributions, you can twitter to @cheesetease

I'm weak on wine & cheese pairings due to occasional wine headaches and budgetary restrictions - so please help with your knowledge and palates.

I'm loving reading all of your responses and postings on this cheese cheese cheese survey.

Still I want to hear about the fabulous grilled cheese sandwiches that I know you make for yourselves and don't share because you used the last little bit of the roquefort stash or brillat savarin. Selfish you.

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[On Epoisses: Always good to have in your pocket if you don't want to share a seat on the Metro :lol: ]
I've found that carrying a bit of Cabrales at the same time ensures an even wider berth. Especially in Philadelphia in August. :)

Thinking about this some more, I remembered how much I like Wensleydale. It's tangy and crumbly, and goes nicely on a sweetish cracker or simple cookie.

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Thinking about this some more, I remembered how much I like Wensleydale. It's tangy and crumbly, and goes nicely on a sweetish cracker or simple cookie.

I learned most of what I know about cheese from this. Xochitl10 should hold on until about 2:00.

Note also that Wallace and Gromit have a thing for Wensleydale, as well.

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Reggiano-Parmigiano (which I can NEVER spell right). Best enjoyed with a good glass of Laphroaig. If you want something more, toss on a little truffle oil and fresh black pepper. That's my go-to snack if I've had a shitty day at work (lately just "a day at work").

Roquefort on a baguette with a slice of a sweet apple, or put on a pizza with apple and agave syrup.

Parm and Roque have two of the highest levels of glutamate of any non-chemically enhanced food. That's umami, babi!

Ooh, and really old, sharp cheddar! Best with bacon and potato and a green alium.

And chevre with herbs!

Whiz on cheeseteaks if I'm in Philly, mimolette anywhere else.

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A Canary Island cheese is named best in the world at the 2008 World Cheese Awards in Dublin. Queso Arico curado pimenton cheese bested over 2,400 cheeses from around the world. Canada's Cendré de Lune, Von Muhlenen Le Gruyére AOC and a Fourme d'Ambert produced by Marin Pére et Fils were finalists in the competition.

http://www.homesworldwide.co.uk/europe/spa...news_id=0073408

Full list of winners http://www.finefoodworld.co.uk/

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Cheers for Bittinger, Maryland cheese makers. FireFly farms has medaled, including a gold for their aged goat cheese Cabra LaMancha in a rind-washed category, at the World Cheese Awards in Dublin. http://www.drinksmediawire.com/afficher_cd...=3835&lng=2

Andrea of FireFly Farms assures that Cabra LaMancha is in stock and ready for order. The cost $11 for a half pound wedge. A wheel is four pounds at $88. http://www.fireflyfarms.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=688

There were over 2,400 cheeses in competition in over sixty categories.

Are there any DR field reports on other regional artisanal or farmstead cheeses?

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New fave cheese pairings:

Quickes Unpasteurized Cheddar with Earth & Vine's Spicy Apple Garlic Jam.

Quickes Raw English Cheddar wafts a scent like no other - with a grassy horseradish kick and a bit of a bitter aftertaste. But it's more than worthwhile, especially when paired with the Spicy Apple Garlic Jam. Bitter better.

Prima Donna the butterscotchy-parmesan near Gouda ascends to Netherlanders Queen of Kaas when buoyed by Indonesian - Papua New Guinea SIGRI AA specialty coffee. Did a double take midway through my coffee when I popped a piece of PD. I know Prima Donnna intimately, but barely recognized her increased lushness and complexity. The character of the Papua New Guinea SIGRI with its musky nuttiness strengthens with cooling. Their intercourse swooned me.

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In the holiday cheese drawer:

Pierre Robert - Triple Cream Dream

Vento d'Estate - Barrel-aged and buried in the most fragrant hay

Prima Donna - for my niece

Shropshire - for the stew

Banon mini - for me

Gruyère - for the potatos

Gorgonzola Picante - for the gnocchi

Mont Enebro - for the Cava

Valençay - for the truffled green peaches

Manchego - for the Quince, Marconas, Boquerones and Rioja

Langres - for the Champagne

Truffle Tremor - for the Roasted Plums and Sauterne

Garrotxa - for the Gewürztraminer

Bayley Hazen Blue - for the Chanterelles

Roquefort

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