March 30th, 2011
We are constantly searching out the coolest in cheeses. And this spring is in full swing with new – or renewed – selections that come from afar…and sometimes anear…
We’ve given you the scoop on a bunch of them below so you can read up and come find what sounds delectable!
Guffanti Robiola due Latti
Made in the Piedmont region of Italy, this is mostly from cow’s milk with a dash of sheep’s milk (therefore ‘due’ latti – meaning two milks) and is a delectable treat. The paper thin rind covers an unctuous buttery paste that coats the palate. Mild and savory, creamy with a light lingering sweetness, this delicate pillow of soft-ripened cheese will be love at first bite. Champagne is a wonderful foil to this cheese, as are Cava and Prosecco.
Old Kentucky Tomme
Produced by one of America’s legendary cheesemakers – Judy Schad – at her Capriole Farms dairy in southeast Indiana. This refreshing and pretty goat’s tomme matures for up to 6 months, developing a natural rind and creamy, firm paste with mushroom overtones at peak. Its character and flavor are somewhat similar to the French Tomme de Savoie. An especially successful pairing partner for many white wines and lighter beers, we also recommend that you try pairing Old Kentucky Tomme with Chardonnay or dessert wine such as Sauternes.
The Julianna was a fortunate “mistake” of Old Kentucky Tomme. Often when one small part of the cheesemaking process changes, the cheese will become a whole new deal. This little cheese is buttery and smooth like Old Kentucky Tomme, but it’s more nutty and firm with a mushroomy natural rind of herbs like a Brin d’Amore or Fleur du Maquis. Cheeses with herbs aren’t everyone’s thing but the herb overtones are such an integral part of this cheese that it’s definitely an exception that affords trying!
A small drum of lightly aged & pasteurized goat cheese from Poitou (southwest France). The tender, brainy looking but edible rind softens the cheese it covers, creating a thick, silk textured creamy outside. The center is moist, dense and flaky with a tangy flavor in youth that becomes increasingly piquant and nutty with age. It’s a beautiful, approachable cheese that pairs easily with the crisp Sauvignon Blancs of the Loire or grassy Spanish Albariño.
A cute little round of mixed-milk cheese combining fresh cows’ milk, goats’ milk and a touch of Vermont cream. The goat milk is sourced from twenty family farms daily and the cow milk comes from a co-op in Vermont. The cream is separated in the morning and delivered fresh — within few hours — to the creamery. The cheese has a smooth and creamy texture with a mild, fresh goat milk flavor. The Cremont has a crème fraiche finish with notes of cooked bread, hazelnuts and yeast.
Bonne Bouche literally means good mouthful and is a French term used to describe a tasty morsel. Bonne Bouche can be enjoyed fresh or aged up to 45 days. As a young cheese, the texture is mild yet still acidic like a fresh chèvre. As the cheese ages, it becomes softer and the rind becomes more dry and piquant. So good that it won first place for aged goat cheese at the American Cheese Society competition.
Roves des Garrigues (this was here…but it sold out in three days…wait a week or two, it shall return!)
…Doesn’t that sound regal? It’s named after the breed from which the milk is derived – the Rove – and the place where the animals graze – the Garrigues – in Provence. It is essentially a “fresh” goat milk cheese with a natural rind. The vegetation upon which the animals graze offers an immense amount of flavor for a younger fresh goat milk cheese. The flavor of thyme, laurel, fennel, lavender, citronella and other herbs of the Garrigues give accents to the flavor of this lovely little semi-soft cheese.
L’Edel de Cleron
It is made from gently pasteurized cow’s milk, banded with a strip of bark and aged to develop the oozy, runny character of a similar cheese called Vacherin Mont d’Or. The tradition of production stems from the climate and difficulties of living in the mountains; as when the winter came it was literally impossible to deliver milk to the Comte cooperatives, so people made smaller cheeses for home use that could be eaten within weeks. These young cheeses, being fairly fragile were banded with bark of a spruce, fir or pine to hold the shape for storage and serving. Even now these cheeses are best eaten from late fall to spring when the milk is most suitable for this type of cheese. The flavor of L’Edel de Cleron is perfumed with scents of the forest and a slight resinous aspect from the bark. The texture is very rich and creamy.
Cooperative Kaserei Zurwies of Bavaria uses organic and silage-free milk to produce this Limburger. This cheese, with its elegant paste and buttery flavor belies the rather ‘naughty’ reputation that Limburger gained in the past. The thin rind develops from the light washings that this cheese receives during its one month of aging, just enough to give the cheese a luscious buttery flavor with the aroma of damp caves and a pudding texture. The Bavarian Limburger makes a lovely match for most ales; the cheese also marries well with many full-bodied whites and fine red wines.
From the great wine region of Piemonte comes La Tur: a dense, creamy blend of pasteurized cow, goat and sheep milk. Runny and oozing around the perimeter and in the center displaying a moist but cakey, palate coating paste, its flavor is earthy and full with a lingering lactic tang. The effect is like ice cream served from a warm scoop; decadent and melting from the outside in. An ideal regional pairing would be a sparkling Asti as the effervescence will whisk away the richness while matching the mild acidity. We recommend you get backup; La Tur is always the first to go at a party.
A delicate and lovely little round from the Italian Piedmonts; in the “paglia” family of cheeses, so named because they are aged on beds of straw (paglia = straw). Covered with a bloomy rind, the voluptuous paste is mild, creamy, buttery and a little musty. Eat it quickly, otherwise it might run right off the table – not that something this good will be around for that long. Made from pasteurized cow and sheep’s milk.
Original Tilsiter was made by the Swiss in the Emmental valley after they moved to the city of Tilsit in the mid 1800s. Mini Emmenthaler was the goal but different equipment, ingredients, and ambient cultures resulted in a more pungent invention with smaller holes. This Tilsiter comes from Germany where it has become quite popular. Eat it like a Prussian – often and with the darkest bread and beer around.
Robed in powdery grey mold as soft as a cashmere sweater, Hubbardston Blue is soft-ripened to almost a camembert style richness. Inoculated with penicilium roqueforti while still in its liquid state and aged thirty days, Hubbardston’s goat cheese is creamy and complex with deep hints of emerging mushroom. 2nd Place – External Blue Molded Cheeses – 2010 ACS competition
Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta
Consistently an award winner, this soft textured feta style goat cheese is drenched in extra virgin olive oil and infused with garlic, peppercorns, spices and fresh herbs. So soft, it’s a perfect bread or salad topper or with an antipasto. You will find a reason to eat this cheese!!! The farm practices sustainable farming and uses 100% green power.