12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, cow's milk cheese, French cheeses, stinky cheeses, Trou du Cru cheese, washed rinds

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 12

(photo from SFGate)

The little button of Trou du Cru is the perfect blend of sweet and pungent. Essentially, it’s a pocket sized Epoisses cheese, washed with the same Marc de Bourgogne alcohol as it’s larger brother. The nose on it is strong, but it’s bark is much worse than it’s bite. The paste is a combination of butter and straw that lingers long on the pallet. It’s size is ideal for a single serving, for those who don’t like to share their cheeses, but would be right at home at the end of a cheese plate shared with friends.

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12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, Clochette Cheese, French cheeses, goats milk cheese

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 11

(photo from Fine Food Specialist)

Ahh, the Clochette.  If ever there was a cheese that was perfectly dressed for a cheese plate, it is the “little bell.”  With a white, slightly wrinkly rind, this young French goat’s milk cheese is mild and creamy, without much of the barnyard carrying over to the milk. But, because of transport time, we tend to get older, and more wrinkly, Clochettes in the states. This aging can make for a slightly more intense flavor, but takes absolutely nothing away from the sheer beauty of this cheese.

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12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, raw cow's milk cheese, rush creek reserve, stinky cheeses, washed rinds

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 10

(photo from Joy of Cheese)

You want to stick your face in it, don’t you? C’mon, we’re all friends here and, honestly, I wouldn’t judge you if you did.

Rush Creek Reserve is this years “It” cheese on all the cheesecentric blogs. The love started two years ago when Uplands Cheese Company released their companion cheese to their multiple award winning, Pleasant Ridge. This one was crafted in the image of Vacherin Mont D’or and, when perfectly ripe, can have it’s top rind sheered off and inner paste ladled out. It’s paste is dense and its nose and profile is not for those wary of strong cheeses. It shares the same smokey, cured meat flavor that has made cheeses like Vacherin and Winnimere such favored winter cheeses.

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12 days of cheesemas, aged cheeses, cheese advent calendar, cow's milk cheese, Gouda

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 9

(photo from Eats… blog)

So, you think you know what a sharp cheese is? You think it’s a 2 year aged cheddar or something cryovaced from Cabot or Cracker Barrel?

That’s adorable. 

Obviously you’ve never had a 5 year Age Gouda before.

This cheese knocks you in the jaw and doesn’t look back to see if you’re ok. It’s brittle and sweet like a hard butterscotch and riddled with pockets of ‘crunchy bits’ that people lose their shit over (tyrosine, for those that want to up their geek factor). The texture is dry and crumbly, so don’t even both trying to slice this cheese and melting is all but a no go unless you grate it like Parmesan.

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12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, goats milk cheese, sheep's milk cheese, Spanish cheese, Tres Leches cheese

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 8


Mixed milk cheeses are some of my favorites. To me, it’s like having the best of all worlds. With Tres Leches, you have the best of three worlds. You have a slight acidity from the goat’s milk, a rich mouthfeel from the denser sheep’s milk and the cow’s milk is there to make sure everyone keeps it cool. The paste remains firm enough to slice and never gets runny despite it’s bloomy rind. This would be wonderful on an after dinner plate with a light honey (Acacia, maybe).

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12 days of cheesemas, Belper Knolle, cheese advent calendar, illegal cheese, raw milk cheeses, swiss cheeses

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 7

 

(photo from Flickr.com)

My Deadhead friends will know this feeling well. Many of them, even those who have gone to hundreds of shows, have chased a song while on tour. That yearning and deep rooted desire to hear one particular song at a live show. Usually, that song is a rare one, but they don’t feel satisfied until they’ve heard it.

I have found my cheese equivalent.

Belper Knolle haunts me. It does.  I purchased the truffle looking cheese about 4 years ago at The Cheese Iron in Scarborough. The price was steep, so I only took home half a knob–but, I savored it. The texture is hard, as it’s meant to be grated or shaved, and coated in garlic, black pepper and Himalayan Sea Salt. This little raw cow’s milk nugget from Italy tastes like alfredo sauce, through and through. You want to find reasons to break it out and grate it on top of something. It’s that good.

Now here’s the part where I break your heart.

You can’t find it in the US.

I don’t know if it was dumb luck, but coming across it in Maine will probably never happen again. I have emailed cheeseshops and importers, to no avail. So, if you happen to be taking a trip to Europe–remember that name. It’s worth sneaking a little nub back into the country.

And, bring an extra for me, too…. Please?

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12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, cow's milk cheese, italian cheeses, Ubriaco del Piave, Wine washed cheese

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 6

(photo by Affinage Cheese)

The nose on Ubriaco del Piave is intoxicating. The vibrant purple rind is a literal mash-up of Merlot, Raboso and Cabernet grapes and, unlike it’s bastard Spanish cousin, The Drunken Goat, Ubriaco (which means ‘drunk’ in Italian) actually takes on the flavor of the grapes. Its paste is sharp and sweet, with a good bite coming in from the raw cow’s milk. The finish, however, is smooth and pleasant.  Finishing the last bite, with both paste and rind, turns it into a pleasant bowl of berries and cream.

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