12 days of cheesemas, blue cheese, cheese advent calendar, goat cheese, Monte Enebro, Spanish cheese

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 5

(photo from Formaggio Kitchen)

The mental image of blue cheese is a stark white canvas with a smattering of blue-green pock marks across, and through, its surface.

Monte Enebro is not that kind of blue cheese. 

This pasteurized Spanish goat’s milk cheese is not inoculated with peniciullium roqueforti and then pierced with a hollow needle, leaving room for the air to bloom it’s molds. This cheese is enrobed in it, leaving it’s spicy blue profile to linger at the end, rather than attack the senses on first taste.  The bright paste, when young, is tart and tangy. As the cheese ages, the milk turns bolder and more pungent–the grass traded off for that barnyard ‘goatiness’ that can alienate people to any goats milk cheese.

12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, cheesemas, goat cheese, maine cheese, Sea Smoke, Sunset Acres

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 3

(photo from Cook’s Cache)

We’re keeping it very local for this one with Sunset Acres ash veined, bloomy rind: Sea Smoke from Sunset Acres in Brooksville, ME. Ash and cheese together is a centuries old tradition. But it wasn’t until Humboldt Fog came out, some 20 years ago, that it became popular state side.

But, the Sea Smoke is markedly different from Humboldt Fog. For one thing, the paste stays firm enough to slice and never gets loose or threaten to pull away from the rind. It’s also less salty and more crisp than ‘the Fog,’ finishing on a bright mineral note.