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, 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, bucheron, cheese advent calendar, counting down my favorite holiday cheeses, goats milk cheese, holiday cheese plate, maine cheese, york hill farm maine

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 8


(photo from Stacy Camp Photography)

I will openly come out now and say that York Hill Farm, from New Sharon, ME, is one of my absolute favorite goat cheese makers in New England. They were recently featured in a Culture Magazine article on Maine cheese makers and were big winners this past year at The Big E. And the accolades are well deserved. The two cheeses above, their ‘Bucheron‘ and Capriano are two of my favorites. The Capriano is aged about 6 months and the paste imparts a very distinct nutty, sweetness, without the tanginess that goes along with so many goat cheeses. The Bucheron, aged much younger, embraces the tanginess and all its glory. The cream line of the cheese–the one that gets gooier and gooier as the cheese ages–never really gets a lot of body. But, it does loosen up enough to give you that wonderful dual texture and, therefore, dual flavor that makes so many people love this style of cheese.
One thing, though, that strikes me about just about every one of York Hill’s cheeses is a mineral note in the milk that cuts a bit into the acidity, which is most prominent in their plain chevre.

If you’re looking to track down York Hill’s cheeses, I’d do so soon as their milking season is coming to an end. After that, you’re waiting 4 long months until the next batch of cheese is made.

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