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, bonnieview farm, cheese, cheese advent calendar, cheesemas, Herve Mons, Pyrenees Brebis, sheep's milk cheese, vermont shepherd

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 4

(photo from a random Tumblr)

Pecorinos and Manchegos seem to dominate when we talk about sheep’s milk cheese, but little is ever said about Brebis. Yet, you can’t have a conversation about sheep’s cheese–or ANY cheese–without bringing the French into it. For their contribution, many know of the widely produced Petit Basque. However for those who want a little more age and nuance to their cheese, you can look to Pyrenees Brebis.

As is characteristic of all sheep’s cheese, the Brebis is rich in butterfat, with an ever so slight back note of caramel and almonds.  I always find cheeses like the Brebis (locally, look for those from Bonnieview Farm and Major Farm in Vermont), carry what the sheep were eating that season a little more upfront. So, don’t be surprised if you catch glimpses of clover and mustard amongst the sweet profile of the milk.

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12 days of cheesemas, cheese advent calendar, counting down my favorite holiday cheeses, holiday cheese plates, major farm, sheep's milk cheese, vermont shepherd

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 7


(photo SF Chronicle)

Four months, five if you’re lucky. That’s how long the season is for this raw sheep’s cheese from Major Farm, Vermont Shepherd. And, if you’re truly lucky, you’ll get a taste of one of the first batches of the season, when the sheep are grazing on lemongrass and clover. Seriously, they send you whimsical cards telling you what the sheep were eating the week the cheese was made. It makes it seriously romantical and may just make you focus on the flavor profile of the cheese, rather than just munching it down. As the season goes on, the flavor becomes less grassy and sweet, taking on a bit of a nuttier, drier profile.

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