Applebys Cheshire, Appreciating the greats, cheese tastings, english cheeses, raw milk cheeses, tasting cheese, Tasting the Greats

Appreciating The Greats: Applebys Cheshire

Cheshire cheese is one with great, if muddied, history. Some say it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, some say it is not mentioned until 1580 and others say the cheese is nearly a thousand years older than the Domesday book, dating back to early Romans. Whether it be 500, 1000 or 2000 years old, it is a cheese of pride in England, particularly for the Appleby family in Shropshire, England.

While many makes of Cheshire are industrialized (because Cheshire itself does not hold PDO protection), the Appleby name guarantees the buyer that the cheese is still handmade, and clothbound, under the watch of head cheesemaker Gary Gray. The milk comes from the families Friesian Holsteins cows (Holsteins are the black and white variety we’re all familiar with) , which has a lower fat composition in their milk than any other breed.

Their cheese is currently being distributed by Neals Yard Dairy in England.

Tasting Notes:
Milk: Raw Cow
Brand: Applebys–from Neals Yard Dairy

Appearance:
  Rind: Clean, light tan. Faint remnants on the rind from the cloth it was wrapped in.
  Paste: Bright orange–colored with Annatto; Drier looking than many younger cheeses (aged under 1 year)

Smell:
  Rind/Paste: Both smell musty, like a basement. Likely due to the wedge being wrapped in plastic and not in cheese paper

Mouthfeel: Crumbly, dry.

Flavor:
  Rind: I skipped eating this one.
  Paste: Peppery, tangy, acidic–like sour cream.

Advertisements
Standard
ACS, Appreciating the greats, certified cheese professional exam, French cheeses, Pont l'eveque, tasting cheese, Tasting the Greats

Appreciating the Greats: Pont l’Eveque

I knew that The Missus would say something about the smell, she tends to. The cheese sat, quietly in its box, for a week in our vegetable crisper before it began to waft through the refrigerator.  The smell was strong enough to touch your nose, even when you opened the door to the freezer. But, being accustomed to comments being made when I’ve hidden a washed rind in the refrigerator, I preempted her and said, “It’s my cheese,” when she opened the door.

Pont l’Eveque is said to have existed, though known by another name, since the 12th century. It is produced by only 6 makers in the Normandy region of France, which is also home to Camembert, and they share the same wild mushroom aroma and velvety texture. Aside from the smell, the bright orange rind, which is created through the process of washing, brushing and turning which encourages the growth of Brevibacterium linens–known as B. linens in the cheese world. 

Though around for over eight centuries, it did not gain AOC recognition until 1976. Today, that distinction requires the following in production:

  • The milk must come from a controlled area around the village of Pont-l’Évêque, extending to the départments of Calvados, Eure, Manche, Mayenne, Orne and Sein-Maritime. 
  • The curd must be successively divided, kneaded and then drained.
  • During affinage the cheeses must be washed, brushed and turned.
  • The resulting cheese must be one of three sizes:
    • Petit – 8.5-9.5 cm square, and a minimum of 85g of dry matter.
    • Demi – 10.5-11.5 cm by 5.2-5.7 cm, with a minimum of 70g of dry matter.
    • Grand – 19–21 cm square, with a minimum of 650g of dry matter.

 Because she was so vocal about this cheese, I invited The Missus to join me in my tasting.

Tasting Notes
Milk: Pasteurized Cow
Brand: L. Graindorge
Appearance:
     Rind: White, powdery-flour like rind with light orange hue underneath.
     Paste: Stark white, small eyes; young in age.
Smell:

     Rind: Mushrooms*, feet*, raw broccoli*
     Paste: Mushroom, hay
   
Mouthfeel: Creamy, but not runny, slightly firm at core
Flavor:  
     Paste: Slightly sour, peppery*, onion, hard boiled egg white. 
     Rind: Salty, nutty

*Notes from The Missus

Standard