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.

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.

12 days of cheesemas, cheese, cheese advent calendar, kinsman ridge, landaff creamery, washed rinds

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 1

(photo from Formaggio Kitchen)

Well, it’s that time of year again, kiddies.Cheesemas.

The first in our list is Landaff Creamery‘s Kinsman Ridge, a raw cow’s milk washed rind aged in The Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. Kinsman Ridge is one of two cheeses produced at Landaff Creamery, in New Hampshire, the other being their name sake, Landaff. While it ages in the caves of Jasper Hill, it is a true farmstead cheese and, like the Landaff, is truly unique.

The paste is extremely pliable, though it never never gets runny like many washed rinds. This is more akin to Taleggio in it’s texture. The flavor, however is much more mild. It has notes of grass, chives and even a bit of brown butter with the rind. I would serve this in matchsticks with almonds. No bread, it takes up too much cheese room.