Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

Cheesery

We committed cheese at tillyjane's birthday party this past Sunday. I brought a few odds and ends, from the Rancho Lake cheese caverns, plus the_child and I went to Pastaworks and scored more.

Bleu de Basque
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This is a sheep's cheese from the French Pyrenées. It's more mild and modest than many of its fellow blues, which makes it a good choice for inexperienced blue cheese eaters. (The mold factor on blue cheese can weird some people out, as can the very sharp taste of a robust blue.) I found it a bit firmer than most blues. A nice possibility for a basic or introductory cheese board, or for those not interested in overwhelming flavors. More here.

St. Nectaire
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I got this cheese at New Seasons, unlike everything else on this board, in part because I was looking for Chimay Grand Cru cheese as a snack cheese for Rancho Lake, and they were out. The cheesemonger there recommended this St. Nectaire instead. The flavor was stronger than I expected, but it's a nice, serviceable cheese with lots of taste. It did not stand out for me, and I'm unlikely to try it again.More here.

St. Brendan
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An Oregon goat milk cheese with a wine infusion in the rind, this has a somewhat strong tang. Not goaty in particular, but enough to put off some casual eaters. Nice, firm body, would be good on crackers. Somewhat reminiscent of Drunken Goat.

Pastor Picon
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One of my favorite blues, and a repeat at the cheese board, this mixed-milk Spanish blue was previously discussed here. Yum!

Caruchon
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I really only have two rules when buying unknown cheeses. Nothing with fruit infusions (personal prejudice, that), nothing from the family of cheese-that-smells-like-feet. That tends to include to those very soft, runny French and Italian cheeses, for example. Caruchon really pushed my boundary -- I found the odor skanky. the_child insisted we sample it while at Pastaworks, and she was right. On the tongue, this French sheep's milk cheese has a very different profile than it does in the nose. Tasty, almost warm in affect, with a deep, mellow richness. A bit more description here.

Raclette
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A semisoft cow's milk cheese from Switzerland, this is a nice, plain cheese with a good flavor. Used in a traditional dish of the same name, it could easily be served in sandwiches or on toast, not even noticed for an artisanl cheese. Some more detail here.

Fromage d'Affinoise
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A good triple cream, though we usually get Pierre Robert given the choice. the_child asked for this one. Nice starter cheese for non-cheeseheads. This French cheese was previously discussed here.
Tags: cheese, child, photos
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