Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cheese Plate Update Two (Electric Boogaloo)

We interrupt your not terribly regular broadcast for more cheese!

I have about eight more cheeses I could discuss - and that's not even counting my February cheese of the month offerings - but I figure four per post is more than enough. It's not like cheese reviews are going to go bad.

In other cheese related news I've started poking at baking a bit more so I'm excited to try a cracker recipe I found which was designed specifically to showcase cheese and I'm looking for a nice baguette recipe, because baguette.

(from ) Comté has a floral aroma with nutty fudge flavors developing in the more mature cheese. The taste is full of nuts and toffee with a lovely long and salty finish. Older cheeses take on a strong, farmyard-like character. The cheese has a thin beige rind which thickens and hardens as the cheese matures.

I've recently had both an older and a younger comte and per my usual preferences the older was the favorite by far.  Aging gives this cheese a savory fullness  (an om nom nom ness, you might say) that I particularly enjoy. I do think the younger would be an ideal choice for introducing someone to the kind of stuff you can't order from the average deli. It has a touch of that Emmental brightness (aka that classic "Swiss Cheese" flavor) but is otherwise really smooth and mild so it presents some nice complexity without being overwhelming.

(from Jarlsberg is a mild, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese of Norwegian origin. Created by Anders Larsen Bakke, it resembles a Swiss Emmental with distinctive, open and irregular ‘eyes’. Many a times Jarlsberg is marketed as a Swiss cheese because of its characteristics, though it tends to be sweeter and stronger than Emmentaler.
Beneath the yellow-wax rind of Jarlsberg is a semi-firm yellow interior that is buttery, rich in texture with a mild, nutty flavour... Since the cheese melts so well, Jarlsberg tastes delicious on sandwiches, fondues, quiches and on hot dishes.

This initially stuck me as extremely nutmeg-y! A little more of that "Swiss cheese" bite, but well balanced out by a lot of sweetness and butter. Pleasantly chewy and firm so I'll happily forgo any kind of cracker or fruit to nosh on this all by its lonesome, though I have to be really careful doing that as I'll end up eating ridiculous swaths of it in endless stream of "just one more paper thin slice".

Beemster Goat
(from Beemster Goat cheese, aged for 4 months, smooth & regresing has a wonderfully clean, sweet taste. Decidedly different from fresh chèvre, this cheese is sure to please even those who are not goat cheese connoisseurs, making it the perfect introductory cheese for consumers new to the goat category.

Again decidedly nutmeggy! Quite creamy and fresh with only a little goatyness (more in the aftertaste than anything) but I can't help but feel like I would like this MUCH better if it were aged long enough to bring out more caramel and add some of those neat crunchy crystals into the texture.

Pittig, 4 year old Gouda 
Extra aged gouda - 4 years
Pasteurized Cow's Milk
From the Netherlands

Traditional Rennet
An almost toffee-like sweetness brings to mind fresh cows’ milk and accentuates notes of nuttiness in this versatile aged Gouda that is a perfect table cheese and can add wondrous flavor to your favorite sandwich. Hints of butterscotch also make Pittig an ideal selection as a dessert cheese.  

This is, to put it plainly, my jam.

Every time I have an aged Gouda I fall a little more in love, so I held on to this one from my holiday cheese gifts knowing it would be something special and I was RIGHT. I found this to be very salty and kind of popcorn-y but I DID eat it with a rather sweet Jazz apple. I can see how that would read as butterscotch with a more neutral accompaniment.

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