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Favorite Cheese


AzRaeL
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Three favorites:

Gjetost

Parmagiana-Reggiano

Sharp Canadian Cheddar

*honorable mention goes to Nokkelost - it would have been up there, but the FDA blocked its import to the U.S. Why? Leiden, which it's based on, comes close, but not close enough.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi - Well my favorite is bleu d'auvergne although it's more like a physical need than anything. Then there's

Epoisse - I urge you to please try this cheese if you haven't already.

St. Nectaire

St. Marcellin

Something I really adore is the cheddar you can get in upstate New York. There's nothing else like it.

-Lucy

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Lucy, after reading your other post and knowing of your appreciation of cheese, I will try your recommendation of anything I haven't tasted. Please tell me about Epoisse, St. Nectaire, and St. Marcellin.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Something I really adore is the cheddar you can get in upstate New York.  There's nothing else like it. 

-Lucy

Lucy,

Welcome to eGullet! Nice posts.

As much as I love a good upstate NY Cheddar, the best I've ever had is a ten year old aged cheddar from Ontario, Canada that I buy from Chaput in Montreal. One of the benefits of living in eastern upstate NY is being relatively close to Montreal.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Hi Susan and docsconz!

The upstate New York cheese I pine over not having is found very close to the Canadian border near Lake Ontairo so I assume it's very close to what docsonz is talking about ..

-------------------

Epoisse - This is one cheese that must be enjoyed at it's peak of ripeness in order to really be fully appreciated. The first time I had it was in one of those instants of synchronicity that sometimes happen; I had been reading an alticle that mentionned epoisse and then that very same day saw it at this cheese counter where they were selling off some that was "ready to eat". It comes in a rather tall wooden box, which is open, with the lid attached to the bottom, and covered with a plastic that has lots of little holes punched though it to let it breathe. It's orange and slimy looking and the riper it gets, the darker it gets, sometimes almost brown around the edges. It's still ok to eat when it's at that stage, but best to buy when it has a conssistant coloring over the whole surface. This kind of cheese you must buy whole, because if they cut it, it will melt down into the bottom of the box.

The lady who sold it to me enclosed the box it in a waxed paper envelope which she heat sealed behind the counter. I continued with my shopping. The odors in French grocery stores (especially the kind that have cheese counters) are pungent in every square inch between their walls. Some good, some bad, all there. I never really noticed that despite my cheese having been heat sealed in waxed paper, I was resembling Pig Pen, trudging around being followed by a slightly grey cloud of Parfum d'Epoisse throughout the store. No one else seemed to notice, either.

Then I got on the metro to go home. I boarded the car, and at the next stop, a young man with longish spiked hair died black and eyebrow, nose, and lip piercings came and sat next to me. This is not odd. There are many people like this in the town and neighborhood where I live. There was an elderly woman seated across from me. The brief thought that I wish some people would shower more often crossed my mind. One of these people, either the old lady or the pierced boy seated to my right was in need of some serious hygeine.

I shifted in my seat. Ugh. That odor! It smelled like dirty diapers! Was there a baby on the car? The old lady was staring directly at me, a hard cold glare. This too is normal. Most old ladies in Lyon stare this way. But for some reason I felt the need to communicate about this odor! In an effort to assert my reaction to it, I flared my nostrils and blinked in a way I knew other French women to do. An incremental flash of amusement glistened in her eye and dissapeared.

My stop came and I left the car. My god! Was one of those stinkers following me? Who was it, the old lady, Piercing, or the silent baby? I turned to have a glimpse of the offender as I exited the metro station. Moment of catharsis - I was alone.

Epoisse - The odor is the barrier. But if you can bring yourself to break that barrier, heaven waits on the other side. It's a cheese from bourgogne made from milk from cows limited to 4 select breeds, that are fed only from fields falling only in the air d'Epoisse. They have special qualifications for fertilizing the soil there. The cheese has been washed in a brine which progressively contains more and more marc during it's 4 weeks in the producers cave.

The flavor of the rind is not as sharp as you would imagine it to be, and since the marc flavor is generally contained in the rind, it's commonly eaten along with. I like this cheese best accompanied with a nice full bodied wine like Cote du Rhone, A young Condrieu, or any of the vins de pays of Bourgogne. The salt from the brine comes after the flowering of the marc on your palette, followed by the rich, stable, and pastoral cream of the body of the cheese. This cheese is the father of an array of offshoot artisinal cheeses done with the same method but not falling under the appellation.

I'll tell about St. Nectaire & St. Marcellin in another post!

:wub:

- Lucy

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1) Tette de Moine - firm and very funky, with serious bite on the end when it's well aged :rolleyes:

2) Shropshire Blue - shhep's milk - spicey and salty and amazing :smile:

3) Mimmolette - nutty and salty and almost reggiano like in texture - but orange :huh:

honorable mention

Cahill's - hey, if nothing else - the Irish know how to have fun with their cheese :biggrin:

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Outstanding post, Lucy. You captured the very essence of epoisses!. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I found Tibetan Yak Cheese at Whole Foods the other day. I imagined that the taste to be sharp and smelly. On the contrary, it is very mild and creamy semi-hard cheese. I am pleasantly surprised.

I am in love with Manchego. I like a little sharper Manchego. I sprinkle walnuts and honey over slices of Manchego. It's yammy! :wub:

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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Lucy, after reading your other post and knowing of your appreciation of cheese, I will try your recommendation of anything I haven't tasted. Please tell me about Epoisse, St. Nectaire, and St. Marcellin.

The best place to buy these cheeses considering where you (and I) live is fromages.com. Overnight delivery from France. I've ordered from them many times. They're reliable - and their cheeses are wonderful. Robyn

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Lucy, after reading your other post and knowing of your appreciation of cheese, I will try your recommendation of anything I haven't tasted.  Please tell me about Epoisse, St. Nectaire, and St. Marcellin.

The best place to buy these cheeses considering where you (and I) live is fromages.com. Overnight delivery from France. I've ordered from them many times. They're reliable - and their cheeses are wonderful. Robyn

That is good to know. Thanks, Robyn!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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i realized the French Raclette tastes NOTHING like Swiss Raclette.

I used to not like Raclette till i tried Swiss Raclette.

French is like soft and stinky and weird tasting.

Swiss is like perfectly salty, firm and absolutely delicious.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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  • 2 months later...
I found Tibetan Yak Cheese at Whole Foods the other day. I imagined that the taste to be sharp and smelly. On the contrary, it is very mild and creamy semi-hard cheese. I am pleasantly surprised.

I just got some Tibetan Yak Cheese from igourmet.com just because my curiosity was piqued. It is rather barnyardy - definately redolent of hay and grass. While it is interesting, I cannot say that it is my favorite. Perhaps it will grow on me.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 2 weeks later...
Parmesean - the REAL stuff in a block, not the cardboard tube from Kraft at Safeway.

Right, neither the cardboard tube nor the stuff in it should be called Parmesan. :biggrin:

I think I'm going to bow out from naming three cheeses for the simple reason, that I have favorites for different uses; my favorites have have changed over the years and will continue to change; but most of all because what I enjoy most, whether in cheese or wine or food in general, is discovering new tastes. My early favorites were the soft runny and very creamy French cheeses such as the ubiquitous Brie and Camemberts and the hard Gruyere and Emmenthaler. (I'm leaving out the abominations of industrial processing experienced in my childhood.) From there it was a small step to the odoriferously riper Munster, Pont-Leveque and Livarot. Later I began to discover other ranges of textures and flavors particularly goat cheeses and then sheep cheeses. Blues came in along the way--a really good Forme d'Ambert is still a favorite. All of these were French cheeses and for a long time, I limited myself to French cheeses and good Parmesan and Peccorino for pasta--the former on meat sauces in particular. The hard sheep's tommes from the Pays Basque were a good introduction to the Spanish cheeses on the other side of the Pyrenees when we started to travel in Spain. Spanish cheeses rekindled an earlier interest in cheese as snack, rather than as a course after salad and before dessert as had been the rule in France. We haven't traveled much in Italy, but a great New York Italian food store--DiPalo's, for those here in NYC--has alerted us to yet another range of cheeses. Oddly enough DiPalo also carries some of the best Manchego I've had in NY. Louis says he carries it because Manchego is a big seller in Italy.

I'm not even sure if my current favorites should be the ones I eat most regularly because I can get good examples in NYC, or if they should be the ones I crave most, but don't eat unless I'm in the area where they are made because they are either unavailable here, or so much better there. All I know is that I really don't have to pick only three and that the variety itself is part of what makes cheese wonderful.

You have tried Artisinal?

“Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.”

James Thurber (1894-1961), American writer and cartoonist.

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Without a doubt, my top 3 table cheeses are....

Drum Roll Please...

1) Shropshire Blue

2) Humbolt Fogg

3) Keen's Farmhouse Cheddar

But I still wouldn't want to live without Parm-Reg, Gruyere, and Gorganzolas.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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My very favorite cheeses are the English

Caerphilly, Lancashire or Leicester, Stilton

Then there is the Ricotta Salata

Buffalo mozzarella from Italy

Spanish Manchego

Pierre Robert from France

and a true Wisconsin Brick cheese

which is really difficult to find anywhere outside that state.

Fortunately there is a Wisconsin cheese purveyor who ships.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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No way in hell am i picking three "favorites" - impossible!

I will go ahead and fourth or fifth the people that listed Shropshire Blue, which not only tastes wonderful, but also has a rich golden color that makes it attractive on a cheese plate.

Someone else listed Tillamook Cheddar - yum

A recent find: Dutch Parrano Originale. Per their slogan, "Looks sort of Dutch, tastes sort of Italian." Melts like a dream. My new secret weapon pizza cheese. It's sort of like Gouda, texturally. Website says it's a "deanery" cheese, and defines that as a cheese that is made using a "special coagulant" to flavor it.

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm in cheese heaven. The order I placed with Di Bruno Bros. arrived today and we have Saint Marcellin, Traditional Italian Fontina, Gorgonzola Piccante, Swiss Raclette, Cabrales, Saint Nectaire, Parm-Reg. Stravecchio, and 6-year aged Gouda. Yum! (They were out of the Epoisses.)

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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