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Cheese (2005–2008)


chefbrendis
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I hesitate to post this, having only read the first 3 or 4 pages of the thread before jumping to the end... Surely someone has answered this question in the intervening 11 or 12 pages. I also asked this question elsewhere on eGullet but didn't know about this thread before tonight. I figure you guys know.

My neighbor, who is from the Cognac region of France (and in fact his family was in the business for generations before they sold out to one of the larger producers) gave us a very tasty aged gouda, which we are enjoying. However, it's a huge wedge, and I'd like to know how to take care of it.

Do I wrap it in foil? Put it in a tupperware-style tub and burp it once a week? Wrap it in plastic? Freeze it? (Don't yell at me--this is what he does with cheese. It definitely changes the texture, because I've eaten defrosted cheese at his house and I notice that it's more crumbly. Depending on the cheese, that could be very objectionable. Does it also change the taste?)

We live in a small town in the Colorado mountains, so my local options are very limited. Online ordering is a definite possibility when we find something we like.

Thanks, all--N.

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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I hesitate to post this, having only read the first 3 or 4 pages of the thread before jumping to the end... Surely someone has answered this question in the intervening 11 or 12 pages. I also asked this question elsewhere on eGullet but didn't know about this thread before tonight. I figure you guys know.

My neighbor, who is from the Cognac region of France (and in fact his family was in the business for generations before they sold out to one of the larger producers) gave us a very tasty aged gouda, which we are enjoying. However, it's a huge wedge, and I'd like to know how to take care of it.

Do I wrap it in foil? Put it in a tupperware-style tub and burp it once a week? Wrap it in plastic? Freeze it? (Don't yell at me--this is what he does with cheese. It definitely changes the texture, because I've eaten defrosted cheese at his house and I notice that it's more crumbly. Depending on the cheese, that could be very objectionable. Does it also change the taste?)

We live in a small town in the Colorado mountains, so my local options are very limited. Online ordering is a definite possibility when we find something we like.

Thanks, all--N.

Ok, here is my opinion (keep in mind, although I love my cheese and know a fair bit about it there are other folks lurking this forum that know FAR more than I, and that are FAR more experienced than I am at this point of my rather youngish life).

Aged gouda will be easier to freeze than some cheeses (meaning, some more delicate, soft cheeses). Ages gouda is very hard and is already at a somewhat crumbly state...whereas softer cheeses, when frozen might forego some of their lovely texture characteristcs, aged gouda is already pretty dry...). I hope that all made since...so, having said that...

Wrap in plasitc (i.e saran wrap). NOTE: some cheeses do better in tupperware or wax paper (like fresh or soft goats cheese...many do far better in wax paper). I would cut the gouda into pieces.....and freeze each of those wrapped in plasitc. Why cut in pieces? So that when you need a CHUNK you only have to pull that individual piece out and defrost it....once....and then enjoy it.

I could be wrong on this...someone please correct me if I am.

Also - you mentioned your aged gouda....as Aged...how "Aged"? 2 years? 4 years??? Knowing this might help others give you more accurate advice.

I ahve had a piece of aged gouda that was 4 years aged...its been in the fridge for about a month and its still going strong and tastes the same as it did a month back. Gouda holds up very well and will last in the fridge longer than many cheeses...that will go bad after a few weeks. I expect my Gouda will still be good in a few months.

Hope that that helps, and I hope that I am not way off on my recommendations!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Lindsay is on the right track.

How big is your piece of gouda? Can you finish it in 6-8 weeks? I am not an advocate of freezing - it will definitely change the cheese. If you think you can eat it within 2 mos, I'd wrap in saran, then foil, and put it in the veggie drawer. Cut from one side, so that if the other exposed face gets moldy, it will help preserve that side. You may need to trim and rewrap a few times.

The bottom line is that once the wheel is cut, the cheese is still a living thing and will continue to change. In my opinion, freezing just mucks up the texture and flavor - of course people do it, but you can make an aged gouda last a long time in your fridge if you keep it from drying out.

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Thanks, gariotin. Yeah, according to Wikipedia, Yarg is just the oiginal recipe owner Allan Gary's name, spelled backwards.

The Cote Hill is made just up the road from where I live. It has a really nice crust and has a similar kind of taste as Stilton, only a touch stronger but a bit less "steely". It doesn't have that really sharp stab that I think Stilton can sometimes have. It's a great cheese.

I just need to point out, I'm only just getting into cheese seriously, so please forgive any descriptive faux-pas. :blush:

Edited by GTO (log)

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I know nothing abt cheese but lately have shown a growing liking for a few types

and would appreciate cheese enthusiasts care to feed me with knowledge for the u/m cheese like whether it is goat or cow cheese, country of orgination, soft or hard, how the colour comes abt and importantly the taste. Cheeses like Raclette,ricotta,mastelo,fregola, mimolette and others?

Thanks .

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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Hi, Cookwithlove.

Raclette, Ricotta and Mimolette are all cow's milk cheeses.

I've never had Mastelo before but if I remember rightly, it's kind of like halloumi/mozzarella.

Fregola, I've never heard of before, so I can't help you there.

Raclette is from France and really needs heating or grilling in some way before it really shines.

Ricotta, obviously is from Italy and is a heated Whey "cheese". I think it's kind of like the Italian cottage cheese, only better.

Mimolette is one of my favourite coloured cheeses. It's from France and is often aged well beyond 20 months, which is why it's so strong and fruity. It's colour comes from a natural dye called "Annatto", which features in many orange coloured cheeses, including one of my favourites, Shropshire Blue.

Hope that helps, I'm just starting to learn too but it's fascinating isn't it?

Edited by GTO (log)

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Another great factoid about Mimolette is that the rind is naturally formed thru the work of cheese mites. If you look really closely at the rind, you can see small craters where they have done their work. Probably back when these cheeses were made at home on farms, they were put to mature on wooden boards. The mites migrated to the cheeses, where there work produced a protective rind so the inside of the cheese could age safely.

Cookwithlove and GTO - a good cheese book is really helpful as you learn your way. Also, as GTO points out, a good cheesemonger who is willing to yack is about the best thing you can do. In the UK, there are books by Julia Harbutt, that also have great photos. Here in the US, there is the Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins, which is now pretty old and needs to be updated, but still a good reference. Also good books by Max McCalman and Laura Werlin.

Gotta love that cheese!

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I'll be looking for that, thanks, gariotin.

I'll be looking out for little craters in my Mimolette next time too.

I just got back from the Cheese Society again with three more, I can do pictures sometime if anyone wants to see.

I got a cut of "Blackbomber" - An incredibly cool and tangy Cheddar with a jet black wax coating, which looks really bad ass.

Smoked Poacher - Another Lincolnshire native. Very nicely rounded, good smoked flavour with no nasty aftertaste.

And finally, Pecorino Chili - Which is, believe it or not, Pecorino with flakes of chili! This one os very clever, at first, it's all cheese, no spice and then all of a sudden the chili comes in.

I'm loving this writing about cheese lark, I could do it all day, lol.

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I'll be looking for that, thanks, gariotin.

I'll be looking out for little craters in my Mimolette next time too.

I just got back from the Cheese Society again with three more, I can do pictures sometime if anyone wants to see.

I got a cut of "Blackbomber" - An incredibly cool and tangy Cheddar with a jet black wax coating, which looks really bad ass.

Smoked Poacher - Another Lincolnshire native. Very nicely rounded, good smoked flavour with no nasty aftertaste.

And finally, Pecorino Chili - Which is, believe it or not, Pecorino with flakes of chili! This one os very clever, at first, it's all cheese, no spice and then all of a sudden the chili comes in.

I'm loving this writing about cheese lark, I could do it all day, lol.

You should know this one by now - on the forum no needed to ask "if you guys want to see picts. I can post them"....OF COURSE WE WANT TO SEE THEM. If you ahve them - post them....no questions asked.

HAHA - ok, now for real...please post!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Many thanks GTO and Gariotin for educating and sharing with me their experiences with cheese. How does those mites come abt n at what temperature, are they there to expedite aging faster?

For reclette cheese I know you need a raclette cheese grinder or salamander. Do you know of goat cheese similiar to the mimolette soft on the inside and red on the outside?

Keep the photos coming in. A picture speaks a thousand words goes the saying.

Sorry my last question anyone know how to pair cheese with wine; any thumb of rule to follow?

May you all have a good day!

Edited by Cookwithlove (log)

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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I'm not quite sure what you mean, cookwithlove, about a Goat's milk cheese similar to Mimolette.

The only thing I can suggest, is to look for the "fruitiest" Goat's cheese you can find.

'Blue de L'Herault' is a blue Goat's milk cheese. The little book I have describes it as being "sharp and tangy" - Like Mimolette.

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Lindsay is right, GTO - we love pix on this thread! I am interested in the smoked Poacher - are you suggesting that this is a smoked piece of Lincolnshire Poacher??? That sounds very intriguing. L Poacher is hard to get in the US and quite pricey, but well worth it when y find it. I think the idea of smoking it could be interesting.

Cookwithlove - as to the mites on the Mimo, the cheeses are brushed well & cleaned off before leaving the factory, so you don't have to be worried about seeing them. I don't think they make the cheese age faster, they are just part of the unique rind formation of that cheese. I am also at a loss for an orangey goat cheese. To the best of my knowledge, the use of annetto to make the vibrant bright color is only used w/cow's milk - can anyone think of a goat or sheep exception? In general, a natural orangey-red rind is characteristic of a washed-rind cheese, and again, that is not often seen in goat cheeses. Sorry I can't be of more help on that question!

As to wine & cheese pairings, there are several books & webpages that would give you some basic suggestions. Some folks believe that pairing a cheese with a wine from the same area is a good rule...but then again, some people don't adhere to that idea. Trial and error is the most fun!

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I've been wanting to have my own little cheese tasting for awhile now, so I thought I'd come to the experts! I want to put together a 4-5 cheese little menu to try. I'm open to almost anything, but I don't really like blue cheese. If possible, if anyone has suggestions of what to have along side that would be fantastic! And also, preferably nothing too too exotic, because the gourmet grocers near me has a nice selection, but not gigantic.

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There are several ways you can go. One is to stay with one milk - either cow or sheep or goatsmilk, and do 3-5 different cheeses from the same type milk. Or do 3 cheeses, one from cowsmilk, one from sheepsmilk and one from goatsmilk. Or pick a particular kind of cheese - say cheddar - and have one cheddar from each of 3-5 cheddar producing regions. Be sure to take notes so you can get the ones you liked again. These notes will also help you sort out the flavors and textures you like best. Be prepared for your tastes to change as you taste different cheeses. And please, don't give up on blues. Ask the person at your cheese shop for the mildest blue they have, and try it. I like Amish Blue for starters. Try drizzling just a bit of honey over one bite and see how you like that.

Be sure to try a Spanish Manchego. It's a sheepsmilk cheese that is just spectacular. I know others will chime in here with their favorites to recomend that you try. I serve cheese with walnuts and marcona almonds, and fruit - apples or pears this time of year. Have fun!!!

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Dana is absolutely right.

Dina Cheney, in her book "Tasting" recommends that you serve your cheeses with accompaniments such as: Grapes, apples, pears, figs & dried apricots.

She also suggests nuts and bread (such as a baguette), aswell as slices of cured meats & wine.

All are important, so that you can draw comparisons and relate flavours etc.

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Enurmi, we had some great conversations about this topic a while back in the thread. Scroll thru to see some reports from others - someone also posted a link to a good webpage that gave ideas for cheese boards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Where are all the cheeseheads?

Just got back from a nice vacation in the Caribbean. Our upscale hotel had a "gourmet cheese & wine" spread every evening. "Gourmet cheese" consisted of manchego, young gouda, and pepper jack. The manchego was quite nice, so we nibbled on that as we drank our plonk-y "gourmet wine". Hey - it was free...

Just went to the store to pick up milk, fruit, etc and had to buy a little piece of Brin d'Amour. This wonderful sheeps milk cheese is from Corsica and looks like it has been dropped on the barn floor, as it is rolled in rosemary leaves. We used to be able to get the original, raw milk version here in the States, which was hugely flavored and redolent of the sappy rosemary stems. Now it is a pasteurized version, and while not as full of the steamroller effect on your palate, still a very nice cheese experience.

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Yes, it has been pretty quiet. We're just back from two weeks inCape Town. Wonderful place & great weather.

Cheese desert, but great food & wonderful wines.

So, needing a hit I went to market yesterday & pigged out. Bought several little cabecous, Laguiole, gaperon, Mont Salvey, Blue de Pays, St Augur and Preferance.

I'm happy as a pig in............................................ clover now>

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