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Cheese (2005–2008)


chefbrendis
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Here's one of our very local cheeses. Cabecou. ( Cabécou to give it the proper accent.) By the way, cabeque simply means 'little chevres' in Occitan the old language of the region.

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This is THE cheese of the old Quercy region of France. I bought this box of six today. These are slightly unusual as they're somewhat larger than your average cabeque.

Here's a picture of the label.

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You can see that they're raw milk and come from a farm near Caylus. Caylus being about fours miles West of us. The goats graze on the 'causses de Quercy' which are rocky plateaus with very poor soil lots of scrubby oaks & more than a few truffles.

These cabeque are at the frais stage which means that they are very young & crunbly. Further aging takes them through the cremeau, moelleux, and beurre stages. Frais will be about 48 hours old, cremeau between 5 & 8 days and so on. Older yet are the tres secs . After that you get cabeques wrapped in leaves, soaked in eau de vie and so on.

They're delicious at all stages, but I guess my favorites are at the beurre stage. I usually buy a few of these (about a buck apiece) every Sunday at Linogne market. They don't last long!

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Dave, you are a lucky Yank - these look yummy!

How long does it take to get to the beurre stage, and when there, do they have more of a rind, with a different texture in the center?

MMmmmmmm.....

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My friend Xavier from Paris recommended Chabicou to me. I have yet to try it. But I did manage to find another of his recommendations: Crottin de Chavignol. The size and look is similar from what I understand.

We had it quite young. (2-3 weeks) I am told that it is the traditional cheese to have baked on a goat's cheese salad. We breaded it, fried it, baked it, and the texture was quite soft, but somewhat mealy, almost like a cottage cheese but firmer. The flavour, when warm, was fantastic! Excellent with salad and few toasted nuts.

Anyway, I don't have any pictures, as this was long ago, but thought that some of you might want to try some. :smile:

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Dave, you are a lucky Yank - these look yummy!

How long does it take to get to the beurre stage, and when there, do they have more of a rind, with a different texture in the center?

MMmmmmmm.....

Yes to both questions. Getting to the beurre stage takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending upon storage temperature. Because I don't really have a good cool place for storage (I'm working on it) I usually buy at the stage I want from my favorite cheese guy at Limogne market.

Just so happens that I had a couple of these around.

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This is a Rocamadour. Same cabecou type of cheese, but at the beurre stage. Note that there's a bit of rind & the inside is soft and just beginning to be runny. (this cheese did not last long after having it's picture taken.)

Here's it's label.

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You can see that Rocamadour is an AOC controlled cheese. The village of Rocamadour is very famous & very touristy, but still a beautiful place to visit. Its about 40 miles north of us.

In actuality Vaylats where this particular cabecou was made is less than 10 miles away. The Rocamadour label specifies both an area of origin & a particular way of making the cheese. It would take someone with a lot more experetise that I to give you the details.

Crottin de Chavignol. The size and look is similar from what I understand.

Your crottin de Chavignol come from quite a bit further north. A bit south of Orleans. A proper one is older than a cabecou. In fact I'm told that 'crottin' means horse or mule dung in the Frankish language of the 15th century. (you really needed to know that, didn't you?) An excellent cheese & a very well known one in France with quite a bit of folklore attached to it.

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Up until 2 years ago, we imported Rocamadour into the US, but everyone got scared and stopped. It is a beautiful little cheese and I miss it. Your pix is gorgeous!

Yes, I also have heard that Crottin is a slang word for "turd" - looks pretty similar!

As for another name/shape one, there is Tetilla from Galacia in Spain. It looks just like a big boob! Not a tremendously interesting cheese, but quite simple and likable. I've heard local children enjoy a sandwich of Tetilla and membrillo (quince paste). Anyone know if this is true?

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Pont L'Evecque for me , please. If not, a nice Livarot .Or perhaps a nice piece of Stinking Bishop, washed in perry, and smelling like a bag of old rugby socks.

For the blue cheese? Stilton. There's nothing like it.

Of course, you could also try and look for some Blue Vinny, although it's a little difficult to find these days. Or a Blue Shropshire, or a blue Cheshire.

For a creamy, creamy cheese, you won't do much worse than a slice of Double Gloucester.

Down here in Venezuela, I'm cheese-starved. We produce white cheese, white cheese, white cheese, although there are some pretty good ones around. "Dutch" cheese is always immature and bland Gouda or Edam; nothing like the stuff I can get hols of on trips to Aruba and Curaçao.

Anyone has any spare bits of delicious fermented curds - Fedex them to me!

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Very impressive menu and recipes, Abra. Would y mind if I crib some - I am always asked to give people ideas of how to cook w/cheese - you have some great ones in here - in addition to popular cheeses like Manchego and Cabrales, you have some of my favorite regional ones like Garrotxa and Urgelia. Spanish cheeses, and Portuguese ones as well, are some of the most interesting and varied cheeses around. I was surprised however, that when I was in Spain, it was hard to find artisinal cheeses. Seems like they are so smitten with a zillion different kinds of ham, that their wonderful cheeses play second fiddle.

Hope we have some Spanish folk weigh in with their opinions...

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Oh, those aren't my recipes, they were all published by Food and Wine. All I did was assemble a group of folks here to cook through them. It was a great party. Try that cauliflower with Manchego and Marcona almond sauce - it's killer.

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I love Pont l'eveque too - we have it at work at the moment, and every time I open the cheese box, someone from even the other side of the kitchen will always yell (within seconds of the box being opened) for us to "keep that damn cheesebox shut!" :)

Epoisse is another good stinky. I think I read somewhere that it's the only cheese in the world to be banned on the french public transport system..??

And anyone here like Fleur du Marquis? It's one of my favourites. A batch we ordered recently arrived labelled Saveur du Marquis and had definite banana tones to its flavour! I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but I quite liked it.

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OMG - Fleur de Maquis and its counterpart, Brin d'Amour are some of the best cheese in the world!! It looks like someone dropped it on the barn floor - it's herbaceous notes and sheepy qualities make it unbelievable when it is good! Absolutely one of the best!

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OMG - Fleur de Maquis and its counterpart, Brin d'Amour are some of the best cheese in the world!! It looks like someone dropped it on the barn floor - it's herbaceous notes and sheepy qualities make it unbelievable when it is good! Absolutely one of the best!
And anyone here like Fleur du Marquis? It's one of my favourites. A batch we ordered recently arrived labelled Saveur du Marquis and had definite banana tones to its flavour! I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but I quite liked it.

Its true that the Corsicans like their cheeses strong. I'm told without having tested it myself that they actually tone the cheeses down for export! The mind boggles.

I remember years ago leaving a camembert in my car coat pocket & forgetting it. Delicious when I found & ate it, but I had to throw the coat away due to the smell.

I'm also told that brin d'Amour means a "bit of love" & that brin also means "sprig" refering to the herbs its coated in. True or not it sounds good.

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As promised, after a trip to my favourite cheese shop this weekend, I thought I would post a few pics.

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They have almost every cheese you can think of, and if they dont, they will do their best to get it in!

Bounty...Cant remember all the names, but really strong brie, nice blue, unpasturized goat, petit basque, peccorino, and I believe a goats milk cheese in middle.

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Edited to add - They often have some great deals - For example, we got 2 pieces of Brie that big for $6!

Edited by sadistick (log)
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I just finished a nice snack of a little (okay, more than a little) ten year old Gouda. This is one of my favorite cheeses. I'm blown away by the alchemy that takes place in the aging process. In one end goes a fresh Gouda (bland, pale, dull) and out the other comes this amazing golden cheese. It looks like caramel. It tastes like nuts and toasted wheat. And the texture is amazing, with these little flavor crystals that pop between your teeth.

Plus, how cool is it to eat something that's ten years old? Not even the Cap'n Crunch in the back of my cupboard comes close to that.

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Whoa!

10 year old gouda? That's pretty crazy.

5year old gouda is so hard it is like a bowling ball to cut - I cannot imagine it making to 10 year old. Can you throw us a brand name? That seems a little suspicious to me!

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And Sadistick -

have never been to Kensignton Market, but will check it out.

My favorite solution to jet lag is that guy outside the Neal's Yard shop in Borough Market - when you are exhausted and hungry and just trying to stay awake, his grilled cheese sandwich with Montgomery's ched and chopped shallots and his raclette w/cornichon is the most amazing meal one can have. You are standing in the street, weary and starving, and it is just SO GOOD!! Don't know who you are, Mr. Street Cheese Guy, but you deserve a big cheer!

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5year old gouda is so hard it is like a bowling ball to cut  - I cannot imagine it making to 10 year old.  Can you throw us a brand name?  That seems a little suspicious to me!

It's definitely a hard cheese, but nothing like a bowling ball- it cuts fine with a knife or with a cheese peeler. I don't know what the brand name is- the piece is small enough that all I can see on the rind is "ord" and "noo". But I bought it at DiBruno's, and here's their product page:

10-year old Gouda

If you want more information, Lisa Alois, the buyer for DiBruno's, is an eGullet poster; she can no doubt tell you more than I can.

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Thank's for the info, Andrew. I am going to keep my eyes open for it - I've never tried any gouda older than 5 yrs, so it sounds interesting.

Lisa, if you see this, can y tell us the brand name on it?

Thanks!

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I'll check & see just how old the aged gouda I buy here is.

Question?? What's the prefered pronounciation?

Goowda?

or

Gooda

or

Neither.

I've never been sure.

Another cheese that changes & in my opinion dramaticly improves with age is Gruyere. Pretty innocous when young & mass produced, but some of the artisan agred Gruyere's you can buy in Switzerland are wonderful. Great to eat straight & make fantastic fondue.

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Question?? What's the prefered pronounciation?

Goowda?

or

Gooda

or

Neither.

I've never been sure.

Gowda

"ow" as in "wow"! :smile:

I have never heard of 10-year old Gouda. I have to ask my cheesemonger about this. I'm intrigued.

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Here's a nice little piece of Bethmale from the Pyrenees in the Ariege department just about opposite Andorra. Apparantly the Vallee de Bethmale is one of 18 valley that feed the river Salat. (the area is also known as the couserans)

Bethmale dates back to the 12th century, but interestingly it is only fairly recently that it has been made from cows milk. For centuries it was made from ewes milk. In all cases the cheese is made from whole raw milk.

Bethmale has a wonderful slighty nutty flavor which intensifies as it ages. My preference is for the 'younger' cheese as pictured. Its still relatively soft, as the cheese ages it tends to get harder & stronger.

Nice cheese at any age.

edited for typo correction

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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From the new Mount Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend, WA, their delicious Seastack Chaource. Just as complex and intriguing as it looks.

And from the Babbo cookbook

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a goat cheese torta with Lebanese fig paste and mint pesto. This stuff is addictive - if you have the book, make some asap!

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