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chefbrendis

Cheese (2005–2008)

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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".

Okay, the brand is "Noord Hollander". Downtown Cheese in Philly sells it, and Murray's has had it in the past, though evidently not at the moment: they don't list it on their website, but here is Google's cache of the 4-year-old, from back in April.

Oh, and Abra? That torta looks amazing. It's a little hard to tell the size from the photo: what's the diameter?


Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)

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Yeah, that was what I was wondering... I've made cheese tortes, and once, a really great savory cheesecake. They're good, but it's easy to have a LOT of leftovers!

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Savory cheesecake?

I must have the recipe!


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Found a new cheese vendor yesterday who had some really interesting stuff.

This was at one of my favorite markets, Caussade every Monday. Yesterday being both August and part of a 4 day weekend in France the market was really really crowded. Great fun though & with everything coming into season the shopping was incredible. Anyway, I noticed a cheese stand that I'd never stopped at before. Wow! 20 Euros later I left with what you see below:

gallery_22910_3430_27407.jpg

Two of the cheeses, the brie de mieux (perfectly ripe) and the St Augur blue (one of our favorites even if it is a 'factory' cheese.) are pretty standard stuff. The other two & the fifth cheese not in the picture aren't. So here's some detail.

gallery_22910_3430_13655.jpg

As you can see the cheese is called Rouelle, its raw goats milk & comes from the Tarn (just South of us.) It looks very similar to the cheese Bleudauvergne posted earlier in the thread. Don't know if its the same or just that thry're both the same shaped & ashed. In any case its mild, slightly chalky in texture and a little different from most chevres.

gallery_22910_3430_21576.jpg

This one is called Pechegos. Another raw milk goats cheese, but with an entirely different taste. Much stronger and a very creamy texture. Note that they're from the same maker, "Le Pic". Questioning revealed that this is a cooperative down in the Tarn; quess where I'm heading soon.

The real gem, however, is pictured below. This is Bouysset chevre. A raw goat's milk brie! I'd only ever found this cheese once before & even this time it was not labeled. The seller wouldn't say where he got it from, but he did say that it was only made at the height of summer.

gallery_22910_3430_12214.jpg

It tastes wonderful, like a brie, but at the same time not like a brie. Sort of hard to describe. I can tell you that our dinner guests made short work of it. Sharing is hard sometimes.

Living in France is so hard.

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Lately I've been eating this Dutch goat milk cheese that my friend brought me:

gallery_45959_3064_116567.jpg

gallery_45959_3064_26959.jpg

It's fairly firm, and I love the tangy flavor, but other than that I don't know much about it. I've mostly been eating it plain, but tonight I used it in a baked stuffed tomato and it melted really nicely.

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Lately I've been eating this Dutch goat milk cheese that my friend brought me:

It's fairly firm, and I love the tangy flavor, but other than that I don't know much about it. I've mostly been eating it plain, but tonight I used it in a baked stuffed tomato and it melted really nicely.

This is most interesting to me. Other than eating cheese plain, what are some good/appropriate vehicles for some of these cheeses?

Crackers? Bread? Which textures go with what?

I'm also curious to know how the cheeses are best incorporated in recipes.


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Dave, you are killing me with those beautiful pix of raw milk beauties!

The company I used to work for did import and sell both the Pechegos and Rouelle - probably about 5 years ago now. It was definitely sold in some Whole Foods stores and retailers around NYC. Once the ax fell, they became impossible to import anymore and I miss them. The Pechegos was very interesting and delicious. But that goat brie is a magnificent thing - one more good thing about living in France...

Spaghetttti - I like to eat cheese with very thin slices of baguette or thin unflavored crackers. I don't like the ratio of vehicle to cheese to overpower the taste of the cheese. I eat cheese just by itself a lot, but sometimes the crunch of a cracker or chewiness of bread is a great extra texture.

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Dave, you are killing me with those beautiful pix of raw milk beauties!

The whole point is to make you all jealous so you'll all come to France, spend money & help out the local economy. Thanks for the compliment on the pics.

This is most interesting to me. Other than eating cheese plain, what are some good/appropriate vehicles for some of these cheeses?

Like Gariotin I mostly eat my cheeses straight. Sometimes with Scandinavian crisp bread as I try to avoid white flour. An exception is strong blue cheeses which are a great indulgence when eaten with good butter on a piece of baugette.

Good old macaroni & cheese ain't to be ignored, what's pizza without one or more cheeses & parmesian is essential to most pasta's in my opinion.

In England its hard to beat a ploughman's lunch. Usually a really good cheddar with bread & chutney. (or Branston pickle) King of all combos, however, is Stilton & vintage port.

Here's the great local cheese dish.

Aligot! Originates in the Averyon just East of us.

You boil & mash say 2 lbs of potatoes (baking potatoes work well) then add about 11/2 labs of Tome cheeses. You add this slowly over low heat; you want just enough heat to melt the cheese without further cooking the potatoes. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic to taste, add some cream for consistency, Salt & pepper to taste. The trick is to keep stirring as you add the cheese to make sure that the cheese & potatoes are well integrated. It gets to be hard work. (In fact in the old days the men always made the aligot as the stirring was considered too hard to the women. Of course they were making huge pots - 20-30 kilos at a time.)

The cheese has to be a tome (tomme is the alternate spelling, but I'm told that tome is the younger type and melts more easily.) and, ideally, a tome from the Averyon or at least the Auvergne. It can be a cantal or a laguiole or just a 'tomme fermier' These all have the right melting characteristics. I've never tried it, but its just possible that a cheddar might work although it may not melt at a low enough temperature.

This is a wonderful dish & you can still buy it at the local farmers markets. Its also many times the star dish at the local village fetes.

Try it & you'll get addicted!

PS: Just thought. Try this. take a piece of young chevre (chalky consistency) and gently dip it into a bowl of cumin seeds. Don't get too many on it. Eat straight. Its a nice flovor combination. You can experiment with othe herbs for fun. Herbs de Provence work well. Very young chevre on baugette with good jam is also a treat.

edited to add the PS.


Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)

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This post and a recent dinner has convinced me to temporarily shed my “lurker” status and make a post. I live in Stockholm, Sweden and have ready access to raw-milk cheeses.

Last weekend, we had a traditional Swedish crayfish party. I, however, broke with tradition slightly when it came to the choice of cheese.

Here’s what I picked up at the market:

gallery_13692_3434_6037.jpg

Starting from the bottom, left: a piece of raw-milk Morbier, an oozy bit of very-ripe Époisses, a chunk of Cabrales and a bit of Beaufort.

I don’t know how many descriptions are needed but here’s a little information. The Morbier was the mildest of the four with a flavor perhaps similar to a decent Fontina. The layer of ash is largely decorative these days but used to be added to the top of the first layer of milk to protect it while waiting for milk from the next milking. The Époisses was magnificent, if perhaps bordering on over-ripe. Called “the King of Cheeses” by Brillat-Savarin, Époisses is a washed-rind, raw-milk beauty with an extremely powerful flavor and aroma – powerful and funky enough to counter-balance the cheese’s saltiness. Cabrales is Spain’s answer to France’s Roquefort or England’s Stilton and has a boldness and power on the level of the Époisses (although obviously being of an entirely different style). This particular piece was nicely aged, having both dry, crumbly edges (very strongly flavored) and a still-soft center (creamy, milky and milder). Finally, the Beaufort. I was introduced to Beaufort at a gourmet restaurant in Stockholm a few years back. The piece I was served with 2-years old and had been perfectly aged by the affineur Philippe Olivier. This piece could not match that introduction but still firmly lives up to its status as the “Prince of Gruyères” (once again, coined by Brillat-Savarin). It had been aged for one year and retained a milky flavor while still being sharp, dense, buttery and nutty. While not at the level of the Époisses or the Cabrales, it has a powerful, almost spicy finish.

We did have one local, Swedish cheese:

gallery_13692_3434_9681.jpg

It’s called “kryddost”, or “spiced cheese” and is made by flavoring the local, “Svecia” cheese with cloves and caraway seeds. It is good enough that it disappeared nearly as quickly as the four imports described above!

It was all enough to leave one’s tastebuds spinning if not for an occasional hit of Swedish snap. Swedish snaps? Well, what else does one drink when indulging in these? :

gallery_13692_3434_12451.jpg


Edited by Bridgestone (log)

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What a beautiful platter of crayfish! What other dishes are part of a traditional party?

I agree with you on Beaufort - it is one of the best of the French mountain cheeses. Here is the States, the Beaufort made with summer milk is considered the most select and demands the highest price. It is always worth it.

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Savory cheesecake?

I must have the recipe!

Hmm, I'd thought it was in Anna Thomas's The New Vegetarian Epicure, but it's not. I'll see if I can dig it up; otherwise, I bet somebody around here has a recipe...

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Lately I've been eating this Dutch goat milk cheese that my friend brought me:

gallery_45959_3064_116567.jpg

gallery_45959_3064_26959.jpg

It's fairly firm, and I love the tangy flavor, but other than that I don't know much about it. I've mostly been eating it plain, but tonight I used it in a baked stuffed tomato and it melted really nicely.

In the Netherlands, cheeses like that are mostly eaten on bread, and maybe little cubes of it to go with beer or wine (most pubs serve cubes of cheese as a snack, with a dollop of mustard and some pickles on the side - goes great with a glass of jenever). Traditionally, the Dutch don't cook that much with cheese. You could ofcourse make these Gouda cheese biscuits, if your goatscheese is firm enough to grate, I think it would work in that recipe.

Dave, that brie melting all over the plate is just gorgeous.

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Not sure if it's sacreligious or not (it's certainly not something to do with a spectacular cheese), but I use these firm Dutch goat cheeses in my EuroMexican cooking, typically with black beans, chipotle, and mint: a modest amount grated on top of a hot scoop o' beans, or in a quesadilla or enchilada with a member of the squash family.

Looks like you've just got a nice eating cheese there.

I'd try Chufi's cheese biscuit recipe, though, if you're kinda done with eating it by itself...them're some good eatin'.

mark


Edited by markemorse (log)

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I just learned about Philippe Olivier's shop in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

It was presented as one of the best places in the world for a cheese-lover to visit.

Reports?

I've not been to every cheese shop in the world, but I have been to many throughout Europe and this is definitely the best I have come across. Some of the best restaurants in France source their cheese from Oliviers, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed by the quality or the vast range.

If you are travelling some distance to get their, then stay overnight and treat yourself to dinner at La Matelote. Just make sure that you are hungry, as the three course meal you order will actually be about 6-8 courses when you add in all the free tasters. Dont be put off - it is not overwhelming. It is all well paced, proportionate and beautifully presented.

Back to Oliviers - dont forget to buy some of their cheesecake as well!

One more note - whilst some shopkeepers in Boulogne speak English, I have yet to be served at Oliviers by an Anglophone, so brush up on your French and/or sign language.

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In the Netherlands, cheeses like that are mostly eaten on bread, and maybe little cubes of it to go with beer or wine (most pubs serve cubes of cheese as a snack, with a dollop of mustard and some pickles on the side - goes great with a glass of jenever). Traditionally, the Dutch don't cook that much with cheese. You could ofcourse make these Gouda cheese biscuits, if your goatscheese is firm enough to grate, I think it would work in that recipe.

Not sure if it's sacreligious or not (it's certainly not something to do with a spectacular cheese), but I use these firm Dutch goat cheeses in my EuroMexican cooking, typically with black beans, chipotle, and mint: a modest amount grated on top of a hot scoop o' beans, or in a quesadilla or enchilada with a member of the squash family.

Looks like you've just got a nice eating cheese there.

I'd try Chufi's cheese biscuit recipe, though, if you're kinda done with eating it by itself...them're some good eatin'.

mark

Thanks Chufi, I'm definitely going to try the biscuit recipe. I also wouldn't use a really great cheese in cooking, just like great olive oil or balsamic. However, my friend always brings me intact wheels of cheese (something about US customs regulations), and I'd hate to have this go moldy in my fridge before I can eat it all.

The beans with cheese sounds tasty...I was also thinking this could work well in a salad with tomatoes, or over a simple pasta.

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We got a couple of new cheeses today...

Here's our cheese plate (with serrano ham):

gallery_45959_3064_71592.jpg

On the left is the Dutch goat cheese I posted about previously.

Center is a basque blue sheeps milk cheese. This was a good balance of stinky and tangy, and was on the firm side.

Right is pecorino ginepero, which is an aged cheese rubbed with juniper berries. I didn't think the juniper flavor came through much, but it was still good.

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The pecorino w/juniper sounds very interesting - I love that resiney tang it provides. I'll look for it - did y get it at Formaggio?

I love Serrano ham - it's got a meaty quality vs the sweeter proscuitto. I like them both, but they are different. I can't wait to try Iberico - finally going to be available here - does anyone know when for sure?

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The pecorino w/juniper sounds very interesting - I love that resiney tang it provides.  I'll look for it - did y get it at Formaggio?

I love Serrano ham - it's got a meaty quality vs the sweeter proscuitto.  I like them both, but they are different.  I can't wait to try Iberico - finally going to be available here - does anyone know when for sure?

I got the cheeses at Russo's in Watertown. If you haven't been there, it's fantastic (mostly produce, but tons of other goodies too). If you find out about the Iberico, keep me posted!

I also have a general cheese question for all of you: regarding cheese rinds, are there types that are supposed to be eaten or not eaten? Do they ever put stuff on the outside of cheese that might make me sick? Are there cheeses where I would be missing out if I were to throw out the rind? I know a lot of it is personal preference, but with new cheeses I'm never sure...

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Now that I'm back on the regular 9-to-5 schedule, I have a fighting chance of making it to the Tuesday afternoon farmer's market right across 12th Street from my building. (Yes, that's a singular possessive: the stand is run by the owners of a single farm in New Castle County, Delaware. Not all the products they sell come from their farm, however--some are made by neighboring producers.)

Today they had a wedge of Drunken Goat cheese. Never having had any, I decided to buy some. (I gotta remember to take pictures.)

I did do something unorthodox with it--I put two thin slices on top of the slice of tomato pie that I reheated this evening. The winey cheese actually went well with the tomato sauce.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I also have a general cheese question for all of you: regarding cheese rinds, are there types that are supposed to be eaten or not eaten? Do they ever put stuff on the outside of cheese that might make me sick? Are there cheeses where I would be missing out if I were to throw out the rind? I know a lot of it is personal preference, but with new cheeses I'm never sure...

First, I don't know of any cheese that has a rind that will make you sick.

There are rinds that aren't meant to be eaten. The waxy rind on edam's for instance.

Then there are rinds that get pretty strong as the cheese ages. The rind on a two year old cheddar for instance; not harmful, but not very palatable either.

Then there are the floury or ashen rinds on things like brie or chevre. I alays eat these as its too much trouble to cut them off. They, in my opinion, neither add nor subtract from the flavor.

Finally, there are 'rinds' that are especially put there to enhance the flavor of the cheese. A 'rind' of cracked peppercorns on a chevre is definitly there to eat.

So, no straight answer I'm afraid. You just have to try the rind & see in all those many cases where its not obvious whether to eat or not to eat.

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Yes, I agree with Dave on the rind question.

Most artisinal cheesemakers would be very upset if rinds were cut off as a matter of course. They do add to the flavor, and since the cheese directly under the rind is often a different texture, also provide a big part of the eating experience.

I think it's personal preference - if you like the rind, eat it. In France, I once saw a guy eat the dustiest damn rind I ever saw on a piece of Tomme de Savoie and he looked happy.

Maybe 2 exceptions I can think of - Dave's point about waxed cheeses would be one. I always cut a little extra away to avoid the waxy taste or bits. The other would be Mimolette. It has one of the most interesting rind formations - uses an old tradition of aging on wooden planks with colonies of cheese mites. The mites eat away at the rind, forming little hard craters that protect the cheese inside. Know it sounds icky, but when you think of it, it's a perfectly natural way and probably started when farmers were aging cheeses in their cool basements. Sometimes you can see some dust on the rind of a mimo, and just because, I cut it off. Not to mention that it would probably break your teeth.

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Wow, gariotin, I never knew that about cheese mites. First it was eyelash mites, now cheese mites. I haven't tried mimolette, mostly because the color is so off-putting to me, but now I will for sure, and I'll think of little artisan mites doing their dusty work on my behalf.

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Yeah, go for it!

It's not a bad cheese, just so un-French. I think of it as France's answer to Dutch cheese. I've seen it being made and it's pretty cool in those aging rooms. They scrape a pile of "dust" together on the floor and then keep telling you factoids. You look down about 4-5 minutes later and the pile is MOVING!

Nontheless, I like Mimo and it's an enjoyable part of a cheese course when you have a mix of adventurous and timid eaters. (I don't tell the mite story till after - heh heh!)

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