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cheeses i've recently tried

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In addition to the Brillat-Savarin and Boucheron cheeses I brought home on New Year's Eve, I also got a Truf, a special soft goat cheese with truffles from Caseificio dell'Alta Langa, which is in the southern part of Piedmont region of Italy.

 

It is not listed on their product page.

 

It was fantastic. Anyone had it?

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At Zabar's yesterday (not the best source for cheese but I was there) I bought some Bailey Hazen blue and some Mirableu, touted as the first Spanish sheep's milk cheese available in the US. It's delicious - rich, tangy, fruity, a bit salty. Lovely with the drippy ripe Comice pears my uncle sent me.

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Can anyone fill me in on the oddly named Maxi-dome?  A recommendation from Murray's and very tasty.

 

Also recently: some great Tomme de Berger and raw milk Camembert.

Murray's described it thusly when first announced:

 

Maxi-dome Chevre (Poitou): A dense, bloomy rinded pasteurized goat with mellow, earthy flavor. This will replace BUCHERON until November.

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Bitto!I had the pleasure of watching Lou DePalo break open a three year old wheel of Bitto,a mostly cow,little bit of goat cheese from the Valtellina region of Lombardia...beautifully funky rind,great flava...this can be a wonderful cheese..every wheel different,and this one a prize example.

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I rarely say anything good about my home town, but I must admit that it has a really excellent farmer's market, open three days a week all the year.

 

In summer the produce is excellent, Michigan knows corn and peaches and blueberries, offers a wildly varied selection of peppers (thanks to our burgeoning Latino population), fine melons and potted herbs, and about thirty varieties of heirloom tomatoes, as well as canners and standard varieties

 

It also supports three poulterers, with free range chickens, capons, turkeys, and guinea fowl. Three bakers purvey good country loaves and specialty breads. And three butchers, a Hungarian, a German, and a Pole produce fine fresh sausages and charcuterie as well as their own ethnic cured meats.

 

But I think most fondly right now of the cheesemonger, who's my only stay against Kraft Mozzerella and Colby Longhorn. He recently opened an excellent wheel of Manchego viejo and had on hand some quite acceptable Wensleydale. I don't know the provenance of either, since the notion of comparison shopping for such wares here in Flint is absurd. Anyway, he keeps his cheeses well. You cosmopolites may find this sort of operation laughably hayseed, but to me it's a pearl beyond price.

 

(For anyone curious, the Explorateur I mentioned earlier was sent me as a givt from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor. Why don't I get my cheese there? No car.)

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Benedictine, from Carr Valley, Wisconsin.

Benedictine is a washed rind cheese made with fresh sheep, goat and cow milk. It is cellar cured and hand rubbed for 12 weeks before packaging. The flavor explodes with intensity. Benedictine won 1st place best of class in the US Cheese Contest in 2003 and 2nd place in its class at the 2005 American Cheese Society Competition.

 

It's what my cheesemongers called their latest great find, and it is good. Flavor not unlike Swiss, without the sour note I dislike in Swiss cheeses. Smooth to cut, softer than Swiss. I'm going to have some on a grilled cheese sandwich today and see what that's like. But it's great just to nibble.

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Well, one of my latest faves is Pecorino Foja de Noce, or Foglie de Noce- I've seen it both ways. I don't speak Eye-talian, so I'm unclear on which would be correct.

 

This is a smallish (2#) wheel of raw sheep's milk, from Italy, aged by renowned affineur Luigi Guffanti. It's aged in black walnut leaves and it's bloody fantastic. It's also upwards of $30/lb at retail. :wub: Obviously one is not expected to buy the whole wheel....

 

(and just a snip: Affidelice is fully titled as Affidelice au Chablis, because it's not Chardonnay, but the description was spot on). Agreed about the Monte Enebro, it's dreamy.

 

Also, the Colston-Basset Stilton this time of year is da bomb with some nice tawny port.

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We've been enjoying a fairly firm Chimay cheese made with unpasteurized milk and washed with beer (Chimay, of course.) Does anyone know if the Trappist monks ever get a chance to eat and drink the cheese and beer that they make?

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We've been enjoying a fairly firm Chimay cheese made with unpasteurized milk and washed with beer (Chimay, of course.) Does anyone know if the Trappist monks ever get a chance to eat and drink the cheese and beer that they make?

The Trappist monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, KY, do, indeed, eat their own (mediocre) cheese (available at www.gethsemanifarms.org).

 

When my uncle Tom (Brother Giles) was head cheesmaker there in the 1950s, he made the cheese with raw cow's milk, after the recipe and technique of the Trappist Abbey of Notre Dame du Port du Salut at Entrammes in Brittany, where he had been sent to learn the trade. He studied at many of the European Trappist Abbeys during his three years overseas (calligraphy, painting, brewing, and bread-baking as well as cheese), and yes, indeed, in the Belgian Abbeys as well as French and German ones, their cheese and beer are part of the monks' regular diet.

 

At that time, the Kentucky cheese, then unabashedly called Port du Salut, was quite wonderful. Incredibly smelly, worse than any limburger, but smooth and creamy and delicious once past the nose. My dad loved it, as I did, and he let me join him in drinking Ballentine's Ale, the only proper beverage with it, he believed, when we sat down for a cheese along.

 

As is usually the case, the government stepped in, made the monks pasteurize their milk, sanitize their cheese operation, abandon the name Port du Salut, and produce an entirely inoffensive and generally characterless product called, simply, Trappist Cheese.

 

They also make bourbon soaked fruitcakes. At the start of that operation, years ago, they used bourbon from Maker's Mark in Loretto, KY, when that distillery was just getting started. It was also my uncle's job to sample whilskey from many local distillers to choose a supplier, a job he loved, though not, I think, sinfully.

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Has anyone ever had (or even seen) Vacherin des Bauges? The very wonderful Dorling Kinsersley edition, French Cheeses (excellent photos and descriptions of over 350 French cheeses, very helpful wine affinities), says, "Two people make this fermier cheese in the Massif des Bauges in Savoie."

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Well, one of my latest faves is Pecorino Foja de Noce, or Foglie de Noce- I've seen it both ways. I don't speak Eye-talian, so I'm unclear on which would be correct.

 

This is a smallish (2#) wheel of raw sheep's milk, from Italy, aged by renowned affineur Luigi Guffanti. It's aged in black walnut leaves and it's bloody fantastic. It's also upwards of $30/lb at retail. :wub: Obviously one is not expected to buy the whole wheel....

 

(and just a snip: Affidelice is fully titled as Affidelice au Chablis, because it's not Chardonnay, but the description was spot on). Agreed about the Monte Enebro, it's dreamy.

 

Also, the Colston-Basset Stilton this time of year is da bomb with some nice tawny port.

A variation of Pecorino di Fossa?from Emiglia Romagna...buried for a few years...and yes,definitely one of my top 10 Italian cheeses.Foglie de noce translates to leaves of walnut,FYI.

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Ossau Iraraty, finished the last bit of a Xmas Artisinal gift basket, which was super (excellent St. Maure, very good Colston Basset Stilton, and excellent Grueyere, ok Pont Leveque (not my style)).

 

I also like Boucheron, often derided as mass produced, glad Tana didn't get hooted for it.

 

Right now, I've been eating mostly Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar (it is edible, and sort of melts in a bubbly asphalt way), and one of my favorites, Grafton extra sharp reserve Cheddar.

 

Also, I love the Le Chevrie goat cheese (green truncated pyramid), it was back at TJs for a while at a reasonable price. Calorie count is very friendly compared to most any other cheese.

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I also like Boucheron, often derided as mass produced, glad Tana didn't get hooted for it.

Even mass-produced, it blows socks off anything American mass-produced. And I just had some tonight. Also, some Colston-Bassett stilton and the remians of a St. Marcellin from last week. I have a lovely cheese buzz on.

 

Last fall, I had dinner at Hugo's in Portland, ME, and one of the dishes in the 7-course tasting menu was a plate that included a small bit of cheese identified as “La Bouche”, which was very similar to Boucheron. I doubt they'd have used a mass-pro cheese, so I'm curious if anyone knows anything about La Bouche.

 

Edit: the power of Google – the cheese we had at Hugo's was Bonne Bouche from Vermont Butter and Cheese, described thusly:

 

This delicious version is exclusively made by one company in Vermont,  crafting European style fine butters and cheeses. This ash ripened, artisanal goat cheese is made in the traditional style of cheese making and contains 21% butterfat.  Each piece is ladled, salted and rolled by hand in French vegetable ash.  The ash helps to create the perfect environment for this delicate cheese to ripen.  As the cheese ages, it becomes softer and the rind turns pale.  The cheese is shipped very fresh, unwrapped on special straw matting.  The entire shelf life for this delicate beauty is a mere 35 days from creation- and must be consumed within this time frame to enjoy.  Because of the Vermont Bonne- Bouche’s delicate nature the cheese is not kept in stock and must be ordered.  This cheese would be excellent paired with a loaf of crusty baguette and a French light to medium bodied white wine, such as a Sancerre from the Loire valley.  Enjoy!

 

As I recall, it was served with a housemade caraway lavosch, sliced pear, candied walnuts, and lavender gelée, paired with a sweet, golden wine from Germany, although I still had some of a lusty Italian red left from the previous course of duck. I'm very fond of a good red with aged goat cheeses, although I'm told it's all wrong. No accounting for taste.

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