Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Worlds Collide

An iPhone app about cheese? Sounds amazing. From the look of the reviews, it looks like the Fromage app needs to ripen before it is ready but it sounds like a great start.

Fromage app

Monday, August 3, 2009

The ripe-camembert plumpness at the edge of hips. - John Walsh, The Independent

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cheesemaking Photography

A photo essay about cheese making in the Swiss Alps. Amazing.


Sunday, May 18, 2008


How could a cheese this good looking be bad? Well, it is.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Everyone knows Gorgonzola. He's ubiquitous, overly sweet, and unctuous. He shows up at parties and no one is really excited to see him but we all sort of expect he'll be there so no one complains.

Valdeon is everything Gorgonzola is not. He is dry and sharp, arrives wrapped in sycamore leaves. His eyes sparkle with a blue-green of delicate veining. However, Valdeon is sitting at home, alone, while Gorgonzola is getting all the invites. You should really give Valdeon a call.

Made with pasteurized cow milk, sometimes with some goat milk as well. Hailing from Leon, Spain.

16.99 / lb

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sally Jackson Sheep

A fluffy semi-soft cheese made of raw milk and using vegetable rennet, wrapped in chestnut leaves. A light sunny flavor with a clean, bright tang. A really well-controlled sheep cheese, a wonderful cheese.

Made in Oroville, WA by Sally Jackson and her husband Roger.
Affinage: ?
23.99 $/lb

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Munster Alsayian

During the car ride home, there was a noticeable... odor. This was disconcerting. At home, the munster, now free of it's wrapping, bloomed to fill the kitchen. We laughed, relieved to have sussed out the malodorous offender. The cheese was relegated to the garage.

The scent comes from a bacteria that lives on the brine washed rind. The red color is also due to this bacteria.

Interestingly, the pungent footy scent disappears completely in the mouth, leaving the cheese with a lighter, meaty flavor. This is somewhat of a moot point because no one will be eating it. They will have left your house thinking you smell of feet.

From Alsace, France of cow milk (mountain pasture in summer, farm in winter). Three month aging.
15.99 / lb

Note: Munster (MOON-ster) is not Meunster (MUN-ster), a generic American sandwich cheese.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Tomme de Savoie

The Pierce Brosnan of cheeses. Initially everything looks on the up and up, handsome white-tan rind, a firm body if somewhat pasty. At first taste, it is clear something is wrong. You were expecting (hoping for) Sean Connery but then you remember: Remington Steele.

Tomme means "smallish round of cheese."

Raw milk aged over 60 days but you'd never guess from the flavor.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Capra Valtellina

A good alternative to snacking on parmesan, more moisture in this hard cheese and less salt, made up for by a low, restrained tang. Almost but not quite grassy. Lacks the creaminess and nuttiness of Garrotxa but paired well in a horozontal tasting.

13.99 /lb

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Raschera (ras-KERA)

This cheese looks boring. This is cheese is boring. Perhaps it is a cheese you need to get to know for a while and then you realize that it has a good personality and a dry sense of humor you hadn't noticed before. I don't know, I didn't stay around long enough to find out.

A healthy, clean center with a fuller, richer flavor than an emmenthaler and a creamier, more gummy texture.

Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy

11.99 / lb

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monte Enebro

Look, it is Monte Enebro, the pre-eminent socialite of the Spanish goat cheese world. Who is that milling around in the crowd below the cherry tomatoes? Linsey Lohan? Figures. Both are somewhat overrated.

Less expensive goat cheeses are just as good, the difference is only notable when the cheese is eaten by itself (i.e. no bread or cracker). There is more complexity at the rind, however this isn't a great draw. What some consider to be a spicy flavor I find is more of a sharp soap-like note.

Center paste is young fresh and a little wet, assertive goat flavor but not strong. Some chalk to the tooth, the paste is dense but not heavy. The edge is less wet, more rich more of a grassy flavor.

Made near Madrid, Spain. Unknown affinage but rind suggests longer than average.
22.95 / lb (!)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Lincolnshire Poacher

Lincolnshire Poacher: a traditional English folk song detailing the exploits of a poacher in Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire Poacher: an artisinal cheese similar to cheddar made in Lincolnshire.

The texture is evident in the picture, flaky and wonderful. Named Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards. The flavor is like a cheddar but lingers like a gouda. Perhaps if I liked cheddars more I'd also like this cheese. As it is, this languishes in my fridge half-eaten.

Ulceby Grange in Lincolnshire, England by Simon Jones
Affinage: 24-30 months

Monday, January 29, 2007


A good cheese to eat with salty snacks and a robust red wine, this cheese has a soft, buttery taste to start but a long bitter/meaty aftertaste like a meunster. It is ripened fairly quickly and treated with "yeast brine" early on, whatever that is. The paste has many small eyes, is chewy with enough creamyness to notice but not enough to stick to your teeth. I think it would go well with tapas.

Pasteurized milk
Affinage: over 45 days
From l'Alt Urgell y la Cerdanya in the Catalan Pyrenees mountain region of northern Spain
11.99 /lb

Friday, January 5, 2007


From Poitou, this "little bell" is excellent a little warmed. The creamline starts to liquify and the wonderful soft rind separates from the paste. The flavor isn't challenging which is fine because you are here for the mouthfeel anyway.

pasteurized goat milk
6.99 /half bell

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I love this cheese. If you stare at it hard enough it will liquify right in front of you. I'd drink it by the glass if that weren't, you know, gross.

A wide, flat round made of goat, sheep and cow milk. The composition and affinage is supposed to be the same as the cupcake-shaped La Tur but the greater amount of surface area creates more of the creamy liquid. While the small amount of center paste has a simple goat flavor, the abundant liquid has a full barnyard flavor. Popular with most guests but too strong for some.

Made by Caseificio Dell'Alta Langa in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Affinage: ?
19.99 $/lb

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brillat Savarin

I can't believe it's not butter. 75% milk fat!

Named after France's most famous epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, this cheese's bracing richness serves as a fitting tribute to Jean's unapologetic gluttony. However, the cheese was named in 1930 and Brillat-Savarin died in 1826, having never tasted the cheese.

The cheese positively liquified. The paste is much richer than La Tur and the taste is less complex, actually tasing like buttter. The rind is a typical brie rind. The only purpose I could imagine for this cheese is to shock someone with it's extreme richness.

Normandy, France
Cave aged three weeks
22 / lb.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gouda Saenkanter

A Dutch cheese resting on a Dutch delftware plate. Mark this date as the official beginning of my cheese photography obsession.

The warm carmel nuttiness of this cheese is wonderful and very approachable.

A three-year gouda with a black wax rind. There are crunchy crystals of something in the body of the cheese, some say they are protein but they seem like salt. The flavor is full, salty of course, and finishes cleanly. Creamy taste for such a hard cheese.

Holland of raw milk.
19.99 / lb

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

La Yerbera

Initially I thought this looked like a cheese log. The rind that appears to be made up of a coarse quartz sand is actually an almond coat. However, this cheese is wonderful. The almonds go well with the earthy goat flavors but the texture is what makes it really exciting. It crumbles like a dry cheese would but it isn't dry, perhaps because of the olive oil applied with the almonds. But it isn't oily. Not a photogenic cheese but a good cheese nonetheless.

Spain from Murcia in the southeast corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Sunday, December 3, 2006


Garrotxa (gar-ROACH-uh) is a perfect cheese for snacking. Lots of flavor but nothing overpowering, just a broad, complex presentation. It disappeared unceremoniously and was much missed afterwards.

A semisoft Catalan cheese made of pasteurized goat's milk. The natural mold rind has a felt-like texture; possibly edible but I avoided it.

Unknown affinage, forgotten price.

La Serena

This cheese would be great served as a full wheel so one could scoop the creamy center our with some bread. However that would be $50 and you'd need a lot of cheese loving friends. Still, it's flavor holds up well enough with bread that it doesn't need to be eaten by itself.

A very soft center gives a clean grassy front that fades to a sour slightly bitter finish. Probably not for everyone but good for the adventurous palate.

Merino sheep's milk Badajoz and Extramadura, Spain.
18.99 / lb

Humboldt Fog

Does being from California rob a cheese of some of its mystique? Yes. Does that matter? No. This is your go-to chevre.

Surface ripening leaves a soapy rind like the Montenebro, below which is found a rich creamline or the liquid layer between the paste and rind. The body of the cheese has a creamy, slightly chalky texture. To me this sour goat flavor epitomizes chevre. Through the center a line of vegetable ash runs, emulating the French classic Morbier.

Cypress Grove Chevre offers some other cheeses that appear to be this cheese in different shapes.

Made in McKinleyville, CA by Mary Keehn
Affinage: Three weeks

Tuesday, May 2, 2006


Invented in 2001 by Gabriel Bachelet, Gabietou is a French cheese made of two-thirds cow milk, one-third sheep. The rind develops a gold / orange hue from regular brine washings. The interior is a waxy, semi-firm butter colored paste with a few small eyes like a young Gruyere.
The feel is dense and smooth with a nuttiness.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Cheese Hit List

The cheeses I'm gunning for:

Brun fjäll: Made at the Påverås dairy in Falköping, this is a Morbier type cheese that has quickly become one of my favorites. The cheese is made from milk from the domastic cow, fjällko. As Påverås is one of the most well estblished swedish dairies you should be able to find their cheeses, at least at a well stocked swedish shop.

Chimay Biere: Often cited as a favorite by cheese lovers.

Amanteigado: Term used for the style of buttery soft, raw sheep milk cheese typical of southern Spain and Portugal, which is coagulated using the cardoon thistle plant. These cheeses are often pudding-like, aged for 30-45 days, with an acidic, vegetal flavor.

Montbriac: Pitch black rind, beatiful runny white on the inside. It’s a blue cheese made out of cow milk made in the same dairy that create another of my favorites, St Agur. While containing blue mold, you almost not even notice since the taste it blends excellent with the cheese.

Sbrinz (Swiss hard cheese with practically no eyes that takes 3 years to cure. Probably the original caseus helveticus mentioned by Columella, Roman agriculturalist in 1 AD. It takes its name from the town of Brienz in the Bernese Oberland)

Pont L'Eveque (French--surface ripened with a washed rind, it's a "monastery-type" cheese with a golden crust and a buttery interior; comes in little square boxes; revered by gourmets, it is an excellent dessert cheese)

Spain: Mahon, Drunken goat, Vare

France: Chatelain camembert, Les Fermiers Gariotin, Ossau iraty, Epoisse, Carles roquefort (only remaining artisan maker of Roquefort in France)

Italy: Valle d'Aosta (original fontina), Pecorino Toscano

Cheddars from Somerset: Green, Keen, Montgomery, Westcombe

Fromage de Savoie. and Cantalet uncooked cheese