It’s December 15th, which means ten days until Christmas (it also means Psych: the Musical is on tonight at 9pm on the USA Network, but that’s a whole different kind of cheese and I digress) so shopping for that cheese lover just kicked in to overdrive. Have no fear, because The House Mouse is here with Cheesy Gift Guide #3 which has some pretty cool gadgets. As most readers know, I prefer to shop local, keeping dollars within the community, however time is of the essence so I will be including prices and links here to sites that have expedited shipping, although I make no promises for holiday miracles. Should timing become an issue, I suggest a House Mouse tradition of placing a picture of the gift inside a box and then putting that box inside another box and so on and so on and so on. Include a note letting the recipient know their gift is en route to their home, which may be appreciated even more if the gadget is particularly large or heavy. And away we go!
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Happy December 1 and welcome to SHOPPING THUNDERDOME! Yes, my cheesy friends, it’s holiday time and with the miracle of Thanksgivukkah coming so late that means we all have even less time franticly figure out what to get Aunt Fran and Cousin Lou for Festivus! Fear not, my fromage-loving fans, for The House Mouse is here to assist. Since my brilliant surgeon has demanded I take it slow and steady, I am using my time wisely to create a cheesy list of turophile gift ideas to share with all of you. Everything from the straight forward to the obscure, this list will have just about everything and price ranges from stocking stuffer to YOU MUST REALLY LOVE ME!?
Today’s selections are the ever-popular T-shirts as I like to call them, cheesewear. This list by no means represents the dozens upon dozens of cheese related shirts I found. this year. These are the highlights:
As most House Mouse readers know, I am an avid follower of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, especially their cheese, Beekman 1802 Blaak. I read their blog, cheered their victory on The Amazing Race, and secretly hope to get an invitation to Josh and Brent’s upcoming wedding (hint, hint). So imagine my shock when I discovered only this month that they had created another cheese, Mubock, back in September! How could I have missed it? I must have been in a cheese coma or something. Fortunately, I was able to secure one of the last half-pound squares of Mubock before the Mercantile ran out. Well, that, along with a wheel of Blaak, a box of Salty Goat Fudge Cookies and a jar of Autumn Harvest Honey. Go big or go home!
So, why call it Mubock? According to Beekman 1802, the name is a play on the half cow milk (mu) and half goat milk (bock) combination used to make the cheese. Bock could also refer to the dark, strong lager, Three Philosophers beer from Ommegang Brewery that is brushed at the end of the aging process.
While all that is interesting, I really wanted to get to the tasting, so after allowing the Mubock to get to room temperature, I sliced some off and went in for the sniff test. My nose instantly picked up on the hops from the beer, as well as a sweet, salty aroma. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but the nose of a cheese can often be so different from its actual flavor, so I wasn’t too concerned. There was also some confusion over its appearance. Described as a cheddar-style cheese, Mubock really more resembles a baby swiss. Even the texture had a spongy, springy swiss-cheese feel. Finally, I tasted it and it was… interesting. Very intense, with a pretty pronounced beer flavor. Did I like it? To be honest, I wasn’t sure. I thought maybe I was missing something, so I reached out to Dr. Brent Ridge, one half of the Beekman Boys, to see if I could get some guidance:
THM: When we spoke a coupe of years ago, you were pretty adamant about not creating another cheese. What changed your mind?
BR: We still are primarily focused on Blaak. We just thought it would be a fun experience to come up with one different cheese idea each year for a Limited Edition. It keeps us learning.
THM: How big was this batch, and will we be seeing Mubock next season at the Mercantile and online?
BR: This year, we produced about 1800 pounds of Mubock. Unfortunately, we have sold out. As we intend all of our limited editions, we are going to retire them after each year, so we don’t plan to make this again.
THM: The hoppy flavor is pretty prominent in Mubock. How did you decide on Three Philosophers Beer?
BR: We chose 3 Phils because it is one of our favorite brews from Ommegang.
THM: The flavor is very bold and intense. What pairings do you suggest?
BR: Mubock was aged for eight months, which creates a very bold, sharp cheese. Goat milk especially gets sharp very quickly. The texture is slightly chewy/rubbery – kind of like a swiss cheese. We actually recommend Mubock as a melting cheese. It’s amazing on grilled cheese sandwiches, in omelets and in soups (we have a great soup recipe with it on the website).
A melting cheese… of course! Immediately after hearing Brent’s response, I grabbed a baguette, some aged balsamic, a bit of prosciutto and toasted it up. What a difference some heat makes. The intense flavor from the Mubock simmers down a bit, yet the hoppy taste still has some punch. It melded perfectly with the saltiness of the cured meat, while the aged balsamic’s sweet/tart component just balanced the whole bite out. My boyfriend actually preferred it without the prosciutto, which was pretty tasty as well.
I have just enough Mubock left to try out the soup recipe, although my little creation has become my favorite after-work snack, so it may not last. While it is sad that Mubock will not be making a second appearance, Blaak may still be available on the Beekman website. Even better, head to Sharon Springs and pick some up direct from the Mercantile.
Stay Cheesy and Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!
Update: Blaak is out for the season, but will be returning, hopefully in July. Be sure to get on the wait list to get a wheel. The cookies and honey are still available so be sure to check those out.
- The Beekman Boys win The Amazing Race and end the “Year of Sacrifice” (housemouseoncheese.com)
The Mouse is packing up and moving to a new city. While a change of scene is exciting, thinking of safe transport of all the cheese in the fridge has been a bit nerve-wracking. The House Mouse is looking for suggestions for wrapping and transporting various varieties of cheese without stinking up the entire moving truck.
What has four battles, forty mongers from around the globe and $10,000 in cash and prizes at stake? The 2nd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational of Long Island City, of course! Mongers from New York, Canada, California and even Ireland and Australia will come together on Friday, July 8 to compete in a quartet of challenges.
Whether simply introducing themselves, precisely cutting and wrapping pounds of cheese or creating the perfect fromage flight, these talented cheese whizzes will go wedge-to-wedge in front of over two hundred spectators and be judged by some of the world’s leading authorities. And competition won’t be the only draw to this cheesy gathering – with music spun by DJ Aaron Kirtz and DJ Carlos Souffront and food prepared by fromager and pairing expert Tia Keenan, this event is sure to be amazing.
Sadly, The House Mouse was not able to score tickets to this sold-out extravaganza. Naturally, anyone who does make it to Larkin Cold Storage for Friday’s event is encouraged to send along some photos and play-by-play of the competition.
It’s that time of year, New Yorkers! The Stinky Cheese Festival is in full funk so get out there and smell the cheesy goodness! The Tour de France NYC restaurant group, nine of the Big Apple’s finest eateries, has put aside the mild and is showing off the wild that the cheese the French have to offer. Twenty of the funkiest fromages of France will be incorporated into specialty menus from now until February 25th. The Mouse wishes we could be there to take in the sweet and stinky pleasures of Raclette, Stilton, Epoisses, and Gorgonzola. Any House Mouse fans who find themselves in New York and attend this event, please keep in touch and let us know the faves and the just plain funky.
Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day! Who would have imagined there was a day just for us turophiles? To be honest, I was totally clueless about this splendid holiday until yesterday and not really sure how on e goes about celebrating, besides doing the usual chowing of tons of cheese. I do that every day, so does that make every day cheese lover’s day? While I chomp on that tasty thought, here’s a look back at some of The House Mouse’s favorite cheese loves. Stay Cheesy! Continue reading