Constant Bliss by Jasper Hill Farm aged one month in cheese safe
As a cheesemonger-in-training, I typically follow the rules when handling my cheese selections. Fresh fromages like chevres should be served sooner rather than later, age gouda can be stored up to a few months with proper care and temperature control, etc. There are reasons for these rules, including preserving integrity of the taste and complexity of the rind or control of the acidity, and I respect them. However, there comes a time when I throw caution to the wind to see just how far I can take a cheese, how long I can let it mature before it goes past its prime. Such is the case with my recent purchase of Jasper Hill’s Constant Bliss.
For those not in the know, Constant Bliss was the first cheese produced at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT. This complex fromage is made from pasteurized, uncooled evening milk of the farm’s Ayrshire cows and aged a mere 60 days. Most recognize Constant Bliss by its bloomy white rind which hides a creamy underlayer of fatty paste, followed by a more substantial and pillowy center. In its early stage, each layer has a distinct flavor, the delicate rind is earthy without being too assertive, followed by the thin layer of sweet cream, ending in a lemony center. By aging my wheel for a month in my cheese safe, not only did the flavors intensify, but the actual structure of the cheese took on a whole new life. A fantastically mouth-watering life. Continue reading
I have gone totally goaty lately, which is good since it is National Goat Cheese Month. My selections have ranged from fresh and tangy to pungent and earthy, most of which I have devoured with pleasure. None, however, have stopped me in my tracks and brought an audible “WOW!” from my lips the way Monte Enebro has. Continue reading
Image: Picnics Fine Foods
Since I am not a chef (or even decent cook, for that matter) my contribution to the holiday festivities is that I always bring the cheese board. While this may seem like a cop-out of a task, it’s not easy finding complimentary cheeses that will please all palates. Milk types, pate color and flavor intensity all come into play when making selections.
This Independence Day, I went with a fully represented board of the four top milk choices: cow, sheep, goat, and even buffalo. While all the selections were hits, the goat’s milk La Clochette was the clear winner of the bunch. Continue reading
Soft, spicy, and sultry are what comes to mind when taking a bite of Fleur du Maquis (oh, and Dan the cheesemonger isn’t too bad either).
Whether it goes by Brin D’Amour (breath of love) or Fleur du Maquis (flower of the Maquis) this ewe’s milk cheese has something for every cheese lover. Continue reading
I love cheese and I love caramel, but eating the two together doesn’t seem very appealing. That is until I discovered Roomano (not to be confused with Romano) cheese. This hard Gouda-like cheese from Friesland in the northern part of The Netherlands is a rare treat. Aged anywhere from three to four years the flavor is beefy and intense without being stinky and overpowering. A hard paste infused with calcium lactate crystals gives Roomano a fantastic texture suitable for grating and cooking as well as an interesting addition to any cheese plate. Continue reading