With Christmas fast approaching and Chanukah coming to a close it’s time to get serious about those gift-giving decisions. Fortunately, our friendly cheesemakers, cheese shops, and cheese websites can help play Chanukah Charlie and Santa by offering up some awesome swanky baskets, boxes and Cheese-Of-The-Month-Clubs to ship out to our loved ones. The Artisanal Premium Cheese Club is always a great way to go, but there are many more to chose from as well. Check out some of the fabulous fromage gifts below , but don’t delay today is the last day for shipping for a Cheesy Christmas delivery! Continue reading
Tag Archives: Beekman 1802
The Beekman’s have a Halloween treat for us all, appropriately named Ghoast. Starting out with raw goats milk collected directly from the Beekman farm’s own goats, the small ghostly white wheels are then aged for ninety days. During this aging process, the raw-milk wheels begin to develop the greyish-blue cape of a rind around the pale interior. The final result is a semi-firm cheese with distinct spicy, nutty, and grassy tones that are well balanced and very approachable, despite the scary name. The outer rind can be removed for those who have aversions to eating rinds, however I would encourage those who devour this devilishly delectable fromage to leave it on. The extra pepper and tang in the rind is just too tasty to miss. Continue reading
Books have always been a huge part of my life – my parents encouraging my reading with trips to the library and bookstore on a weekly basis. I’ll never forget the time my mom got an angry call from my fourth grade teacher complaining about my refusal to participate in recess activities in order to sit under a tree with my new copy of I, Trissy by Norma Fox Mazer. My mother didn’t even respond. She just hung up the phone, came right up to the school (only four blocks away), sat down under the tree with me with her own book, glared up at the teacher and then proceeded to read right along with me. I thought my teacher was going to spit nails, but she just crossed her arms and stomped off. A great memory for sure, and yet another reason books have always been one of my favorite gifts to receive. Cheese books have become a particular passion now that I’m older and can appreciate them, and this year’s batch of fromage reads is pretty snazzy. I will admit to only owning one on my list of book gifts so should anyone wish to play secret cheesy Santa.
Okay, here we go for Cheesy Gift Guide Part 2 – Books:
A quick note: all titles are available on both amazon.com and bn.com, however I encourage everyone to seek out local bookstores or click on the links to the websites and purchase directly from the author or the link. Shop local and support the community. If you want to buy big box and use a discount, head out to your local Barnes & Noble brick and mortar and save a job like mine. Alright, preaching done. Here we go!
This has probably been the hardest post I have ever written since I began writing The House Mouse back in 2009. All the starts and stops, the interruptions and scrapped drafts, the frustrations and not knowing what to say have nearly driven me mad. I mean, I started this post back in May! I finally decided to just stop dancing around and come clean about why I’ve been so silent. This is really hard to say…
I, The House Mouse, am having a hard time eating cheese. Just writing the words makes me so sad and sick to my stomach both literally and figuratively! I have rebelled against my body for so long and it finally caught up with me in pretty dramatic form. Continue reading
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)
Are You Ready For Some Llama Drama? The Fabulous Beekman Boys Premier Tonight on The Cooking Channel
Making friends with your local cheesemongers has many advantages – one of which is getting the heads-up whenever a new wheel rolls into the shop. Lucky for this Mouse, I have managed to become pretty buddy-buddy with the mongers at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Shawn and his crew are good for a call, and a few weeks ago, my phone range with exciting news of a new cheese from Jasper Hill Farm called Harbison. Knowing that anything from the folks at Jasper promises to be good eats, I headed over to Kerrytown to get a taste.
At first glance, I was a bit disappointed. It appeared to be just another spruce-bark-wrapped cheese similar to last year’s star fromage, which was also a spruce-bound cow’s milk creation called Rush Creek Reserve from Andy Hatch at the award-winning Upland Cheese Company. Could the Kehler brothers from Vermont really compete… or offer something different? The monger behind the counter told me to reserve my judgment until I tried it. Once again, my trust was not misplaced, as any initial disappointment vanished once I cracked open this earthy wheel of goodness.
Unlike the raw-milk wonder that is Rush Creek, Harbison is made with pasteurized cow milk, and the two-third of a pound wheel is aged a mere three to six weeks. Its intense aroma of wet leaves, fresh earth and mushrooms is a pleasant contrast to the sweet, beefy flavor with a hint of smoke. While spoonable, Harbison’s paste is a bit firmer than Rush Creek, yet it still has similar versatility, responding well to both table service and cooking (it’s a particularly rich and tasty treat when mixed in with boiled redskin potatoes).
Whether entertaining or just relaxing with the family, this is a great cheese to have on-hand this holiday season. I actually had both Harbison and Rush Creek on our board for Thanksgiving. They complemented one another quite well and we all gave thanks to the blessed cheesemongers in our lives.
For more on Harbison, check out the video below.