Tag Archives: Cheddar Cheese

NPR’s The Salt: A Look At Raw Milk Cheese & Their Microbial Festival Advantage

Montgomery's Cheddar - Photo courtesy of gardenista.com

Montgomery’s Cheddar – Photo courtesy of gardenista.com

If there is one thing I love almost as much as cheese, it’s NPR, especially their thought-provoking and innovative podcasts. I have only recently begun to listen to The Salt, self-described as “With a pinch of skepticism and a dash of fun, The Salt covers food news from the farm to the plate and beyond” which is right up my alley. The most recent episode has reporter Kerri Smith tagging along with microbiologist and cheesemaker Dennis D’Amico to Somerset, England to visit Jamie Montgomery; maker of Montgomery’s Farmhouse Cheddar. D’Amico and others are gathering to discuss the “microbial festival” that occurs in raw-milk cheese and it’s potential benefits to humans. Click the link below to read and listen to Smith’s story. Be sure to subscribe as well for more great stories from NPR’s The Salt.

The Ancient Art of Cheese-Making Attracts Scientific Gawkers – Link to The Salt on NPR

Thanks for the tip L! Stay Cheesy!

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Wisconsin cheese and sake pairing on The Cheese Highway with The Cheese Impresario

Jokigen & Ume Shu sake

Jokigen & Ume Shu sake


When I met Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario, back in 2012 and she suggested we do a cheese and sake pairing, to be honest, I thought she was joking. See, at the time of our discussion, we were sitting at a cheese and beer pairing and had been, well, I had been, consuming quite a bit of REALLY spectacular fermentation of both the cheese and alcoholic nature. Adding to my gentle buzz was the awe of being at my first American Cheese Society Conference, and now someone I admired wanted to do some sort of story with me! After assuring me she was serious, Barrie Lynn said she’d call me and arrange the whole thing. Well, not only did I receive a call, I received two bottles of sake, cheese, and instructional emails to do the tasting over the phone, which was both awesome and terrifying, as I had never even tried sake before, let alone heard of pairing it with cheese. What had I gotten myself into? Continue reading

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Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day with a New Cheese from Beekman 1802. Introducing Mubock

Beekman 1802 Mubock Cheese

Beekman 1802 Mubock Cheese

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.

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The Quest For the Perfect Holiday Cheese Board

Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company

Holiday meals can be very stressful, especially for those who have yet to master even the most basic of cooking skills. It would stand to reason that going to someone else’s home and having them do the cooking would be less of a burden, but then comes the age-old question of what to bring. The usual answer when asked is “Oh, nothing. Maybe a bottle of wine or a side, but we’re good. Thanks.” While I appreciate not having to enter Kitchen Stadium, which is what occurs in my boyfriend’s family kitchen every holiday, I still want to contribute to the meal. Thus begins the painstaking task of putting together a cheese board that will stand up to three kinds of turkey (smoked, roasted and confit) and side dishes fit for the cover of Food and Wine Magazine. Continue reading

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Frome Cheese Show Debuts World’s Most Expensive Cheese Sandwich

Cheese sarnie

Celebrity chef Martin Blunos with the world's most expensive cheese sandwich. He hand-crafted the sandwich using cheddar blended with expensive white truffles. Image: Daily Mail

Got a spare $178 lying around? Then head on over to the Frome Agricultural and Cheese Show in the historic market town of Frome, England and chow down on the most expensive cheese sandwich to date. Television celebrity chef Martin Blunos is wowing the crowd with this costly consumable created especially for the festivities. Why so spendy? Chef Blunos starts with cheddar blended with white truffles, adds 100 year old balsamic vinegar, and then just for fun, sprinkles the entire sandwich with edible gold dust.

You can read more about this expensive snack at The Daily Mail.


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