When it comes to holiday meals, I try to be kind to those I love and spare them the potential of food poisoning by bringing the cheese. It is just safer that way and also, to be honest, gets a ton of compliments and I feel like a total rock star for the first few hours as we await the main dishes being created in the kitchen. Then my brother-in-law’s three kinds of turkey (including a confit), my sister-in-law’s magic brusselsprouts, and my other sister-in-law’s yearly creation of awesome knock our socks off and the cheese stands alone. This year, I wasn’t taking any chances and decided to bring in the big guns and show I could hang with the best of them in our family version of Kitchen Stadium. Let’s just say, Game, Set, Match. Continue reading
Tag Archives: cows milk
My parents were big java drinkers and getting freshly ground coffee in the 70’s in our neighborhood meant going to Cheese World. The combined smell when we walked in the door of the ground beans and the sweet cheese always tantalized my taste buds. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to put the flavors together and see if my fantasy was as good as reality. It seems I was not alone in this fantasy world since not one, but TWO cheese makers created a coffee and cheese combination. So, who are these dream cheese-weavers and how do they stack up to the cozy fantasy? Part 1-Barely Buzzed! 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)
Thanks for the heads up, Linda!
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
Nothing says “Happy New Year” to a true turophile like a plethora of cheese. Thanks to Brandon Chrostowski, fromager and General Manager at L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar here in Cleveland, Ohio, The Mouse started this year off with a major “Hello 2011!”. Fifteen luxurious cheeses ready for the tasting was almost too beautiful to believe, yet there they were in all it’s creamy, milky glory. Continue reading
It’s a busy night per usual at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, MI and I am having my first taste of the highly sought after Rush Creek Reserve, the new soft rind cheese from the makers of the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Carlos, the cheese monger, has a wheel hidden behind the counter and hands me a tiny plastic spoonful of the pale yellow paste. Soft and creamy with a tiny hint of mushroom, bold and beefy yet still delicate on the tongue, this bloomy raw-milk cheese seems to have it all. So why is this gooey goodness being hidden behind the counter? Demand for this cheese has been so high that Zingerman’s only has this one sample and the wheel I am taking home on hand. They are expecting delivery of a few more wheels next weekend, but how many is unknown.
I am not only here for the cheese, but to meet the innovative cheese maker who created it: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese Company of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Andy is a quiet, unassuming guy with a friendly smile and looks more like college student than a master cheese maker. We sit down at an outside table to talk about his latest cheese creation. Continue reading