Green Dirt Farm’s Dirt Lover
For those who are on the fence about sheep’s milk cheeses, Dirt Lover from Green Dirt Farm is the fromage to try. Made in the classic French farmstead style of cheeses similar to Valencay and Selles-sur-Cher, Dirt Lover has an edible bloomy rind and vegetable ash coating which is visible once the first cut has been made. The black ash boldly stands out against the creamy, ivory paste near the rind then gradually becomes more dense, pale, and crumbly toward the center of the small wheel.
The slightly stiff rind has an earthy, almost mushroom-like flavor followed by the smooth, creamy paste which hits the taste buds with nutty, buttery, lemony tones, then finally ending in salty-sweet crumbles. Each layer is so distinct, yet they work perfectly together. There is a lot happening in this little cheese, yet not so much that it is overpowering or overly intense.
Pairing suggestions range from a glass of Chardonnay or any dry to medium dry white wine to a good fruity craft beer. Salty prosciutto, seasonal berries and some crusty bread and the party is ready to begin. Dirt Lover can be purchased directly from Green Dirt Farm’s website or specialty cheese shops.
Be sure to check out Green Dirt Farm’s website to learn all about Sarah Hoffman and Jacqueline Smith’s Weston Missouri Animal Welfare Approved farm. These ladies are pretty awesome and prove that happy animals produce tasty products.
Dirt Lover was an American Cheese Society winner recognized for outstanding flavor in 2013
When I found out I would be taking my first trip to Paris, I was excited and a bit nervous. Sure, there would be all the amazing cheese, bread, pastries, and chocolates to try, but Paris is big. REALLY big. For someone with crowd issues (which I have) this can be a terrifying experience. I talked with a few of my francophile friends and they assured me that, unlike New York or Chicago where the streets are jam-packed with people all the time, Paris feels busy, but not suffocating. This was a good thing since I enjoy exploring new places. Once I settled into my hotel, I set off with my list of fromageries from cheese connoisseur Susan Sturman, Rick Steve’s Paris 2014 guidebook & Streetwise Paris map in hand, and immediately got lost. Seriously. This was actually a good thing since my getting lost lead me to my first fromagerie, Cheese.
Disney’s Pixar Ratatouille
That’s right! The House Mouse is heading to Paris to taste the delectable fromage of France (and see the sights, of course.) I’ve packed my copy of “The Whole Fromage” by Kathe Lison and my list of suggested cheese shops, courtesy of Susan Sturman, Director Anglophone Programs for Academie Opus Caseus (the cheese industry’s unique hands-on center for professional development), I almost feel ready to go.
Charles de Gaulle is famously rumored to have said “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”, yet according to The Cheese Times, there are upwards of 629 different cheese types in France. There is no way this little mouse will be able to nibble through even a fraction of those fromages in just a few days. While I love a good Banon, Brie and Camembert, I think it would be wise to seek out the cheeses which are unavailable to us Americans; especially some raw milk selections.
Stay tuned for photos from Paris and feel free to send along any suggestions of French cheese for The Mouse to seek out!
Au Revoir for now and Restez au Fromage!
It’s August and that means it’s National Goat Cheese Month, so what better way to celebrate than with a little goat cheese tasting! Chabichou and Charollais Affine, may look similar, but these tiny cylanders of goodness have some distinct personalities. Continue reading
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.
It’s Valentine’s Day! Do you have a gift for that special cheesy somebody? Flowers and candy are fine, but if an impression is what you seek, look no further than your local cheesemonger’s case for some Coeur de Neufchatel.
Almost as old as love itself, Coeur de Neufchatel has been around since the 6th century and got its heart shape from lovesick French farm maidens during the Hundred Year War who gave their hearts to the fighting soldiers.
This AOC French cheese comes from a Normandie breed of cow, which may not be all sexy and romantic, but it does aide to the unique flavor which any cheese lover will enjoy. Coeur de Neufchatel is crumbly than creamy with a mushroomy flavor that wafts in the mouth without being over powering, although it can be left to age for a more intense taste. Grab a crusty French baguette, some hearty Cabernet, and some tart berries and you have an appetizer for love.
Whatever your plans, have a Happy Cheesy Valentine’s Day!
My parents always said that the most inexpensive adventure is trying new foods. Love it or hate it, the financial risk is minimal and the result may turn into a new favorite flavor. I was a stubborn kid and didn’t take advantage of those cheap trips across the taste buds until I was thirty, but now I venture into the culinary unknown whenever I can. Of course, this includes foreign fromages. My most recent adventure takes me to the Jura region of Eastern France and Prefere des Nos Montagnes.
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
The French are known to produce some of the smelliest, most intense cheeses in the world. From the mildly offensive Roquefort to the bus-banned Epoisses, French cheeses are among the stinkiest and oft-times most tasty. Unfortunately, the latest attempt at funk has proved fatal.
Three people have died and five more were injured at the unveiling ceremony for Normandy’s newest stinky cheese, Chausettes de Fesses (translation: socks of buttocks).
“It was not the reaction I was expecting,” explained local dairy farmer Marcel Vachequirit. “The cheese is beautiful, perhaps my finest ever cheese, and yes – I admit – it does have quite a tang, but the mortality rate so far is astonishing.”
You can read more about this cheesy tragedy on The Daily Shame.
photo: The Daily Shame