Is there any better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with two of the best flavors on earth? Cheese and chocolate sounds like the ideal taste of love for any fromagophile, so The Mouse decided give it a go and to shoot for the cheese cupid. Murray’s Cheese collaborated with Mast Brothers chocolates and Champlain Valley Triple Cream to create Love at Mast (top center). Was this a match made in heaven? Well….
As a major dark chocolate and Champlain Valley Triple Cream fan, The Mouse was really excited to get this cheesy love fest of goodness. The slight bitterness of the sea salt chocolate combined with the sweet cream of the cheese seemed like it would be a match made in dairy heaven. Unfortunately, the flavor left me somewhat underwhelmed. The sweetness of the cheese just completely overpowered the salty chocolate and the texture, while soft, lacked the usual lushness found in a triple cream. I will confess that The Mouse is a purist when it comes to cheese so I would still encourage those who are curious to give it a try.
(also pictured Coeur de Bray from Murray’s Cheese and Hudson Valley Camembert from Artisanal Cheese)
Happy National Cheese Lovers Day! Last year, The Mouse was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was a holiday just for fromagephiles to pay homage to the blessed curd. A full twenty-four hours to bask in the glow of some Basque or any cheese of choice. So, what’s a cheese lover to do when upon opening the refrigerator door on National Cheese Lovers Day and finds that the cheese safe is bare? Fear not, for The Mouse has a brief list of shops to help restock for the celebration. Continue reading
Anthony Bourdain arguably has one of the best jobs on earth. He travels the globe, tastes indigenous cuisine, and is given access to places most of us can only dream of seeing. Bourdain’s job is not for the faint of heart or stomach, and his excursions can sometimes be downright dangerous (see No Reservations, Beirut 2006 , for example) but for the most part, Bourdain is rewarded with fantastic local fare and envy-inspiring experiences. This would be the case on his recent visit to France when Bourdain and fellow chef, Erik Ripert, dropped in at Marie-Anne Cantin, one of Paris’s most renowned cheese shops. Continue reading
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
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
As we all know, this Sunday the Green Bay Packers will go cheese head to head with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not much of a football fan, but I can’t help being a bit excited for this years games for two reasons. First, I’m a Clevelander and I would love to see the Steelers lose, just cuz. Second, I love Wisconsin cheese whenever cheese can stand alone on top, I’m for it.
There are those who are pretty psyched for the game, especially those Packer fans. Some go to pretty amazing lengths to show team spirit and Mary VanderLeest of Minneapolis is no exception. She and her neighbor, Curtis Johnson constructed a gigantic snow wedge of Swiss on her front lawn in honor of the Packers.
Check out the video here for the full story. Go Cheese! I mean, Packers!
Homage to Fromage
As a cheese blogger, I consume quite a bit of fromage for research (and because it’s pretty awesome). When I travel, I spend at least a quarter of my time hunting down local cheese shops and sampling their wares. I am in constant contact with my local cheesemongers to find out when new and seasonal cheeses are available and have them hold me a wedge or two. I do all this because I love cheese the taste of cheese, not because I am addicted. Or am I? Continue reading