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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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And The Winners Are….American Cheese Society hands out top cheese honors in Montreal

Congratulations to all the winners from this years’ American Cheese Society Conference. In case you missed it (like this mouse did…sadly) here is the list of winners:

 

BEST OF SHOW

Rogue Creamery, OR
Rogue River Blue

2nd PLACE (TIE)

Finica Food Specialties Limited, ON
(Mariposa Dairy, ON)
Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar

Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
Cave Aged Marisa

 

3rd PLACE

Fromagerie Du Presbytère, QC
Louis d’Or

 

See the entire list after the jump. See you all next year in Raleigh, North Carolina!
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Irish Cheddar not the only cheese option this St. Patty’s Day

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Okay, so it’s actually a couple of days away, but it IS the perfect time to offer some cheesy good options for the party. Sure there’s the standard Irish Cheddar with its sweet, tangy flavor that goes perfect with corned beef and cabbage, but wouldn’t it be fun to have some lucky surprises on the cheese plate this year? Move over, Kerrygold aged cheddar and make room for the new lassies on the block!

Gleann Oir

First up is this pretty wedge of Gleann Oir from Breda Maher, owner of Cooleeney Cheese Company in Tipperary, Ireland. This fromage may be a youngster, but it packs a powerful punch. Nose up to the natural white rind and breathe in all the pungent dirt aroma (this is a good thing, don’t be scared). Tangy goat’s milk with undertones of citrus and grass give Gleann Oir the perfect taste of spring. A great balance of crumbly and creamy, this cheese is great for crumbling over a spinach salad to start off the St. Patty’s Day feast. Continue reading

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Cheese Addict? The Science of Fromage Fondness Investigated

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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

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Interview: Rush Creek Reserve cheesemaker Andy Hatch chats with The House Mouse

Half eaten Rush Creek Reserve in front of a full wheel of Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Taken at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, MI.

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

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Quick Bite: Cowgirl Creamery Inverness

Tiny tasty tidbits of cheese are a great way to be adventurous without making a full on commitment to the unknown. Not sure about goat’s milk cheese? Try a tiny crottin of chevre. Curious about the infamous Epoisses yet frightened by the funk? Give Trou du Cru a go without worries of funkifying the fridge. Sometimes these little morsels of cheesy goodness have no comparison. Such is the case with Cowgirl Creamery’s Inverness. Continue reading

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Raw VS Pasteurized…the battle continues.

The battle between raw milk artisan cheesemakers, the FDA and the USDA has made headlines once again this week after possible contamination was suspected at two dairies, Missouri’s Morningland Dairy and Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Wash. Concern over the possible presence of Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria resulted in the recall of all cheeses produced with milk from these dairies.

Unfortunate incidents like this tend to fuel the debate between pasteurized and raw milk cheesemakers with both sides touting the benefits and pitfalls of the other. For those on the side of raw milk cheeses, the argument is taste and purity. For those on the side of pasteurization, quality control is key. Passion and condemnation runs high on both sides of the cheese wheel.

Check out WalletPop for the complete article.

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