I am a sucker for a good fairy tale. As a kid, I would sit for hours under a tree, reading stories by Hans Christian Anderson, and the Brothers Grimm, getting lost in the magic and occasionally frightened by the horror in the tales they spun. Getting older did nothing to dampen my fascination with the genre and I still enjoy curling up with a good cautionary tale of greed, vanity, and the ever-popular Evil Stepmother. Imagine my delight when I discovered that a fairy godmother in the form of Painted Goat Farm had created a cheesy fable of goodness called Cinderella. Continue reading
Tag Archives: pasteurized milk
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
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.
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.
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