Occasionally I’ll buy a certain kind of cheese just because it has a fun name. Such is the case for Twig Farm’s Fuzzy Wheel. I purposely did no research and asked no questions when I sent my order for this fun sounding fuzz from Formaggio Kitchen. I wanted to be totally surprised…and I was.
Twig Farm is a small goat farm in West Cornwall, Vermont and has been in operation since 2005. Owners Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman use traditional equipment and techniques to make their varieties of farmstead cheeses, forming them by hand and aging in their cheese cellar. 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
For over two years, I have been on the hunt for my favorite cheese, Stinking Bishop. I badgered my cheesemongers, scoured the Internet and made several futile attempts to contact Neal’s Yard, all to no avail. Then I met Samantha, the cheese and charcuterie buyer for Cheese Plus in San Francisco, California. Well, actually I spoke with her on the phone, as I live across the country in the Midwest.
Cheese Plus is owned by Ray Bair, former director of cheese, wine, and specialty foods for Whole Foods Market. Ray opened his shop about five years ago, and it is touted as San Francisco’s premier cheese and specialty food source – no mean feat. Although they don’t have an official online storefront, anyone can call and request items shipped. Continue reading
I finally got the chance to taste Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk and it was well worth the wait. To be fair, I had been offered chances on numerous occasions but hesitated because the web was saturated with high praise and I figured one more review would be one too many. After tasting the washed-rind triple-cream round of goodness, its clear that no amount of praise is enough for this flavor-bomb of fromage. Continue reading
Not all stinky cheeses are created equal. Some are overtly funky from smell to taste. Others smell intense yet have a delicious mild flavor. Hard and crumbly or soft and runny, I love them all. That being said, not all fumigating fromages are created equal. Here is the first of what I hope to be many compare and contrast tastings.
On the platter are two intense cheeses sure to please even the most timid taster. The first is a Swiss cheese called Chue Fladae (translates to “cow patty). Raw cow’s milk and a thick pastry-like washed rind, the aroma can be off-putting at the very least and just unbearable as it gets to room temperature. Continue reading
Wishing you all a cheesy new year!
This stinky, funky, pungent, and amazingly tasty cheese is my White Whale. I had my first taste of Stinking Bishop two years ago at the Whole Foods in Ann Arbor. The aroma was a mixture of wet dog and athletic shoes after a 10K. Not for the faint of stomach, to be sure. Then I took a bite and just lapsed into silence (a feat nearly impossible as those who know me can attest). I was in heaven! This aggressive yet smooth cheese had a powerful and earthy flavor that just wafted through my mouth. I know strong-smelling cheese isn’t most people’s idea of awesome, but I could eat a whole 5lb wheel of this stuff without so much as a soda cracker. Stinking Bishop was by far the strongest cheese I had tasted and it soared to the top of my list of must -haves. And then it was gone.
Stinking Bishop rose to popularity after it was used to revive the main character in the movie Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Wererabbit. Demand grew 500% within a month. Unfortunately, this unctuous treasure has a limited production of only 20 tons a year (that’s less than half the normal production of most artisan cheeses). With such high demand, Stinking Bishop vanished from cheesemongers’ cases.
It has been a year and a half since I tasted my elusive delicacy. Requests at my local Whole Foods are met with a sad shake of the head or pathetic shrug of shoulders. I could order it online, but I fear the unknown distributor. Some dishonest shyster who tries to pass off Epoisse as my aromatic Bishop. And so I search in hope if one day procuring that creamy, stinky gold once more.