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One cheese to rule them all - Page 16

post #226 of 445
Good Gruyere is great like that. there's a nutty/sweet/mild mushroom thing going on with the best and those acid crystals are a bonus.
post #227 of 445
That's one of the reasons I prefer Comte over Gruyere. They tend to be smoother, and have less of those crystals.
post #228 of 445
The crystals are what you want, dude.
post #229 of 445
I'm eating a Comte at the moment that has some, but certainly not as many as a Gruyere. I don't really care for the texture.
post #230 of 445
The best comte I've had are far and away better than the best gruyere. I'll give you that. Still, the crystals, especially in something like montgomery's, are sublime.
post #231 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

The best comte I've had are far and away better than the best gruyere. I'll give you that. Still, the crystals, especially in something like montgomery's, are sublime.

No argument from me, especially on Montgomery's.
post #232 of 445
How do you like Marcel Petite's comtés?
post #233 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Grant View Post

No argument from me, especially on Montgomery's.

So, you know cheese very well. I would not say any given Montgomery's has been the very best cheese I've encountered. That would be reserved for a few very old comte's I've had abroad, and a few spectacular blues. Hoever, Montgomery's is clearly the most consistent great cheese I've ever had. Is the cheesemaker just that consistent, that good?
post #234 of 445
In short, yes. James Montgomery is very, very good. As they are farmstead makers, he micromanages every detail- monitors the feed, constantly checks the protein and fats etc. He and the others at their farmstead are dedicated to preservation of a very specific method and formula. It's not unlike the (mercenary?) nature of German's protection of how beer is made. They only make a few dozen truckles a week, all by hand.

But keep in mind that while they age the cheese on the farm for the first few months; credit too to Neal's Yard and their affinage for selecting the best cheeses at that point consistently bringing it to age.

You probably know this. There are a few things at work with Artisan and Farmstead cheese makers. Most make one, or only a very few cheeses. When you make a batch, it's all or nothing from beginning to end, they go from milk to cheese in generally under 24 hours. And anything that goes off during that time means the lot gets tossed. It's laborious and stressful but it also means that they just have to get a few steps exactly right. Then off to the caves... where they get eyeballed, brushed, wiped, whatever every day or so.

And with so little margin and high risk for loss should something be wrong, you can imagine everybody along the chain being hyper-focused getting everything just right. I'd posit that most of the "harm" comes once it's in the local shop. Depending on their facilities and knowledge... anything can happen.


90% (?) of the Montgomery's I've had is excellent. Most of that other 10% was also quite good. I've only had one that taught me a lesson... it tasted of cardboard... and the fault was on the cheese shop.

Not sure I could name which cheese I've had that is most consistently great. It's an interesting question. Ossau Iraty comes pretty close. The ones that are most consistently variable are the ripened and bloomy-rind cheeses for obvious reasons. I recall you mentioning some time ago, for example, that you felt that Cowgirl's were routinely selling theirs too young.
post #235 of 445
Delivery from Artisanal awaiting me at home. Cheese porn incoming...
post #236 of 445
On the road in North Carolina...
Chapel Hill Creamery's Chocolate Lab & Looking Glass Creamery's Hickory Grove

350

Choc0late Lab is a washed rind, semi-soft rubbed in cocoa and stout. Hickory Grove is a trappist style, also semi soft. Both are mild.
Picked up at Southern Season in Chapel Hill.
post #237 of 445
^ damn I would really like to taste those. my stash is very pedestrian at the moment. frown.gif
post #238 of 445
anyone ever actually tried cheese analogues?
post #239 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britalian View Post

anyone ever actually tried cheese analogues?

What... like "vegan cheese", "tofu cheese" etc?

If so... 35
post #240 of 445
Some decent Austrian Bergkäse

263

L'Étivaz. Yum. 2.5 years old.

263

Irish camembert. At first I was quite perplexed. Actually it is pretty good.

263
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