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Eating cheese - Page 3

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128View Post
Thanks, Matt. I mostly used the acidity as a way to refresh the palate between each cheese, but maybe that misses the point of creating a balanced platter.I love blue. I tried my first Shropshire from England this week. It's great stuff. I have a long wooden cutting board that I serve on for rusticity, and also a white platter, for something more elegant.
Just remember to take your cheese out several hours before and to put it in a not hot area. It makes all the difference. I love English blues. My favorite, right now, is Stichelton, but I also like French blues a lot, though what we get here is not as good as what you find over there. Still very good. Point Reyes Blue from my area is quite a nice American blue. I, unlike others, dislike most of the CA cheeses, even Cowgirl, but this is a nice cheese. Try a bunch. A very old fashioned, and wonderful, way to eat blue is on bread with a bit of salted butter. Great combination.

I really, really, really enjoy Point Reyes blue. I will try it with the salted butter!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

Matt probably made a badass cheese platter out of the rotten Epoisses I gave him.

My question, also -- how the heck can you tell? I once got some Raclette, and I totally couldn't deal. I like durian, but that stuff was....
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128 View Post

I didn't really think about regions or varieties, but just went with which cheeses I liked best that I tasted, and thought would combine well together. Essentially, there are two hards, one soft, one semisoft, and a blue, which I feel is a nice balance. The figs and peaches acted as nice palate cleansers, as well.

Beautiful! I love figs with a cheese plate. I also sometimes like some dried apricots (depending on the selection), and blanched almonds, too.

~ H
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post


My question, also -- how the heck can you tell? I once got some Raclette, and I totally couldn't deal. I like durian, but that stuff was....

I'm not sure. laugh.gif I just know that it was my last weekend in California, and I thought that I should get something nice for Matt b/c of all the things he'd done for me/with me when I was out there. So, all excited as hell, I went to the Cheese Shop in Healdsburg, asked if they had Epoisses, since I knew Matt loved Epoisses, and bought the last of it that they had (probably should have been some kind of a red flag right there). Then, jolly as a clam, I gave it to him, thinking I was a badass and thoughtful and a good friend and all of those nice things. I found out months later that it was past its prime and was never enjoyed. frown.gif Matt was cool about it too, didn't rub my face in it or anything, since I'm sure he thought that it was the thought that counted, but man did my heart sink.
post #33 of 46
Want to do a charcuterie and cheese platter for dinner tonight, with some great bread. Problem is, I never know what to buy when I go to a cheese counter. I like pretty much every cheese, from hard and mild to creamy and super pungent. Are there any types/brands/etc. that are ubiquitous enough so I can probably find in my whole foods or other cheese store that would be a good learning experience? Or are there characteristics I should look for (other than just price), that could be a good determinant of quality?

Just to qualify this, I'm not looking for "try brie" suggestions, but more along the lines of "there is this type of blue cheese that is pretty easy to find that is very good". Or just what's a favorite type of cheese that I probably wouldn't buy that maybe I should try.

I prefer soft cheeses, but am happy to try hard ones too.
post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
For blue, I like Fourme d'Ambert, which should be pretty easy to find. I've been eating Stilton, lately, and it is very good, as well. If you can find Shropshire blue, buy it.

Last week, I had Robiola di Capra for the first time. It very well may be one of my favorite soft cheeses.

For hard, I'd look for an aged Comté.

As far as quality goes, try to get your cheese cut fresh, if possible; it makes quite the difference.
post #35 of 46
KJT-

Are you buying from a cheese-monger or a supermarket?
If fresh from a cheese-monger, ask them to put something together for you. Tell them what you like and how many people you're feeding. If you have anything that you KNOW will be on the plate, like a certain cured meat, tell him to build around that.

This cheese-clock might be useful to you http://www.artisanalcheese.com/cheeseclock/


As to blues- Point Reyes and Rogue Creamery cheeses are common in stores with decent selections. If you are in the Midwest, look for "St. Pete's Select" from Faribault Creamery. Colston-Bassett Stilton and Stichelton are pretty easy to find in better shops.

Start with a fresh goat's cheese- Cypress Hill is easy to find.

Have you ever used straight parmigiano or pecorino? Great, tangy, crunchy, crystalline hard cheeses... there are a number of choices... better shops always have a real parm from Emilia Romagna.
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
A great alternative to Parmagiano and Pecorino, for eating out of hand, is Pratomagno. It's very similar to a Parmagiano, but is sweeter and much better when eaten straight, in my opinion.
post #37 of 46
I don't think you can substitute a sheep milk cheese with a cow milk cheese (I guess Pratomagno is one, can't find much information about it.. wanna tell more?), can you? Pecorino can be mild but also very very strong in taste. Buy what you like. I'd go for a young one if you prefer sweeter taste. There are a dozen Pecorinos out there because, as you surely know, it simply means sheep cheese.

For plating, I've often seen cheese served with dark/brown or fruit bread.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Grant View Post

KJT-

Are you buying from a cheese-monger or a supermarket?
If fresh from a cheese-monger, ask them to put something together for you. Tell them what you like and how many people you're feeding. If you have anything that you KNOW will be on the plate, like a certain cured meat, tell him to build around that.

This cheese-clock might be useful to you http://www.artisanalcheese.com/cheeseclock/


As to blues- Point Reyes and Rogue Creamery cheeses are common in stores with decent selections. If you are in the Midwest, look for "St. Pete's Select" from Faribault Creamery. Colston-Bassett Stilton and Stichelton are pretty easy to find in better shops.

Start with a fresh goat's cheese- Cypress Hill is easy to find.

Have you ever used straight parmigiano or pecorino? Great, tangy, crunchy, crystalline hard cheeses... there are a number of choices... better shops always have a real parm from Emilia Romagna.

Great advice. IMO, the only hard cheese that compares to good parmesan is Montgomery's Cheddar. Not compares as in similar, but compares as in I like it as much.
post #39 of 46
Thanks to all the replies. I was going to just go to the supermarket, but I think I'll make a trip to a well known cheese shop on the other side of town so I can have an actual conversation with someone who knows something. Won't be tonight though.

This shop actually has their list of cheeses on the website. Anything I should make sure to get? http://www.lafromagerieonline.com/cheeses_meats.html

This is the other place if anyone wants to know: http://cheesetique.com

Anyone in the DC area know of any other places that are either in DC or closer to MD?

Edit: this place has good reviews too http://www.yelp.com/biz/cowgirl-creamery-washington
post #40 of 46
Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are often good, but a little boring in my opinion.
post #41 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordecai View Post

Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are often good, but a little boring in my opinion.

I wonder if the people who work there are as offensive as the ones in SF. I agree, not my favorite cheeses, but very easy to eat, so they are good for large groups.
post #42 of 46
I used to get them at Whole Foods but we brought home an offensive Red Hawk once, so I haven't really gotten any since then. I don't know if LA has a Cowgirl shop, though we have no shortage of offensive retail niche experts.
post #43 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post


I wonder if the people who work there are as offensive as the ones in SF. I agree, not my favorite cheeses, but very easy to eat, so they are good for large groups.

Please elaborate. Love the stories about SF.
post #44 of 46
BTW, I think I've posted it before, but I really like this Belgian cheese:

500
post #45 of 46

Quote:

Originally Posted by KJT View Post

Want to do a charcuterie and cheese platter for dinner tonight, with some great bread. Problem is, I never know what to buy when I go to a cheese counter. I like pretty much every cheese, from hard and mild to creamy and super pungent. Are there any types/brands/etc. that are ubiquitous enough so I can probably find in my whole foods or other cheese store that would be a good learning experience? Or are there characteristics I should look for (other than just price), that could be a good determinant of quality?

Just to qualify this, I'm not looking for "try brie" suggestions, but more along the lines of "there is this type of blue cheese that is pretty easy to find that is very good". Or just what's a favorite type of cheese that I probably wouldn't buy that maybe I should try.

I prefer soft cheeses, but am happy to try hard ones too.

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With a really good bread, the only thing on God's green earth that I like more and some wonderful salted butter is a cheese called Brillat-Savarin. It should be pretty ubiquitous. I love it to death, the creaminess is captivating.

 

For blue, I second the recomendation for Point Reyes, What I love about it is that though the moldy bit is funky, the white cheesy part (I swear, if there are names for these parts of cheese, school me) is so....white. That is, it is creamy and fresh and an excellent counterpoint to the funk--so unlike, say, a Stilton, that is funk on funk (and also excellent, but a different experience).

 

You must also be able to find a good aged Manchego -- a semihard aged sheep's milk cheese. It has pockets that have begun to crystallize (what is that called?) like a parmagiano-reggiano, but not quite, and it is piquant and salty like a Pecorino.

 

And then there is Mimolette, the orange softball. The thing about Mimollette is the unctuous waxy texture, the way the fats melt on your tongue, trapping the Doritos-like flavor and binding it to your receptors to send zings of  deep cheesyness to your mind.

 

Dammit, I need some cheese.

 

BTW, can anyone rec a good cheese book?

 

~ H

 

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