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One cheese to rule them all

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Don Carlos, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. chronoaug

    chronoaug Senior member

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    had some the other day. good times. Have you tried Harbison? I don't know where you're located but it's the newest cheese from Jasper Hills in Vermont. It's modeled after the vacherin. Has a nice aroma, creamy texture with a rather strong mustard finish. Is a good cheese. I still prefer the original but it's tasty and you can find a small wheel for like $18 if you live in the northeast where Jasper Hill cheeses are more common. It has only existed a few months. I'm interested to see how they adjust it for next season


    Speaking of Vermont cheeses, the new Twig Farm Goat Tomme came out a month or so ago. It's fucking amazing. Probably my favorite US made goat cheese at the moment. Incredible flavor, texture and the rind has a wonderful mustiness. If you see it at your local store and it looks in good shape definitely a 1/4 wheel up (it's kinda pricy like $30-35 /lb)
     
  2. alexg

    alexg Senior member

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    I just had Harbison the other week actually. Great cheese, I'd buy again. I also had Uplands Rush Creek Reserve this week. Another American Vacherin clone. I honestly don't know if I could even say Vacherin is any better than those two. They taste different, but all three are some of the best cheeses sold in America. I'll keep an eye out for the Goat Tomme, but I don't think I've ever seen anything from that farm in NYC.
     
  3. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    Can one of you guys recommend a cheese/wine/bread combo for me to offer to (female) guests? I'm a complete newbie and have had some stuff I really liked in Paris but didn't pay attention to names. I'm pretty much looking for any soft, whitish cheese that's got some tang... I bought an expensive french cheese the other day but it ended up having no more flavor that that Laughing Cow stuff kids eat. Is champagne ever used in place of wine, and is it ok to add foie gras mousse to make it more mealy?
     
  4. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Svenn- you can make a cheese board as "meal-like" as you want for as many persons as you want depending on 1) number of cheeses, 2) charcuterie 3) fruits/veg 4) bread and wherever else you want to go. Don't count out soup as an option as well.
    Simple, can be easily paired with. And yes, sparkling wines, red and white can work and are the preferred choice with some cheeses (for example, moscato with certain blues). I've planned dinner for 20 that was all cheese courses and charcuterie.


    Here are a couple of simple suggestions:

    Bread: if you are serving just one cheese, a little brie or whatever, just stick with a good fresh baguette, warmed. If you add a few other things, more cheese etc, add a nice raisin/raisin nut bread.
    Fruits (fresh): really easy and good with ripened cheese: green apple.
    Fruits (dried) dried figs or medjool dates.
    Nuts: for a small board, keep it very simple; one kind, just a few. marcona almonds are the stereotypical choice. Fresh walnuts are nice.
    Meats: just my preference, but I don't pair French ripened cheeses with cured meats; IMO they overpower the mild flavors.
    Wine pairing: buttery/creamy/triple-cream/brie etc hold up well against tart/acidic/tannic wines and can shine... again, a blanket generalization... all depends on what's on the plate.

    All that said, since you mentioned champagne and a preference for strong flavors, here are a few easy combos you'll often recommended with cheeses that will be easy to find:

    Small Plate - One Cheese

    Beverage: Champagne

    Cheese: Pierre-Robert, Epoisses or Reblochon

    Accompaniment: baguette, green apple or strawberries

    Add two cheeses

    1) Add a fresh, plain goats milk cheese ( I like Wabash Cannonball)

    2) Either Aged cheddar - Montgomery (English) is the classic example -OR- Manchego/Mahon... a harder cheese for texture and contrast

    Need more? Add a little quince paste or a fig spread/jam. Perhaps add that dark bread, like raisin or a brown bread (plain)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  5. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    ^wow many thanks. I'm gonna search out that Pierre Robert, any tips for what kind of champagne to get with it? I probably don't wanna spend more than $30 on the bottle, or can one get smaller bottles so there'd be a lesser amount of undrunken portion to lose the fizz? Also, what's the best way to get a fresh baguette- I know there's a vietnamese bakery around the corner that bakes them daily, but I don't wanna have to rush down there every time I think a guest might be coming, so is there any type of bread/cracker that keeps longer that I can warm up? Finally, the internet confirms dates go well with pierre robert, would fig spread be a better pair then than quince paste?
     
  6. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    fig v dates v quince is a personal choice. Quince paste may be harder to find. Dates are pretty easy.

    Bread- I don't know what you have available. Plain water crackers are easy to keep around,

    [​IMG]

    Ask in the wine thread for champagne recommendations. While splits (half bottles) accomplish what you want, they're never good value if that matters.
    Moscato is generally cheaper and delicious with these cheeses.
     
  7. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    You can easily find a great Grower Champagne half bottle for that price. Look for Gaston Chiquet Premier Cru Brut Tradition, or go to a good shop and ask for some help.
     
  8. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    I got an Asti by Martini, which is different from Moscato d'Asti apparently, and it was decent but too sweet in my opinion relative to the Pierre Robert... I'm not really in a city where there's help in the wine section so can you recommend a less sweet sparkling wine than Asti, but still sweet? I dunno, maybe girls like it that sweet?
     
  9. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    Well, Prosecco is certainly not sweet, and usually good stuff can be had under $20. Look for Adami, whose entry level Prosecco is good but their Bosco di Gica level is incredible, and right around $20. For Cava, look for a chap named German Gilabert.
     
  10. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Yup-

    You may find Moscato sweet- I don't generally but it has a very floral nose.
     
  11. constant struggle

    constant struggle Senior member

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    Okay - i have a basic question that the few people i have asked do not know the answer - so i ask the almighty experts here on SF. I bought some taleggio cheese the other day, and it came with the mold on it? rind? i dont even know (total cheese noob here). What am I supposed to do with that part? Not knowing, I cut it all off and stored the now unmolded/unrinded? cheese in a zip lock bag.

    So yeah - what is the correct way to go about this? Is this cheese mold dangerous to consume? ( I am assuming yes )...

    Educate me please.




    Also - what is a good introductory book into the world of cheese?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  12. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    it's ok to eat it. just cut off the mold. i've heard of people eating it mold and all

    cheese primer, cheese bible, mastering cheese are all good.
     
  13. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Books: Anything by Max McCalman

    There's also a handy newer little book out now called The Cheese Course... I forget the author.

    A taleggio rind that looks something like this is OK:

    [​IMG]

    If it had obvious powdery white or black molds on top of that, the cheese shop shouldn't be selling it/doesn't know how to keep their cheese.

    As to eating it- that's up to you. Not all rind is edible but many are as is teleggio. BUT: it will taste nothing like the paste and is often an acquired taste. If you don't like it, you do nothing wrong by cutting it off. Just remove it from the portion you are eating, not the whole cheese.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  14. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Today's breakfast...

    Quicke's Cheddar
    Barely Buzzed
    Wabash Cannonball
    Dried fig
    Earl Gray etc.
     
  15. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Had my first go at Jasper Hills new cheese "Harbison" tonight. Based on my experience, Fletcher's write up in the SF Chron last week and a couple of others... it's too young right now. Should be spoonable like WInnemere or Rush Creek reserve or Epoisses... still in the sticky/too thick stage. If you pick up a wheel any time soon... suggest you leave it alone for AT LEAST 2-3 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  16. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    w00t!

    Keeping it under glass in the cool until Christmas.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    As far as American cheese producers go, I really like Haystack Mountain, Vermont Shepard, and Rogue Creamery makes a nice blue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  18. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Our Christmas Eve board. What's on yours?

    [​IMG]

    pantaleo

    tome d'aquitaine

    cashel blue

    appleby's cheshire

    rush creek reserve
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  19. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Looks great.

    I waited for about a half hour at the cheese shop today. The line was out the door and you had to take a number. Anyway, no pics, but we've got Challerhocker, Tomme Crayeuse, Valençay, Epoisses, and Shropshire Blue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011

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