After our entrée last night The Lady served a Cheese Plate for dessert with fresh Peach Salsa that she made using veggies from The Garden of The Man. The Salsa recipe is posted over on our recipe blog and you can check it out by clicking here. The bounty from The Garden of The Man has been wonderful the last few weeks after a cold spring and cool summer.
The Lady served three cheeses that she bought in the Rogue Creamery Gift Shop last week with the fresh peach salsa. Perhaps it was a strange pairing, but with fresh fruit and veggies, one can never really go wrong.
The first cheese on the plate was Mountina, a mountain-style cheese from the “Alpine-ish” Mountains of Montana. Dwayne and Darryl of the Vintage Cheese Company decided to make an American Artisan cheese fashioned after the great Swiss cheeses like Le Gruyere and Emmenthal. Well, they succeeded. I found this cheese to be nutty and sweet in the center and a little richer as you approach the washed-rind that was also coated in a thin, breathable wax. Of the three, this was the perfect cheese to start our cheese plate adventure. Perhaps a bit milder than its inspiration but with a little more age, I suspect it will become heartier.
I give the Mountina 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: In addition to snacking, this would also make an excellent melting cheese for cooking.
Libation pairings will appear at the end of this review.
The second cheese was a Rogue Creamery creation in collaboration with Rogue Ales: Hopyard, a Rogue Creamery cheese mixed with Freedom Hops from the Chatoe Rogue Micro Hopyard in Oregon’s Wigrich Appellation (now that’s quite a mouthful, even for the Feline Foodie). The whole hops are de-stemmed by hand, steeped in hot water and mixed with the curds and then pressed into blocks. The result is a tasty cheese that even a non-beer drinker finds delightful. I suspect that if you love beer, then you will really take to this cheese.
I give Hopyard 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Again, on a cheese plate you’ll be happy as a clam… or a cat… as the case may be…
The third cheese on the plate was the one that made The Man swoon and delighted The Lady and moi, as well: Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar. This cheese is crumbly with a distinct bite and a lingering bitterness that is the perfect finish for a sharp cheddar. We enjoyed all three but this cheese was our favorite. You can always count on cheddar being a hit around the manse.
I give the Rogue Creamery Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: This is definitely both a snacking and cooking cheese. The Lady plans to use the rest of it with a larger wedge of Rouge Creamery Tou Velleto make a mac n cheese (the recipe will appear on our sister blog… stay tuned).
Now for the libation pairings: The Man suggests the 75th Anniversary Rogue Ale made by Rogue Ales to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Rogue Creamery.
The Lady served the 2005 Mondo Novo from Madrone Mountain, a port-style dessert wine made especially to be enjoyed with Rogue cheeses… and it was.
And yet one more bit of trivia: Did you know that the Rogue Creamery Gift Shop in Central Point, Oregon has been named a Top Tourist destination in Oregon? The Lady said the morning her group was there, a steady stream of visitors were buying cheeses and wines. One group of four (two couples) from Northern California told The Lady they travel four and a half hours several times a year to visit the creamery and Fred Meyer. She added, “There’s nothing like Fred Meyer in California and that’s a shame.”
August 26, 2011
I’m sitting in my small, cramped home bunker working my paws off… and attempting to wrangle The Man… while The Lady is off cavorting this week with the Cheese Swells at Rogue Creamery. As I have said before… and often… there is something seriously wrong with the division of labor around here… but I digress.
First and foremost, The Lady will be sharing her Rogue adventure when she returns. She was invited by DPI to join a group of Fred Meyer cheesemongers who won a trip to make cheese at Rogue Creamery. The six winners were chosen based on increased sales of Rogue cheeses at their respective kiosks or based on their skillful merchandising of the Creamery’s cheeses.
Here’s a shout out to the winners: Mary, Shannon, Amber, Karen, Erin (whom, according to The Lady, drives like a maniac) and Terri. Congratulations on your success!!!
After making cheese yesterday the group was treated to a Rogue Cheese Plate that included two cheeses we have previously reviewed: Oregon Blue and Tou Velle. Also on the plate were two cheeses, we have not reviewed. One is Echo Mountain. The other will be reviewed in the next couple of days once I have The Lady back in the manse… where she will pay… heavily… for leaving me home… again…
Echo Mountain is a blended milk cheese made from goat and cow milk from two Sustainable Dairies that The Lady visited while at Rogue… do the indignities never end… here I sit reporting… but I’m not bitter… who am I kidding, of course I’m bitter…
The Lady met the goats who contribute the milk for Echo Mountain and evidently one of them got a bit friendly… and then she met the cows that contribute the milk for this cheese.
There will be more on the Sustainable Farming programs that the dairy farmers and Rogue Creamery practice but for now all I’m saying is… Wow!!! Are you going to be impressed…
As time goes by and more cheeses are tasted, The Lady and I become bigger fans of goat milk cheeses and we’ve found another winner.
Echo Mountain is creamy and rich with beautiful blue veining throughout the paste. The blending of cow and goat brings a little earthiness and a goat tang. At the same time it’s subtle and complex. It melts on the palate and leaves a unique, lingering finish.
The Lady, through the power of telepathy, has asked me to give Echo Mountain 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). Let me add, she sure as heck had better bring a wedge of this cheese home to moi, your not-so-humble, feline foodie.
Serving Suggestions: On a cheese plate, this cheese is a great way to finish. Thanks to Burgerville, we learned here in the Pacific Northwest, that this cheese is perfect on a burger. In chatting with David Gremmels, The Lady learned that Burgerville contributed a portion of the profits from the sales of the Echo Mountain Burgers to the American Cheese Society Educational Fund – thank you Burgerville!!! Read the Burgerville Press Release by clicking here.
Wine Pairing: 2005 Madrone Mountain Mundo Novo Dessert Wine. She had this divine Port-style wine while her group enjoyed dinner at the home of David and Cary, the owners of Rogue Creamery… yep, you know what I’m thinking…
Beer Pairing: Rogue Ale’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout
Source: Sustainable Cow and Goat Milks
August 14, 2011
If you love Monterey Jack and you love Monterey Jack stuffed with stuff, then you’re going to love the Rocking W Natural Cheeses from the West Slopes of the Rocky Mountains!! It just doesn’t get much better when it comes to local flavored natural cheeses.
The Lady returned from Denver with a bag full of cheese and in her Colorado cache were three flavored Jacks made by a sixth-generation family of cheesemakers.
More than forty years ago Robert and Charlotte Webb (great name!!) decided to buy her parents twenty dairy cows and start their own dairy. Then they bought eighty acres just west of Olathe, Colorado and began their lives as dairy farmers. Today their son and son-in-law are co-owners in this farmstead artisan cheesemaking business. The milk is made into cheese within twenty-four hours of milking from cows that only eat feed grown on the Rocking W Farm.
The three cheeses The Lady brought home are all Monterey Jack stuffed with wonderful herbs, spices and vegetables. The first one we tasted was filled with Portobello mushrooms. It was earthy, creamy with lots of Portobellos, button mushrooms and leeks. Delish!! The second we tasted was tomato and basil jack cheese. Mam, oh, man; lots of tomato and lots of basil. The third had chives and garlic; this one was a favorite of The Man. The Lady and I found the Portobello jack to fit our tastes the best. The cheese is all three was crumbly when slicing but creamy on the palate.
All ingredients labels indicated that nothing artificial had been added; just milk, rennet, salt and the veggies and herbs… now that’s natural.
I give all three Rocking W Flavored Monterey Jack Cheeses 3 out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Snacking is always an option; but cooking is also a definite way to go with these cheeses. As I write this review, The Lady is making breakfast quesadillas using the Garlic and Chives Jack. You can read her recipe by clicking here. She has plans to make a mac n cheese with the Portobello and leek cheese… always a favorite around the manse…
Wine Pairing: The Lady suggests either a Chardonnay or a nice Table Red.
Beer Pairing: For fear of offending Mr. Richardson from Fort Collins (read his comment at the bottom), The Man decided to go with Fort Collins Brewery’s Weizenheimer Wheat IPA… seemed a perfect pairing suggestion on several levels…
Source: Pasteurized Colorado Cow Milk
Rocking W Cheeses are available at your new Murray’s Cheese Shop located at select King Soopers including the new Murray’s at the Glendale, Colorado location … stop in today and enjoy the new Murray’s Cheese Shop and take home some Rocking W to enjoy tonight. The wines and beers recommended are also available in the liquor department as well. King Soopers is Colorado Proud!!
August 11, 2011
While in Denver, The Lady stocked up on local cheeses available at the new Murray’s Cheese Shops located in the Glendale King Soopers; bringing home eight different Colorado cheeses from three different cheesemakers.
She brought several other wedges for moi, your humble correspondent to taste and review. In fact, she had so many in her bags, the TSA opened her bags and searched my cheese stash. Fortunately for moi, they didn’t taste or confiscate them and all made it to the manse safely…
Tonight, we dived into our first two delicacies; two miniature wheels of camembert and brie from MouCo Cheese Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
MouCo is owned by husband and wife team, Robert Poland and Birgit Halbreiter who met while working at New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins. Birgit got her cheese start in Germany working for Kaserei Champignon. Her father is a master cheesemaker in Europe who comes to the US each year to work with Robert to further develop the MouCo cheeses into even more superior traditionally-made brie and camembert.
The cheeses are wrapped in breathable paper imported from France. This allows the cheeses to continue their natural aging process.
The camembert’s package stated that in July this cheese would be soft and creamy and that it would be best by mid-August… as it warmed to room temperature, it began to ooze just a bit and the taste was divinely tart with a slightly bitter after taste. The texture was creamy and buttery, just the way I like my camembert. The finish was nutty and lingering. The Lady served it to moi naked… no, the cheese was naked… she and The Man enjoyed it sitting on a Partners Cracker. Then she topped it with strawberry spread. The three of us were in camembert heaven…
I give MouCo Camembert 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: You can never go wrong serving this camembert on a cheese board with some jams and nuts. Camembert is also great with salami.
Wine Pairing: Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theorem Rosé
Beer Pairing: Fort Collin’s Fat Tire from New Belgium
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk
Along with the camembert, The Lady served the Colorouge, a reddish-tinged brie wheel that simply mouthed in my mouth… ooh la la… how I love brie. The label suggested it would be best by early September… it’ll never make it to September here at the manse. It’ll be lucky to make it to 7pm tonight…
This brie was a little firmer than the camembert and the flavor was buttery with just a touch of funk. Again, I enjoyed mine naked (again… the cheese… not your feline foodie… sheesh…) and The Lady and The Man went with warm French bread and a dollop of apricot preserves.
I give MouCo Colorouge 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Again, you’ll win the hearts and souls of your guests when this brie is sitting on a cheese board.
Wine Pairing: Colorado’s Redstone Mead Raspberry Nectar
Beer Pairing: Colorado’s Odell Brewing’s 90 Shilling
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk
MouCo Cheese is available at your new Murray’s Cheese Shop located at King Soopers on Leetsdale in Glendale, Colorado… stop in today and enjoy the new Murray’s Cheese Shop and take home some MouCo to enjoy tonight. The wines and beers recommended are also available in the liquor department as well. King Soopers is Colorado Proud!!
August 1, 2011
Before heading for Denver, The Lady brought home a wedge of yet another Gouda, this one is called Double Cream, which means the butterfat in the cheese is somewhere in the area of 60-74%. Because cheese is usually half water (it comes from cow’s milk, which is primarily water…) a double cream would have about 30% fat in dry matter (the combination of the fat and other solids).
Goudas are always a favorite around the manse and although on the mild side, this Double Cream is mellow and buttery. We decided it’s better suited for cooking as opposed to snacking. You put this in a mac n cheese and you’ll have happy dinner guests. It would also be great in your favorite grilled sandwich.
Double Cream Gouda is made in Staphorst, Holland, where the natives like to show off their traditional costumes and can be seen sporting them most days of the week. The houses are often painted green or light blue.
In Holland this cheese is sold under the name of Room Kaas.
I give Double Cream Gouda 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving: I suggest you use this in cooking; it’s too mild to put on a cheese plate.
Wine Pairing: A light Pinot Noir would pair well.
Beer: How about a blonde ale?
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk
July 26, 2011
The Dutch Cheesemaker, Wyngaard Kaas naturally ripens its cheese in an old warehouse located on the Old Rhine River in Woerden, Netherlands. The one hundred-year old warehouse contains shutters which open and close to adjust and control the micro-climate inside the building. In the winter, additional heating is added. By using natural methods to age their cheeses, Wyngaard Kaas allows the cheese to age at its own pace and the cheesemakers sell their cheese when it’s ready. “Factory” (think “industrial”) cheese, on the other hand, is aged in warehouses where the temperature is kept artificially low and the humidity artificially high aging the cheese more quickly with little loss of weight. By aging naturally, Reypenear cheeses lose as much as 25% of their weight during the process; but the end product is superior and the cheesemakers are willing to sacrifice money for quality.
These cheeses are made only during the months when the cows are free to eat grass in the pastures of The Netherlands. Even though the milk is pasteurized you can still taste the grass and flora nuances that make these cheeses taste even better. The producer buys the milk from a co-operative and pays a premium for the milk in order to guarantee the farmers will continue to allow the cows to graze outdoors.
The Lady and I recently tasted both the one-year Reypenear Gouda and the two-year Reypenear VSOP. And, in case you were wondering, our love for aged gouda continues here at the manse. The Lady’s “first love” in specialty cheeses was Rembrandt and many aged goudas later, that love continues to blossom and bloom. It’s pretty clear; we have never met an aged gouda we didn’t like…
The first we tasted is the Reypenear One Year gouda. This cheese is creamy and soft with a nice lingering, buttery taste. This Award-Winning cheese is at home on a cheese board and is delightful when added to your favorite grilled cheese. And, here’s a surprise, The Lady would gladly add this to one of the many mac n cheese dishes she loves to create and serve to The Happily-Swooning Man…
I give the one year Reypenear 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Wine Pairing: A lighter Pinot Noir would be a nice pairing
Beer pairing: How about a Brown Ale
Source: Pasteurized Milk from Pasture-fed Cows
The older sister of the One-Year Reypenear is the Two-Year VSOP Gouda. This gouda intensifies with its age; the caramel, the butterscotch and the fruity flavors all merge here to bring complexity to a cheese that melts on your palate. Filled with those luscious protein crystals that explode with even more flavor, it just doesn’t get any better than VSOP from Raypenear.
I give Repenear VSOP 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got… and I might add, it’s all I need…)
Serving Suggestions: Please your guests with a cheese platter with this cheese and grapes, apricot preserves and 34° Natural Crackers. They will love you and be impressed at how cool you are… You can also add this to your favorite pasta dish or mac n cheese.
Wine Pairing: A full-bodied Cabernet would pair quite nicely.
Beer Pairing: Belgian Ale
Spirit Pairing: Scotch or Bourbon
Source: Pasteurized Milk from Pasture-fed Cows
Awards: 2007 – Nantwich Cheese Show: Gold for Best Gouda
July 24, 2011
Vegetarian-Suitable – Made using a microbial rennet
In Wales, the coal miners were called “Colliers”; a sturdy group of men who worked the mines in semi-darkness and hard conditions. Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar is named after these brave men who daily risked their lives and considered cheese a staple of their diet; particularly their midday meal which was eaten inside the mines.
The Lady and I are big fans of cheddar; you might say we have never met a cheddar we didn’t like. In fact, many of them we fall in love with and take them home to meet The Man.
One of those cheddars is Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar… some might think that a cheesemaker has big cojones to put “powerful” on the package… but when you can back it up with the goods, then I say, “If you got it; it’s time to flaunt it”.
This is one of those great, sharp cheddars; so “powerful” it’ll “take the back of your head off”, to quote, Gavin, a poker buddy of The Lady and a life-long friend of The Man. Gavin only used this term to describe food he loved and the stronger and bolder the cheese, the more he loved it.
Collier’s is made with pasteurized cow milk from local farms; using the same recipe and aged in Denbighshire for up to sixteen months. This cheese is crumbly, nutty, slightly sweet and toasty. It melts in your mouth and lingers for a long, satisfying finish. It’s robust enough to get you through a long shift in the coal mines… or the cheese mines…
You’re gonna love this cheese…
Serving Suggestions: A cheese board is a perfect place to showcase this cheese. With salami and crackers, you’ve got a meal that satisfies even the most discriminating cheese nerd.
Wine Pairing: You need a powerful cabernet to stand-up to this powerful cheese.
Beer Pairing: IPA
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk