From Top: Hopyard, Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar and Mountina

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).

2005 Madrone Mountain Mundo Novo

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.

A bit of trivia, the brandy snifter in the picture is from the movie, Titanic, and is a replica of the crystal used on the maiden (and as it turns out, last as well) voyage of the Titanic. The filmmaker wanted everything authentic in the movie, right down to the china, silver and crystal.Later the props were sold through the catalog of J. Peterman and The Lady bought two as an anniversary gift for The Man.

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.”

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Raw Milk Cheese

Vegetarian-Suitable Cheese

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.

The Too-Friendly Goat

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

Please “Like” Rogue Creamery on Facebook and “Follow” them on Twitter.

Stay Tuned: All weekend, The Lady and I will be reporting on her trip to Rogue Creamery… she asked me to send out a huge thank you to everyone at the creamery for an unforgettable cheese memory…
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Get your Locavore on today at Murray’s Cheese Shops grand Opening at the King Soopers on Leetsdale in Glendale, Colorado!!

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!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
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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!!Member, Association of Food Bloggers

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



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


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…

I give Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

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

Westfield Farm Capri

July 17, 2011



Vegetarian-Suitable – Made Using Microbial Rennet

Naturally Lowfat Cheese

There’s a Humankind Adage that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”… The Lady is a testament that the adage is NOT always true. When she and I began this cheese journey, one of our earliest tastes of goat cheese was a hard goat cheddar that no doubt was the result of the billy goat getting more than a tad too close to the milking parlor. That cheese was vile and you can review my less than flattering review by clicking here.

We were convinced that no goat cheese would ever receive a 4 Paws review. Little-by-little, we found goat cheese adoration in Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon and true goat cheese love came our way when we met Rhonda Gothberg and the Gothberg Farms Chevre and Goat Goudas.

While in New York last week, The Lady ate a Murray’s Cheese Vegetable Sandwich that included Fresh Goat Chevre from Westfield Farm. The Westfield Capri is made every Monday and arrives at Murray’s early on Tuesday. The Capri sells out before the week is over and customers must wait until the following Tuesday for the next delivery.

Located in Central Massachusetts, Westfield has been making award-winning farmstead cheese since 1971. In 1996, their Capri Bluebonnet won Best of Show at the American Cheese Society Competition. Westfield sells most of their cheeses to finer restaurants and specialty cheese shops like Murray’s; however if you aren’t in Greenwich Village you can order from their website to satisfy your Westfield Jones…

The Westfield Farm Capri is made from pasteurized goat milk and was less than a week old when The Lady ate it on her veggie sammy. It’s pure white with a soft, creamy texture. It has a rich, tangy, citrus taste that lingers and satisfies.

I give Westfield Farm Capri 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: This is a cheese you can use as a substitute for cream cheese and because of its naturally lower fat content (compared to sheep and cow milk cheeses) you can generously spread it, guilt-free, on a baguette and enjoy a feast with a bowl of berries.

Wine Pairing: Sancerre or a light white

Beer Pairing: Lambic

Source: Pasteurized Goat Milk


Made Using Raw Milk

All right, I admit that the first review I wrote of a Caerphilly was less than flattering and quite a few of you, my loyal readers, took the time to let me know what an ignorant jackass I was… in my defense, what The Lady and I tasted was a slimy, cryovaced, rindless, white cheese that tasted like grade school paste.

This week The Lady returned from New York and she brought home a wedge of Todd Trethowan’s Gorwydd Caerphilly… holy smokes… this Caerphilly is nothing like what we tasted back in the day…

Originally, Caerphilly was made back in the 18th Century as a way to use leftover milk. In the 1830’s it became a viable source of income for English Dairy Farmers and somewhere along the way, the Caerphilly train fell off the tracks and became what I tasted and hated.

Caerphilly, with its thick, natural rind was a favorite of Welsh coal miners because it could be eaten with dirty hands. Not only did it make a nutritious lunch in the mines, but the miners believed that the cheese absorbed some of the toxic fumes that often were present in the tunnels. This belief was so widely assumed, that the cheese became an export to other coal mining areas of England.

In 1996, Todd Trethowan returned Caerphilly cheesemaking to the way it is supposed to be… Now Maugan and Kim Trethowan carry on his tradition.

This raw cow milk cheese with its natural velvety rind resembles in no way the cheese I hated… under the natural rind, is a breakdown layer that is creamy and mushroomy. This creamy layer surrounds a crumbly paste that is tart with a pronounced lemon tang. The rind is earthy, chewy and edible; don’t throw it away.

We love this cheese; this cheese is one that I hope The Lady will bring home often and in large wedges. I could die happily with Caerphilly grasped in my paws…

I give Todd Trethowan’s Gorwydd Caerphilly 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). 

Serving Suggestion: This cheese deserves an honored place on your cheese plate. Serve it with a few grapes and a little rustic bread and you have a delightful meal.

Wine Pairing: A fruity red is an excellent choice.

Beer Pairing: Try a golden wheat beer; it’ll make the lemon really zing…

Source: Raw Cow Milk

Awards: This cheese has won at least one award every year since Todd began making this cheese.

Trivia: The cheese is named after the farm where the Trethowans make it. The farm is located near the Village of Llanddewi Brefi, in Ceredigion, West Wales.

Vegetarian-Suitable – Made using Microbial Rennet

A washed rind, sheep milk cheese made in the USA? Made in Missouri; the heart of Cow-land… how did this happen??? Luckily for all of us cheese nerds, a group of women own and operate a farm in the Missouri River Valley northwest of Kansas City… like I said… Cow-land…The sheep they raise are pasture-fed using strict rotation pasture feeding first developed in New Zealand. The Ladies of Green Dirt Farm, Sarah and Jacqueline, also believe in humane treatment of the animals they raise, allowing them plenty of room to roam and play with their friends and eating foods that are right for their bodies. The farm has received the “Animal Welfare Approved” Seal.

Now for the Bossa… a nova cheese for moi… This sheep milk cheese is washed as it ages giving it that distinctive funky, meaty aroma that The Man adores… The orange rind is edible, as are most washed rind cheeses, and inside is a mushroomy, nutty somewhat firm paste that melts in the mouth. With age it becomes softer and maybe a little gooey. It peaks in the 60-80 day range, so know your supplier.

When your guests start swooning, you can blame it on the bossa…

I give Green Dirt Bossa 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: On a cheese plate, it satisfies that “Something Stinky” position. Serve it with a warm baguette and a dab of apricot preserves. You can add it to a grilled cheese and you’ve got yourself a winner with a couple slices of prosciutto.

Wine Pairing: A sweet, dry wine.

Beer Pairing: ESB

Awards: 2009 American Cheese Society Winner

Source: Pasteurized Sheep Milk