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The Lady brought home lots of re-pack labels from Denver and made collages to hang in both our home office and her work office… this is what cheese nerds do in their spare time… cheese, glorious cheese:

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

April is Grilled Cheese Month and we’re celebrating at our Cheesemonger Recipe Blog by posting a new Grilled Cheese Sandwich everyday of the month.

Here is the list of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches we have created and posted so far:

April 1 – Crave Brothers Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Dessert Combo

April 2 – Old Amsterdam Grilled Cheese

April 3 – Saxon Homestead Saxony and Pear Grilled Cheese

April 4 – Grand Margaux Brie Grilled Cheese

April 5 – Neal’s Yard/Appleby’s Cheshire and Sausage Grilled Cheese on Crumpets

April 6 – Tillamook Tilly’s Dilly of a Grilled Cheese

April 7 – Joel’s Grilled Pimento Cheese

April 8 – The Man’s Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Grilled Cheese

April 9 – Marco Polo and Raspberry Grilled Cheese

April 10 – Croatian Grilled Cheese

April 11 – Beemster Mustard and Bacon Grilled Cheese

April 12 – Just Cheese Grilled Cheese

April 13 – Midnight Moon Gouda and Olives

April 14 – Raw Milk Manchego, Jamon Iberico and Membrillo

April 15 – The Tax Man Cometh Grilled Cheese

April 16 – Smoked Dorset Red and Bangers Grilled Cheese

April 17 – Lincolnshire Poacher and Asparagus Grilled Cheese

April 18 – Jarlsberg, Mortadella and Apples Grilled Cheese

April 19 – No Woman and Jerk Chicken Grilled Cheese

April 20 – Falling Back in Love with Parrano Grilled Cheese

April 21 – Woman of LaMancha and Flame-Crafted Ham Grilled Cheese

April 22 – Oregonzola and Steak Grilled Cheese

April 23 – Sartori Bellavitano Gold and Capocollo Grilled Cheese

April 24 – BelGioioso Fontina and Sylvilagus Audubonii Grilled Cheese

April 25 – Ossau Iraty and Camelus bactrianus Grilled Cheese

April 26 – Cotswold Pub Cheese and Axis calamianensis Grilled Cheese

April 27 – Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar and Marmota vancouverenis Grilled Cheese

April 28 – In Honor of The Queen Grilled Cheese

April 29 – William and Kate’s Lamb Confit Bubble and Squeak Grilled Cheese

April 30 – The House Mouse Grilled Cheese

And beginning April 24th, every grilled cheese recipe will use a tasty meat from The Feline Foodie’s own cheese and food pairing chart… this promises to really be interesting…


We also offer 10 Simple Steps to Build a Grilled Cheese


Please subscribe to our Cheesemonger Recipe Blog to get a daily update of new grilled cheese recipes as we post them…


The Lady and I agree that most reduced-fat cheeses also suffer from reduced taste; but not BeemsterLite. You’d never know it has 50% less fat than a regular Gouda… seriously this is a very tasty cheese.

The Lady brought a wedge home and I had to fight The Man paw-to-paw and if it weren’t for that opposable thumb “edge” I would have gotten more than a half share.

This cheese is nutty and sweet with a hint of the floral. Aged five months, BeemsterLite is a perfect cheese for those interested in taking a bit of fat out of their diet without any loss of flavor and enjoyment. The Lady served this tasty Gouda with a schmear of Vintner’s Kitchen’s Marionberry and Port Jam… as you might expect, it was yummy; The Man swooned.

This cheese has 90 calories per ounce as opposed to 120-130 in fattier cheeses. 50 of those calories are “fat calories”.

On a personal note, I imagine it is fun to live in the Beemster Polder; a place I have requested for my next assignment in the event The Brain re-deploys me in a future life. I hear that the Mighty Mike Tyson and Honorable Hemingway are frolicking there now and enjoying every day hanging out with the blue cows and chasing the blue mice… 

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

Serving Suggestions: On a cheese board, you can “wow” your guests. This cheese would be great in a fondue and also make a lower caloric grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a versatile cheese… you can do most anything with it and it’ll be a hit!!

Wine Pairing: The Lady loves her reds and went with 14 Hands Hot to Trot.

Beer Pairing: The Man chose Thomas Hooker Munich Style Golden Lager.

Source: Those blue contented cows that frolic in the Beemster Polder.

The Following cheeses and other items reviewed on the blog, all received 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got…)

34° Cracked Pepper Crispbread Crackers

34° Lemon Zest Crispbread Crackers

*34° Natural Crispbread Crackers

*34° Rosemary Crispbread Crackers

*34° Sesame Crispbread Crackers

*34° Whole Grain Crispbread Crackers

Abondance

*Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*Asiago

*Beecher’s Flagship Crackers

*Beecher’s Hazelnut Crackers

Beecher’s Extra-Aged Flagship

Beecher’s Flagsheep

Beecher’s Raw Flagship

*Beecher’s Flagship Reserve

*Beecher’s No Woman

Beemster Graskaas

*Beemster Mustard

*Beemster Vlaskaas

Beemster Wasabi

*Beemster XO

*BelGioioso American Grana

BelGioioso Burrata

BelGioioso Italico

*BelGioioso Parmesan

BelGioioso Provolone

BelGioioso Tiramisu Mascarpone

*Bellwether Farms’ Carmody

*Black River Gorgonzola

Cahill’s Original Porter Cheese

*Cambozola Black Label

Campo de Montalban

*Cantalet

Carr Valley Cows’ Milk Cheese Plate

Carr Valley Jenny Eye Reserve

Carr Valley Ten-Year Cheddar

*Comte

Consider Bardwell Farm’s Pawlet

Consider Bardwell Farm’s Rupert

*Cotswold Pub Cheese

Cougar Gold (WSU)

Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam

Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella

Crave Brothers Mascarpone

Cypress Grove’s Lambchopper

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon

*Denhay Farmstead Cheddar

Epoisses

Fair Oaks Farm Aged Gouda

Fair Oaks Farm Emmenthaler

Fair Oaks Farm Royal Blue

*Ficoco Fig Spread

Fiscalini Farmstead Premium Aged Cheddar

Ford Farm Rugged Mature Cheddar

*Fromager d’Affinois

Fromager d’Affinois with Garlic and Herbs

Golden Age Cheese Super Sharp Cheddar

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Gothberg Farms’ Chevre

Gothberg Farms’ Aged Gouda

Gothberg Farms’ Raw Milk Gouda

Gothberg Farms’ The Woman of LaMancha

Gothberg Farms’ Young Gouda

*Grana Padano

Greens of Glastonbury Organic Mature Cheddar

*Hawthorne Fred Meyer Meat Counter Has Got It Going On

Ilbesa’s Aged Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Ilbesa’s Mature Sheep’s Milk Cheese

*Ilchester Beer Cheese

*Ilchester Smoked Applewood

Istara Chistou

Istara P’tit Pyrenees

*Istara Ossau Iraty

*Kaltbach Le Gruyere

Kerrygold Aged Cheddar

*Kerrygold Butters

*Kerrygold Dubliner

Kerrygold Ivernia

Kerrygold Red Leicester

Kurtwood Farms’ Dinah

Laack’s Eight Year Extra Sharp Cheddar

Lapellah Restaurant

Le Timanoix

*Long Clawson Dairy Lemon Zest Stilton

Mauri Gorgonzola Piccante D.O.C.

Neal’s Yard Stichelton

*Old Amsterdam

Om Nom Nom Food Cart

*Parmigiano-Reggiano

*Parrano

Parrano Robusto

Pasture Pride Guusto

Pasture Pride Juusto

Piave

Portland’s Cheese Bar

President’s Comte

*Rembrandt

*Ricotta Salata

Robiola Three Latte

*Rogue Creamery Blue Crumbles

Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue

*Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue

*Rogue Creamery Oregonzola

*Rogue Creamery Rogue River Blue

Roth-Kase Bleu Affinee

Roth-Kase BrauKase

Roth-Kase ButterKase

*Roth-Kase GrandCru Gruyere

*Roth-Kase GranQueso

Roth-Kase Natural Smoked Gouda

*Roth-Kase Petite Swiss

*Saint Agur

*Saint Andre

*Salemville SmokeHaus Blue Cheese

Sally Jackson Raw Sheep Milk Cheese

Sartori Bellavitano Gold

Sartori Bellavitano Gold with Pepper

Sartori Foods’ Cheese Plate

Sartori Foods’ SarVecchio

Saxon Homestead Saxony

Sesmark Original Sesame Thins

Sweet Grass Dairy’s Thomasville Tomme

Tillamook 100th Anniversary Three-Year Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar

Tillamook Cheese Plate

Tillamook Cheese Curds

Tillamook Habanero

Tillamook Horseradish

Tillamook Ice Creams

Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar

*Tsunami Sushi at Hawthorne’s Fred Meyer

Upland’s Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Vella Dry Jack

Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery Bijou

*Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery Crème Fraiche

Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery Cultured Butter

*Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery Mascarpone

Villajos Artisan Manchego

Widmer Cellars Aged Brick

Willapa Farms Two-Faced Blue

*Indicates Cheese is carried on The Lady’s kiosk or Cheese Island

Whole Foods’ Cheese Plate

February 17, 2011

The Lady and The Man stopped in the local Whole Foods to buy some White Truffle Oil and while there, The Lady couldn’t resist checking out the cheese counter. Whole Foods carries many cheeses that The Lady doesn’t carry at her kiosk. She went through the small morsel basket and came up with six small pieces she used to make up a Valentine’s Day Cheese Plate:

Before I begin, let me express a bit of disappointment that two of the pieces had mold under the label side although the dates were well in the distance. We all realize this can happen, but when cheeses are in the $10-$40 a pound range, you’d prefer to know they are freshly wrapped. Also, a couple of the pieces were on the dry side which also indicated more age than the label dates indicated… The Lady simply trimmed the mold away; but had these been larger sizes, she would have returned them. Do NOT hesitate to return cheese to your cheesemonger when you feel its quality is lacking in any manner…

Now for the cheeses we sampled:

Boschetto al Tartufo Il Forteto Coop: this semi-soft cheese from Italy is a mixed-milk cheese using cow and sheep milk and added to it are black truffles. The cheese is both sweet and savory with just a touch of salt. The truffles add a pleasant earthy and garlicky flavor. Neither the cheese nor the truffles over-powered the other and actually were complimentary. The Man was quite taken with this cheese, although he didn’t swoon… ($38.99 a pound)

Next on the plate was Cypress Grove’s Lambchopper: A sheep’s milk Gouda made in Europe exclusively for Mary Keehn’s Cypress Grove. In keeping with Mary’s sense of humor, her website states that this cheese is “Born to be mild”. This was the favorite of the three of us, particularly The Man who actually did swoon while eating this sample. The Lady had to go through the “Sharing is a Virtue” drill… This cheese was sweet and tangy and although mild, the sweetness lingers. This is a cheese that The Lady calls “Kid-friendly”. And it is Vegetarian suitable. ($27.99 a pound)

Tumalo Farm’s Rimrocker: Named after the rocky cliffs that surround Tumalo Farms, this semi-hard cheese is a mixture of organic cow’s milk from a neighboring farm and Tumalo’s own farmstead goats’ milk. As it ages, the flavor becomes more full-bodied. The piece we sampled was a little drier than we felt it should be and The Lady plans to buy another piece at another WF and taste it again before making a final decision on that issue. The flavor was mild with just the right touch of goat tang. ($21.99 a pound)

Leyden with Cumin from Best Uniekaas: Leyden in a Dutch Gouda seasoned with cumin and caraway seeds. In Holland it is called “komijnekaas” which means cumin cheese but due to its popularity in the region around Leiden, it is exported as Leyden. This was our least favorite; none of us cared for the cumin flavor in the cheese even though we love cumin in Mexican dishes… ($12.99 a pound)

Cordobes Mitica: A Merino Sheep milk cheese imported exclusively from Spain for Whole Foods by Mitica. This cheese is similar in taste and texture to Manchego which is a favorite around the manse. Again, this piece was a little drier than we like but the flavor wasn’t diminished by the dryness and with Vintner’s Kitchen’s Port Cherry Marmalade, the taste sensations were delightful. One thought about the Port Cherry Marmalade; a little less liquid would be better. The taste, however, was perfect; just tart enough and just sweet enough. ($16.99 a pound)

Reggianito Argentina from Provvista: The last sample was Parmesan from Argentina. Reggianito, which means “small Reggiano”, is a hard cheese similar to Parmigiano Reggiano and was first made in this South American country by the Italian immigrants who missed the parms of their homeland. This cheese is produced in smaller wheels rather than the huge wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is aged 5-6 months and generally used in cooking or grated on pasta dishes. However, serving it at room temperature and as the last cheese of the plate was a perfect end to our cheese plate. The Man topped this cheese with a little dollop of Vintner’s Kitchen’s Raspberry Mimosa Gelee and then he swooned… ($9.99 a pound)

It’s actually hard to rate this cheese plate when the quality (due to post-cheesemaker care) of a couple of the cheeses is in question… but I’ll go with 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). However, I have to give the Cypress Grove Lambchopper 4 Paws out of 4 Paws…

KH De Jong, a Dutch Cheesemaking Company, has a line of cheeses they call the “Dutch Masterpieces”. Each cheese in the line is named after a Dutch painter or artist. The Lady sells several of these cheeses and they are popular here at the manse. Included in this line are two I have previously reviewed: Rembrandt and Vincent, both tasty aged Goudas.

Today she brought home another “Dutch Masterpiece”, Mondrian which is a Swiss-style cheese named after Piet Mondrian (originally “Mondriaan”). Rembrandt and Vincent have pictures of the famous painters on their labels. Mondrian cheese instead bears a painting that appears vaguely Cubist, but is what the Artist called Now-Plasticism. Although Mondrian painted landscape scenes, he is primarily remembered for these paintings which consisted of a white ground with thick black vertical and horizontal lines with blocks filled with red, blue and yellow. 

This cheese arrives vac-packed and is carried on the cheese island, adjacent to The Lady’s kiosk. It is an ivory-colored cheese with large “eyes” that sets Swiss-style cheese apart from most other cheeses, although many aged Gouda may contain “eyes” as well. (The eyes are created late in the production of this style cheese as a result of CO2 being released as part of a natural reaction as the bacteria used in production consumes the lactic acid. See the “trivia” note below…)

Mondrian, the cheese is nutty and sweet with a more pronounced flavor profile than found in the milder Jarlsberg, a Swiss-style cheese made in Norway (so noted for my friend, Mary, and her battalion of fellow travelers protecting the Easter US Quadrant commonly known as Virginia). However, it doesn’t reach the heights of complex flavor found in the King of Swiss cheeses, Emmenthal.

The Lady served this fine cheese with crackers and a little jar of Spicy Red Wine Mustard from Vintner’s Kitchen (The Folks at Vintner’s Kitchen have really got it going on when it comes to making jams, jellies and mustards – all containing the fruits of the vine… check them out; you’ll be glad you did). As you might expect, The Man swooned while I quietly maintained my dignity and prayed I would get my fair half-share before The Man ate it all.

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

Serving Suggestions: This cheese works well on a cheese board but is equally qualified to proudly be part of a grilled ham and cheese panini. You can also use it in mac n cheese and other cooking creations.

Wine Pairing: This cheese pairs well with a white such as Pinot Gris; a red like Zinfandel and even with a Port.

Beer Pairing: Your favorite Dortmunder is an excellent choice with Mondrian.

Source: Pasteurized Cows’ milk

Trivia: Swiss-style cheese without eyes is called “Blind”.

(Stay Tuned: we are only 2 posts and pages away from our 500th post here (doesn’t include our sister recipe blog, cheesemonger recipes). We have big plans for 500!!)