Rogue Creamery

(By clicking on the above picture, you will be able to view a slideshow of the entire trip.)

The Lady was invited to join six winning Fred Meyer Cheesemongers and two fine Ladies from DPI to make cheese at Rogue Creamery.

The winners were chosen based on their sales of Rogue Blue Cheeses at their kiosks and their merchandising abilities.

The trip began with a five-course dinner with Rogue Creamery Owners, David Gremmels and Cary Bryant, who graciously welcomed the group to their hillside home. Each course featured a different Rogue Cheese with Cary preparing several of the dishes including a wonderful, savory creme brulee that started the meal. The cheese course included the latest Rogue creation, Flora Nelle, a marvelous blue named after Cary and David’s Grandmothers. (The Lady brought home a wedge and we will be reviewing it soon…)

After an overnight stay at the Wine Country Inn in Jacksonville, Oregon, the Fred Meyer mongers traveled to Central Point and the cheesemaking facility of Award-Winning Rogue cheeses, including the 2011 Best of Show at the American Cheese Society Competition, Rogue River Blue. There, Cary, David and head cheesemakers, Craig and Jason, worked with the winners to make two vats of cheese:  Tou Velle and Oregon Blue. After aging, these cheeses will be sold exclusively at Fred Meyer Cheese Kiosks in early 2012. The Fred Meyer group learned they were the first group invited to make cheese at the Creamery – what an honor!!!

Shawn, a member of the Rogue family, led the group trough a Rogue Cheese Plate, a sack lunch was enjoyed and then the group headed out to tour the two sustainable dairy farms that provide the milk to Rogue Creamery.

Rogue Creamery is a leader in sustainable farming and cheesemaking, having been certified by Food Alliance, Oregon’s Tilth and Steritech. The guys shared with The Lady their choice of “sustainable” over “organic” (although they do make a couple of organic cheeses). Simply put, sustainable farming treats animals more humane than organic. With organic dairy farming, if an animal becomes sick, it is destroyed. Sustainable dairy farming allows treatment of the animal, pulling it from production until all antibiotics are out of the milk. As Cary said, “When I get sick, I take medicine; the doctor doesn’t put me down.” As an animal of the feline persuasion, all I can say is, “Whee… thank goodness for sustainability around the manse.”

They encourage recycling and energy conservation both at the Creamery and home. The Creamery is powered 100% in the summer by solar panels (which also provide about 30% during the winter); they recycle everything that can be recycled. If an employee rides a bike to work 45 times in a year, Rogue gives them a top-of-the-line bike. They pay bonuses for carpooling, biking and using public transportation. It’s amazing and it’s beyond admirable…

After touring the dairies, it was time to play and the group headed to Grants’ Pass and a four-hour dinner tour up the Rogue River on Hellgate Excursions jet boats. Eighteen miles up the river, they stopped for a BBQ dinner at the OK Corral. Both up and down the river, the boat pilots treated the group to maneuvers that resulted in lots of wet clothes and gleeful screaming. They saw many osprey and two eagles on the adventure.

The next morning The Ladies stopped at the Rogue Gift Shop and loaded up  on cheese, wines and cheese pairings and headed back to reality…

The Lady asked that I make sure everyone at Rogue Creamery understands how special this opportunity was… so here’s a shout out to: David, cary, Sonja, Mimi, Chelsea, Meredith, Craig, Francis, Jason, Tom, Sue, Lacey, Shawn, Delmer, Holly, Huck, Andy, Gabe and Marcela, Brandon, MacKenzie and baby Mason… and the cheesemakers whose names she failed to get… it is a time that will not be forgotten…

Now for a final note… I’d like to bring it to each of my faithful reader’s attention that one more time, The Lady was hanging out with The Cheese Swells and I was left back at the manse with The Man… I have got to have a long conversation with The Brain about the balance of power around here… I’m in charge… although with The Lady off galavanting you’d never know it… and the biggest galavant to date is just 10 days away… The Lady leaves on the 13th to attend the Slow Food Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy and work as a monger at the American Cheese Booth with Cheese Swells from Rogue Creamery, Cow Girl Creamery, Vermont Butter Creamery, Jasper Hills Farm, Uplands Cheese Company, Cypress Grove, Kroger, Murray’s Cheese and AFI… there just is no justice…

Member, Association of Food Bloggers

Sir Kitty Cheese Paws

September 1, 2011

Sir Kitty Cheese Paws Dictates to The Lady

The Lady and I have a new Cheesy Friend, Miranda, who is a Cheese Steward at a Baker’s in Omaha, Nebraska. She saw The Lady’s picture (hey, where’s the picture of The Cat????) and our mention in the new Fall Issue of Culture Magazine and dropped us a line via the Kroger pipeline.

Miranda hosts a monthly Cheese Club at her cheese shop in the Baker’s store and we will be posting information on those events so that all you Cheese Nerds in Omaha can attend and taste some great cheeses that are paired “purrfectly”…

Miranda, evidently a nicknamer by nature, has bestowed on moi a new moniker… from this day forward The Lady and The Man are hereby requested to refer to me only as… Sir Kitty Cheese Paws

Member, Association of Food Bloggers

Mouse Vs. Mousetrap

July 8, 2011

One of The Lady’s BCFFs sent her this video which she shared with moi. It’s got everything I like: a mouse and cheese… or should I say… cheese and a mouse. Upon doing my “due diligence”, I discovered this film was created and made by Filmmaker, John Nolan. You can visit his website by clicking here. Kudos to John and his talent!!

The Lady visited a newer, independent and family owned grocer in the Vancouver area, Chuck’s Produce and Street Market. It opened last fall but The Lady rarely heads that way when she runs errands or shops. In truth, The Lady hates shopping; a trait I understand is rare in humankinds of the female persuasion. But on this particular day, she had been training a new Cheesemonger at another store in her chain and Chuck’s was on her way home to the manse… one more cynical than I might call this “spying” on the competition…

First a bit about Chuck’s. This is a really cool store. Spacious with lots of open areas and easy access to the products it sells. Lots of organic and local produce at reasonable prices. The store is clean and there’s an old flatbed Ford, which is cool, sitting in the produce area merchandised with items sold in the store… I wonder if that flatbed Ford ever drove by my corner in Winslow, Arizona?

The store is closed on Saturdays for “Family Day” – what a cool thing to do… The store has an amazing meat and seafood counter but sell no pork products and no shellfish. The ono and tuna are sushi-grade quality; the ready-to-cook chicken dishes are mouth-wateringly beautiful: flattened chicken breast wrapped around asparagus with herbs and fat-free cream cheese – The Lady was glad she wasn’t hungry… a terrible time to food shop. The bakery and the deli offer freshly baked goodies and prepared dishes with competitive prices. Did I mention that this is one cool store??? They also have a huge bulk food area loaded with interesting natural and organic selections.

Of course, The Lady was there to see the cheese area. The store has a very respectable selection and she had a chance to chat with their cheese specialist, a friendly and helpful cheesemonger named Jodi. Jodi had just cracked a new wheel of Fontina Val d’Aosta and had The Lady sample it… rattus, one more time I was not in the right cheese place at the right cheese time… The Lady says that Chuck’s doesn’t allow pets… what’s up with that??? Another “feline restricted” establishment… but I digress…

Chuck’s also has a kitchen and classroom area where they offer free classes and events. This Tuesday, May 17th, Jodi will be conducting a class about lesser-known Italian cheeses from 530pm to 630pm. The Lady has it on our “cheese calendar” and plans to attend. The following Tuesday (May 23rd), Jodi will discuss “Bargain and Value Cheeses” from 530pm to 630pm. Again, you will most likely find The Lady there. That class sounds similar in concept to The Lady’s “Everyday Cheeses”. Other classes/events offered at the store include “Vegetarian Picnic Foods” (May 25th) and Healthy Snack Foods for Kids (May 31st – taught by Dr. Kate).

After checking out the cheese selection, The Lady brought home two wedges of cheeses she doesn’t sell for me to taste and review.

I give Chuck’s Produce and Street Market 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). If you live in Vancouver, Washington, you really should check out this store…

Uniekaas Alpenhorn

The first cheese we tasted today was Alpenhorn, a young hybrid cheese made by Unikaas, a respected Dutch Gouda cheese manufacturer. It is a marriage between a Dutch Gouda and a Swiss Emmenthal; younger and softer than the aged version of its “parents”.  (BTW, Uniekaas also produces another cheese that we simply crave around the manse, the sublime Parrano.)

This cheese has a rich, deep yellow color (ingredients include annatto, a derivative of the achiote tree, used to produce a yellow to orange food coloring) with lots of well-formed baby eyes. It has a creamy texture and mild taste. While it works well on a cheese plate, I think it would do better paired with a nice juicy slice of Foster Farms’ Gallus gallus between two slabs of crusty bread and grilled to perfection with Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

I give Alpenhorn, the cheese and not the musical instrument, 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: As listed above, use it in a grilled cheese. The Lady also thought it would be a great choice for fondue because of both its mild flavor and creaminess. I suppose, but I always burn my paws when I join in the “fondue fun”.

Wine Suggestion: The Lady thinks this cheese would be well served by a glass of Tawny Post.

Beer Suggestion: Helles

Source: Pasteurized Cow’s Milk

Cahill’s Irish Cheddar with Whiskey

Vegetarian-Suitable (as are all Cahill Cheeses)

The second cheese The Lady snagged at Chuck’s made The Man seriously swoon… I mean seriously swoon… Cahill’s Cheddar with Whiskey. The Lady and I have previously reviewed another Cahill’s Farmhouse cheese: their Original Irish Porter Cheese (another swooner… if you get my drift…).

Marion Cahill and her family have been making their cheeses for three generations and even though known around the world, they still craft them in the same old-fashioned way: handmade in small batches with great attention to the process. They haven’t sacrificed tradition for commercial venture. Many of their cheeses have won awards including this one we are reviewing here.

This cheddar is laced with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and you can smell the whiskey when you slice this cheese. The taste is more subtle than the scent; but it’s there and brings an extra dimension to an already creamy, full-flavored mature cheddar. The nutty flavor of the cheese combines with the whiskey to deliver quite a tasty savory finish. Of the two, The Man liked this one better and it was mano-a-feline to get a fair share… The Man simply doesn’t understand the concept of sharing… sheesh…

We have always been fans of Mary Cahill and her cheeses and this just solidifies our love for her cheeses all the more.

I give Cahill’s Irish Cheddar with Whiskey 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: I think this cheese should be served “Naked” to do it justice. Just pop it on top of a 34° Natural Crispbread Cracker and you’re good to go.

Wine Suggestions: This time, you gotta go with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and forget the vino…

Beer Suggestions: Why not Guinness and call this an Irish Cheese Boilermaker???

Source: The Cows on the Cahill Farm in County Limerick, Ireland…

Which brings to mind…


There is an Irish lassie named Marion

Who makes wondrous cheese; all vegetarian.

Quality cheese that’s handmade; then skillfully purveyed.

To eat her cheese, I’d gladly give up fresh carrion…

What??? I was a runner-up in the 2010 Cheese Underground “Cheese Limerick” Contest. In addition to all my other fine qualities, I consider myself a poet…

(The Lady has since visited Chuck’s a second time and picked up a wedge of Fiscalini’s San Joaquin Gold, a cheese I had begged her to buy… a review will follow soon…)

Our favorite South Georgia Dairy, Sweet Grass Dairy, is celebrating all things Italian tomorrow and Saturday at their Thomasville Cheese Shop. Please stop in and visit… and be sure you tell them that “The Feline Foodie sent me!!”

What: A two-day Italian extravaganza

When: Fri. March 5 AND Sat. March 6

Time: 10am to 8pm

Where: The Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop

106 North Broad St. Thomasville, GA

Price: Free


Details: In conjunction with Thomsville’s monthly First Friday event, the Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop will present an “Italian Celebration.”


We’ll be highlighting many of the culinary delights from Italy in the cheese shop. There will be samples of Italian antipasti, cheeses, olive oils, wines, and charcuterie. The two-day event is free of charge and open to the public.


A few notable highlights for purchase include:

  • 10-year old Balsamico Tradizionale Vinegar
  • Gaeta and Castle Vetrano olives
  • Italian Chestnut Honey
  • Italian Forest Honey
  • Bresaola Bernina Beef Top Round

For more information call at 229-228-6704.


Reviewing this English Cheddar got buried under a pile of other reviews… my apology to the folks who make this terrific cheese… cheese happens…

When The Lady began her second career as a cheesemonger, this cheese was part of the kiosk schematic… sadly over time, it went away…

It had nothing to do with sales of quality… perhaps the demand was too high for this farmhouse cheddar produced in the West Country at the foot of the Glastonbury Tor by the Green family. The Lady misses this cheese; her customers miss this cheese and as with most things of the greatest importance I, your Feline Foodie, miss this cheese…

According to John Green, he along with his two sons and one nephew are carrying on the tradition of his family that now spans eighty years of cheesemaking. On their 600-acre farm they have a herd of 750 cows and about 25% are raised organically. It is this milk that is used to make the mature cheddar. Fans of their cheese include members of the English Royal Family.

You can view the Green Family taking you through their cheesemaking process by clicking here. It is well-worth taking a few minutes to enjoy their story. They still wrap the cheese by hand, actually there is still a lot of hands-on production at the Green Farm.

The paste of this cheese is a pale buttercup and crumbly. It melts on the palate as the full-bodied flavors pop and explode in your mouth. It is buttery, slightly sweet and nutty with that pleasant earthiness that comes with English cheddars made in the traditional manner. Because the milk is heated to only 35-40° Celsius (95-105°) and not fully heated to a pasteurizing level, you can still taste the hints of the grass and other flora the cows eat.

I give Greens of Glastonbury 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (because that’s all I’ve got). And further add, if you get the chance to taste this cheese, don’t pass it up…

Serving Suggestions: As you know that cheddars in general rate high around the manse because cheddars are beyond versatile when it comes to what you can do with cheddar… you can do almost anything with cheddar… The Lady presented it to The Man and me on a cheese plate with strawberry jam and water crackers… for us it was a complete meal… But cheddar is also perfect in mac n cheese either as the “Stand-Alone” cheese or as a blend. It makes a perfect grilled cheese.

Wine Pairing: The Lady chose a full-bodied red that stood up to this bold cheddar.

Beer Pairing: The Man chose Pilsner Urquell.

Source: Organic Thermalized Cow’s Milk

Awards: Many

(Stay tuned… the next post will be our 500th post (includes pages also) on cheesemonger.wordpress… we promise it will be fun and informative…)

This past August (2010) The Lady, The Man and I took our well-documented road trip to Seattle for the 2010 American Cheese Society Conference held at the Downtown Seattle “No Pets” Sheraton.

While The Lady attended the festivities, The Man and I hung out at our Cheese Bunker located somewhere in the suburbs where pets were welcome. Unfortunately, we chose a motel in the same neighborhood where a dog show was also being staged. In addition to being banned from attending the ACS because of the Sheraton “No Pets” rule, your humble Feline Foodie was forced to endure the cacophony of hundreds of dogs who all had inflated egos… after all… they were “Show Dogs”… This may seem minor to humankinds, but dogs smell, well, like dogs and to the felines of the world, that smell signals trouble with a capital T which rhymes with C and stands for Canines…

My first clue that travail was afoot came when the room next to us became occupied…yep… with dogs… and I mean lots of dogs… I was napping when I heard a burst of activity next door. Then I heard sniffing at the communal door between the two rooms… at first I ignored the sniffing, but it became louder as more and more dogs joined the chorus… no doubt, they had caught my scent and were clearly curious. Finally I could stand it no longer and wandered over to the door and took a whiff myself… the scent almost knocked me over… there is nothing sadder than dogs who have been pampered with sprays and powders to make them smell like a bunch of doggie pussies…

To make matters worse, when I decided to lay up against the door, to annoy the yappers their scent took on fear as well as peaches and wet, doggie fur… sheesh… isn’t it a requirement that “show” dogs still have their balls??? As I would later discover there were eight of them next door and yet, they were afraid of one little feline lying by “their” door…

But I digress… seriously digress and I extend my most sincere apologies to the cheesemakers and the cheeses we are about to review…

On Friday of the conference, the Foods of Quebec sponsored the last luncheon. The 2011 ACS will be held in Montreal and it was a chance for the French Canadians to showcases the foods and cheeses of Quebec. As I was not able to attend, the following reviews are those of The Lady.

The menu was developed by Chef Paul Little of the Westin Hotel Montreal. (Although the Montreal Ritz-Carlton claims he has been their Executive Chef since 2000.)

The luncheon began with Smoked Trout and Salmon Tartar with Dill Crème Fraiche. This was served with freshly baked artisan breads and Sweet Cream Butter. The entrée was seared Lake Brome Duck with apple/cranberry chutney. The duck was served with a mulled port wine reduction on couscous and mini market-fresh vegetables. The Lady said the duck was divine… had I been consulted by Chef Little, I would have suggested that the duck be part of a Quebec Mixed Grill to also include Coccothraustes vespertinus and Rangifer tarandus.

After the entrée, the Quebec Cheese plate was served, accompanied by Neige Apple Ice Wine, a dessert wine that The Lady loved. She will review it at a later date.

From Fromagerie Tournevant, the first cheese on the plate was Chevre Noir, award-winning goat cheddar that derives its name from the black wax that protects the starkly-white cheese. This sharp and slightly herbal cheese was a terrific start for the plate.

Next on the plate was a Sheeps’ Milk Blue Cheese from Fromagerie La Moutonniere located in Ste-Helene de Chester, Quebec. The rind is craggy and definitely rustic and the cheese inside is buttery and mellow. Not only a gorgeous cheese, but one that delights the palate. The cheese has an earthy pungency; the paste is slightly yellow and the veining is more green than blue. The flavor is big, bold but not sharp. It’s more complex than over-powering. Another terrific cheese from Quebec. This cheese took home a 1st Place in its Class at the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards.

The third cheese on the plate was a Swiss-style cheese, Frere Jacques from Abbaye St. Benoit du Lac. This cheese has large eyes, is a mature, hard cheese that is halfway between Jarlsberg and Emmenthaler in taste intensity. The Lady liked this cheese and called it “Kid-Friendly”. This cheese took home 2nd Place in Class at the 2010 American Cheese Awards.

The fourth cheese was Le Guillaume Tell, Brie from Fromagerie de Domaine Feodal. This cheese is washed with ice cider and tastes like cream and fermented apples. The aroma is a combination of mushrooms and apples. It melted on The Lady’s palate; she was in heaven. This cheese took home a 3rd Place Award in its Class at the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards.

The last cheese on the Quebec Cheese Plate was from Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Tomme du Haut Richelieu, a goats’ milk cheese that was created out of necessity. The cheesemaker had more goat milk than needed to make its Chevrochon and opted to make a longer-shelf life cheese. Tomme du Haut Richelieu has a thin washed-rind in shades of pale orange, covered with a thin white mould. The paste is beige at the rind and fades into a creamy white at the center. It smells like wet earth and grass after a spring rain. The rind has a mineral taste and the paste has a nice, tangy goat taste without that bucky-aftertaste that sometimes comes with aged goat cheese (such as that dreadful English hard goat cheddar that I soooo dislike…)

But that was not the end of the cheese course… in the center of the table was the 2009 Best Cheese in the World as declared at the 2009 World Cheese Awards: Le Cendrillon produced in Quebec by La Maison Alexis de Portneuf. This is a goats’ milk cheese covered in vegetable ash and surface-ripened with a slightly sour taste, again with just a nudge of goat tang. The cheese comes in a small log shape and the table shared this treasure.

The Lady gives the French-Canadian Cheese Plate 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got to share with her).

After the cheese plate, a pear and maple tart was served with Sortilege English Cream. You can never go wrong with pear and maple…

The Lady hopes to attend the 2011 American Cheese Society Conference so that she can taste and enjoy more Flavors of Quebec…

Gluten-Free Cheeses

Raw Milk Cheeses*

The internet brings the world together and makes it possible for people to “meet” who otherwise would never have the chance. Recently, through our blog and Twitter, The Lady and I met, Raquel Moran Tellez, the Export Manager for Ilbesa Cheeses.

Ilbesa is located in Benavente, in the Zamora Province of Northwest Spain, near the border with Portugal. Zamora is part of the Castilla y Leon region which is the largest Spanish producer of sheeps’ milk (30%) and sheeps’ milk cheeses (about 20%). This compares to the better known (in the US) La Mancha which produces about 2% of the country’s sheeps’ milk cheeses. There is evidence that sheeps’ milk cheese was being made in the region as far back as the Copper Age (about 4000 years ago). And while Castellano Cheeses don’t have the DO designation at this point; cheeses meeting the requirements carry the “Castellano Cheese” designation which reflects the superior quality of the region’s cheeses. This designation was established in 2010.

After a few emails and tweets, Raquel sent four of the Ilbesa cheeses to us to sample.

First, let me give you an introduction to Ilbesa. The company was founded in 1945 by Domingo Martin, a young cheesemaker with true entrepreneurial spirit. Today, the company is run by his grandchildren and employs 30 people. The company produces four cheeses; three made from sheeps’ milk and one that is a blended-milk cheese. These four cheeses have won more than thirty awards since 2000, including seven this past November at the 2010 World Cheese Awards.

All of their cheeses are Gluten-free and contain neither additives nor preservatives. The youngest cheese made from pasteurized sheeps’ milk cheese has a “Best Before” shelf life of six months. The other three cheeses have a “Best Before” shelf life of one year from date of production.

*The two sheeps’ milk cheeses which are aged six months and fourteen months are both made from raw milk.

Ilbesa currently distributes their cheeses throughout Spain via delicatessen shops and top-end restaurants. You can also buy their cheeses through a few supermarket chains. Ilbesa is hoping to expand their distribution into the US this year. After reading our reviews, you can contact Raquel through their website or by leaving a comment below and we will forward the interest to her.

Now, to the good stuff…

Please note: Because Raquel was quite generous and sent 500 grams of each cheese, The Lady enlisted three of her fellow cheesemongers, the Chef at her store and a few of the deli staff to also sample the cheeses and give us their tasting notes.

Young DM Sheeps’ Milk Cheese

The first of the four cheeses we sampled was the young DM Sheeps’ Milk Cheese. This cheese is made from pasteurized sheeps’ milk and aged three weeks. This cheese is creamy white in color with a clean rind. I would consider this a semi-soft cheese with a smooth, buttery texture. It contains eyes that are small, about the size of a sesame seed.

The flavor is sweet and nutty with a hint of sour. The saltiness of the cheese is of the right balance with the taste of the fresh sheeps’ milk, fresh butter and even a taste of almonds. The aftertaste is also well-balanced and leaves you wanting for more.

I’d suggest pairing this cheese with a piece of chocolate…

I give the three-week DM 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).


This is the blended-milk cheese using both sheep and cow milks. This cheese had the least aroma of the four with only whiffs of the cow and sheep coming through. The texture is creamy and firmer than the young sheeps’ milk reviewed above. This cheese is brighter in color; almost an ivory with nice eyes throughout. The taste however, was quite appealing and this cheese was the favorite of a couple of our “tasters”. The notes we received on the tastes were mild, buttery and one person compared it to a Jack cheese. I tasted pepper and fresh cream. The cheese melted on my palate and left a lingering, satisfying aftertaste.

As with all four of the cheeses, the rind has the signature basket-weave that many Spanish cheeses have. Unlike the young DM, the rind has an olive color.

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

Aged Sheeps’ Milk DM

This cheese received high praise from the group and was the second favorite for most of the group. Made from raw sheeps’ milk, this cheese has a definite “Wow!!” factor.

The paste is straw-colored with more defined eyes than the first two cheeses. This cheese has a firmer texture and a low humidity dryness that you would expect from an aged cheese. The taste is nutty, with hints of both pepper and maybe nutmeg. The aroma is intense and the grass and sheeps’ milk are there; definitely a result of lack of pasteurization and quality cheesemaking. The aftertaste also highlights the grass and even a citrus taste.

This award-winning cheese walked away with a Gold Medal at the 2010 World Cheese Awards.

I give the Aged Sheeps’ Milk DM 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Mature Sheeps’ Milk DM

While all four cheeses were well-received by the group and your favorite Feline Foodie (that would be moi), this cheese was the runaway favorite of all of us.

This cheese, like the other four, has the zigzag, basket weave pattern on the rind which is an olive brown with some clean areas that show the ivory paste inside. Again, the eyes are bigger than the other three which would be part of the natural aging-process.

Also made with raw, sheeps’ milk, this cheese is aged fourteen months and as a result the flavors and aromas are the most intense of the four cheeses. The paste is drier and firm with little elasticity. The aroma has fresh dairy and clean, recently rained-upon grass scents with nuttiness and again a whiff of citrus. The flavor is intense, again with the fresh milk, butter and bell pepper, a favorite cheese taste for The Lady and me. The saltiness is perfectly balanced and the aftertaste has hazelnut and apricot mixed in.

This is one terrific cheese!!

I give Mature Sheep’s Milk DM 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: The Lady served these cheeses simply with crackers to preserve the integrity of the first tastings. Then after the notes were done, she added Dalmatia Fig Spread, Ficoco and Strawberry preserves to the board to compliment the cheeses. She also had a few green grapes which went well on the board. (The Lady believes that all cheeses go well with grapes. I concur.)

Wine Pairing: The Lady suggests a Spanish Tempranillo.

Beer Pairing: North Coast Old Stock

Source: Cheeses 1, 3 and 4 are made with sheeps’ milk (3 and 4 are raw sheeps’ milk); The Luyan is a blend of sheep and cows’ milk.

Awards: More than thirty since 2000, including seven at the 2010 World Cheese Awards this past November in Birmingham, England.

Reminder: These cheeses are not currently available in the US; but Ilbesa would like to change that. Please contact Raquel through their website.

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

XO, Classic, Vlaskaas, Farmer’s Choice, and Beemster Lite are naturally Lactose-Free

The Lady and I are partial to Beemster Cheese and its US Marketing Teamof Michael, Bridgett and Bob. Recently Michael and Bob visited The Lady’s Kiosk and shared with her the new marketing strategy the company developed to further grow their image.

The three men appearing in the campaign photo are three generations of Beemster Dairy Farmers who live in the Beemster Polder and are members of the Beemster Co-Op: all continuing the Beemster tradition by making cheese with the same high standards and passion that sets the Beemster “bar” so high.

American consumers want to know “the story” of the specialty cheeses they buy and take home to enjoy with family and friends. (The Lady has made telling “the story” part of her every day in the cheesemines.) Beemster labels now open and reseal. Inside each label is the Beemster “story” explaining where the cheese comes from and what makes it unique. We all like to share the stories we learn with those we know and like. (That pretty much sums up the theme of this blog… I like to share the cheese stories I have rattling around in my cheesy brain…)

Beemster is now offering a “100% Money Back Guarantee” on all their cheeses. Folks, naturally, are reluctant, especially in this economy, to spend a little extra on a specialty cheese if they haven’t had a chance to try it. (That won’t happen at The Lady’s kiosk, as she tells all her customers, “If we cut it and wrap it, you can sample it”.) But not all cheese shops are created the same and now Beemster will guarantee that you are satisfied with your purchase, or they will refund your purchase price.

Also, to further assist their customers, Beemster is adding the “Lactose-Free” label to their cheeses that are aged more than five months. Most customers don’t realize that aged cheeses are usually lactose-free (such as Parmesans and most Alpine-style cheeses).

Lastly, Beemster recognizes that people are more likely to stand behind a product that has been around for a while; traditionally crafted that has been handed down through history and generations.

The Lady and I give our own kudos to Beemster and wish them great success with their new campaign.

The Kudos Just Keep Coming

December 15, 2010

As recently reported, named our cheese blog one of the 50 Best Cheese Blogs on the Internet“.

And now… has named Cheesemonger’s Blog (that would be this blog) one of the “Top 60 Cheese Blogs”

It’s been a great year for your favorite Feline Foodie (that would be me) and The Lady. we thank the kind folks at Culinary Arts College and Cheeseball for including us in their lists!!