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.”
September 3, 2011
(By clicking on the above picture, you will be able to view a slideshow of the entire trip.)
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…
September 1, 2011
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…
August 28, 2011
The Lady and I subscribe to Culture Magazine, the top-selling magazine dedicated solely to the slow food closest to our hearts: cheese, glorious cheese!! The fall issue mentions The Lady and moi, your not-so-humble Feline Foodie… please buy a copy and read the latest news about “Milk’s leap to mortality”.
Also, on page 107 there is a picture of two of the important players in making cheese for Rogue Creamery: one is a gentle animal who gives more than takes from the earth… and the other is a cow…
August 19, 2011
The American Cheese Society has named October “American Cheese Month” – all American cheeses… not that rubbery stuff… The Lady is attending a meeting next Monday afternoon at the Denver Headquarters of the American Cheese Society to help kick off this first ever American Cheese Month… stay tuned… we will post events as they unfold and are scheduled… woohoo!!!
August 19, 2011
The Lady brought home a wedge of this delightful gorgonzola and The Man and I have enjoyed it three times this week. The first tasting was on warm French bread fresh from the oven and then The Lady used it to make a salad dressing which is featured on our recipe blog. She used the last to make a pasta and chicken dish that had The Man swooning for hours… it was almost embarrassing… but since it was The Man… not really much of a surprise. (Links to the recipes are below.)
Sartori Cheese in Wisconsin makes cheese that is always a hit around the manse. In addition to the Dolcino, they make the most-decorated Parmesan made in America, SarVecchio and one of my favorites, Bellavitano Gold. When The Lady was cooking last night, I caught a glimpse of a few other Sartori cheeses in the fridge… stay tuned… more reviews to come…
This is one creamy cheese; the cheesemaker adds extra cream and carefully ages this gorgonzola to perfection. On the blue scale, this is on the mild side but distinctive enough to satisfy even the most discerning turophiles. It’s smooth and silky; spreads easily on the warm bread. You will never regret adding this gorgonzola to your cheese board.
Serving Suggestions: The possibilities are endless. In three short days, The Lady served this cheese in three ways and each was a hit. The Salad Dressing she made was divine; but the chicken pasta dish she made was truly to die for… seriously… You can also pair this cheese with pairs and red grapes. The Lady served Dolcino on a cheese plate last year and you can read my thoughts by clicking here.
Wine Pairing: The Lady always likes a sweeter wine with her blues like a Port; but with the pasta dish, she chose her new favorite wine, Pinot Noir.
Beer Pairing: How about a Stout?
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk
FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.