Caciocavallo – syditaliensk hesteost?

Caciocavallo
Italienske Caciocavallo


Caciocavallo tilhører nok en gruppe oster som er forholdsvis lite tilgjengelig i Norge. Bare for å ha plassert den med en gang, så er dette en pasta filata-ost på samme måte som mozzarella og provolone, men der stopper vel også likheten, i hvert fall mot mozzarella. Som de andre ostene innen familien så er det en ost fra det sydlige Italia, mye langs med fjellkjeden Apenninene. Nå skal det sies at de fleste av disse ostene er pasteurisert, men at hederlige unntak finnes. Det er disse jeg vil skrive litt om i dag siden de på hver sin måte er særegne.

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Til seters i Beaufort

Beaufort. Det ligger et stykke i kjøleskapet og jeg er forundret over at det faktisk ligger der ennå. Har vel noe med respekt å gjøre. Beaufort er kanskje den beste alpeosten du kan få, så det er ikke noe man bare knabber sånn uten videre. Ikke et vondt ord sagt om andre franske alpeoster, sveitsiske eller italienske; gode alle sammen hver på sine måte, men det er altså noe eget med Beaufort.

Beaufort
Massive fjell i Savoie hvor Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage kommer fra.

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Murray’s Cheese – New York Grand Central Terminal

Toget fra Brewster, upstate New York, kommer inn til Grand Central Terminal, «midt» i New York, det vil si Midtown East. Vi hadde litt forskjellige behov da vi ankom. De Harry Potter-frelste lette etter plattform 9 3/4, mens jeg var mer opptatt av å finne Murray’s cheese. Det var jeg som kom heldigst ut denne gangen. Grand Central Terminal er imponerende, men også ganske folksom, i hvert fall da vi kom rundt halv ti om morgenen. Fra Central Concourse tar du rulletrappen opp en halv etasje i den enden av terminalen som ligger mot Lexington Avenue. Der ligger Grand Central Market. Mye lekkert og smakfullt å få handlet der, men jeg var altså opptatt av ost og Murray’s Cheese.

Murrays
Murray’s Cheese, Grand Central Market, NYC

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Scalloway Hotel

Scalloway is the former capital of Shetland, a nicely nestled haven on the west coast of the Shetland mainland. My ‘relationship’ to Scalloway is the hotel, Scalloway hotel where I have stayed only once, but this stay made its impact. It is a small, but fine hotel where they put their pride in decorating the rooms with local products and serving great Shetland food. Though not only.
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The Hidden Cheese Heaven

It could of course just be me. Even though I don’t think so. I am above average interested in cheese and was not aware of the hidden cheese heaven Portugal is. Know they make cheese here, yes, but not so much, and not that so much is from raw milk.

Hail the supermarkets

The supermarkets is full of regional raw milk cheese. Many artisan, though not all. A majority from ewe’s milk and some from cow. Goat is more rare, mostly pasteurized, even though I managed to find one raw. But there are a few blends blends with goat milk.
Ostedisk Portugal
Some of the ewe milk cheese is hard, some is firm to semi firm and quite a few are spoonable.

Portuguese spoonable ewe's milk cheese
Portuguese spoonable ewe’s milk cheese

Ewe’s milk cheese in majority

Portugal seems to be the country where production of ewe’s milk cheese is most widespread. Comes in different sizes, but they’re all rounds. Unless they are treated with oil and paprika powder the rinds are generally of beige color. Hard and non-edible. I do not know if it is a washed rind, it might seem so, but the texture is a bit plasticky.

It is hard to know if the cheese is farmstead, artisanal, cooperative or industrial. Partly because of the language of course, I do not speak portuguese, but it also seems like most of the cheese is consumed locally and therefore there is not so much need for any international sites. I need to do some more research in other words.

The best cow’s milk cheese comes from the Azores

So they make traditional firm cow’s milk cheese as well. And the best comes from the islands, which in this case is the Azores. Quite far into the Atlantic, west of Portugal. Queijo São Jorge DOP is the most famous. Comes in at least two versions; four and seven months of maturity. An alternative is the Topo Queijo curado, also from raw cow’s milk, but without the DOP certification.
I’ll come back to the actual tasting, later.

The hidden cheese heaven

Having explored the portuguese cheese marked for a good week or so, I am very positively surprised and have no doubt this is the hidden cheese heaven. So much excellent cheese, and so readily available.

To drink

I find it natural to drink a white to these cheeses, though not Vinho Verde as they are too crisp, but Duoro and Alentejo whites will work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.