Spring cheese

We’re well into April and the goats have long since ended their family affairs, while the ewes are in the middle of the lambing, at least here. While I do not regard ewe’s milk cheese as a typical spring cheese, goat milk cheese, or Chèvre, typically is.

The best Chèvre is fresh and unpasteurized, and may I say: French. Even though there is a lot of high quality Chèvre style around. I am well aware that a lot of my readers do not have the opportunity to participate in this delicacy that fresh raw milk Chèvre is.

Chèvre is fresh, soft, whithe with a fine acidity and comes either with a slightly bloomy rind or lightly covered in ash. Both are perfectly edible.

Another thing with Chèvre is that it comes in all sorts of shapes and as such makes its mark on a cheeses table. The typical log that is sliced in the shop is probably the most boring one as it is often industrial and pasteurized. Look for the cylindrical, square, brick formed, pyramids, tubes and so on.
If you want to learn more about the different types you can go here. A lot of different and excellent cheeses described there, along with suggestions what kind of drink to pair it with.

Valencay and Auzanne Cendree
Valencay and Auzanne Cendree

I once had a French teacher from Nice. She used to live in Norway and her ultimate food experience would typically be a Chèvre and a glass of Sancerre on the balcony while the sun sets. And I can so well imagine the charm. Something like in Dolly Parton’s My Tennessee Mountain Home: “Sitting on the front porch on a summer afternoon, in a straight back chair on two legs leaned against the wall….”

But in stead of watching the kids playing and chasing fire flies, I am sipping to a glass of white wine and munching some delicate Chèvre. Enjoying the good life in other words.

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A bit of cheese history

If you want to learn how it all came about, you should listen to this podcast. Takes a small hour altogether, and think it is worth it. A bit of cheese history in other words.

So of you follow this podcast link you will have an entertaining hour of listening and become cheese enlightened as well!

Even pulling apart some of the established truths about the early days of cheese making. Where it all started stands firm, though.

Enjoy your listening.

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All American Cheese

It just so happened that one of my local purveyors of fine cheese announced the arrival of some American cheese. From no less than Jasper Hill Farm. This is a rare occasion worth celebrating. Being a European we have more than enough cheese to dig into, but then there are some artisan American cheeses that really is worth savouring.

American cheese?

I think most Europeans are pretty ignorant when it comes to American cheese. All the more important that we get introduced to some of the real gems. Philadelphia is the most famous American cheese around here. American brand rather, just as the Jarlsberg is more of a Norwegian brand, a strong one though, than a Norwegian cheese.

Cellars of Jasper Hill

Direct from Greensboro, Vermont, USA there came Bayley Hazen Blue and Harbison. The first from unpasteurised cows milk, and a cheese that truly belongs to this blog. Te other one, Harbison, from pasteurised cows milk, and as such not really something I deal a lot with. But alas, it is a good one.

No need to exclude it, taste is more important than anything, in my opinion at least. And this is a good cheese.

Raw-Milk Cheese Appreciation Day

Having said that though, this Saturday is Raw-Milk Cheese Appreciation Day. 18th April that is. Make it an opportunity to savor some unpasteurised cheese, of any kind really. Well, not all my readers have that opportunity, but still there are possibilities. Se your local cheesemonger, they will help you out.


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Did you know?

cropped-Header-tilpasset-cropping.jpgCheese is made from milk, the most common being cow, sheep and goat. But you also have buffalo (Mozzarella) and cheese from yak milk among numerous other varieties. Donkey as well. Further, different manufacturing and aging processes are used to produce the array of cheeses available today. Cheese is made by coagulating or curdling milk, stirring and (in some cases) heating the curd, draining off the whey (the watery part of milk that Norwegians boil into the famous brown cheese or “Geitost”), collecting and pressing the curd, and in some cases, ripening. Cheese can be made from whole, low fat, skimmed or fat-free milk, or combinations of these milks. In the US about one-third of all milk produced each year is used to make cheese.

Not all “cheese” is cheese

Some of the shredded cheese you can buy has added various types of flour, which means it’s not cheese but some other look-a-like product that probably melts well and is intended to give the impression of being cheese.

Salvadore Dali

Did you know that Salvadore Dalí was inspired by melting Camembert when he painted the classicThe Persistence of Memory a.k.a. Melting Clocks

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