Cheese Fest

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Archive for March, 2013

Irish Porter

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March 25th, 2013 Posted 12:01 am

Wow! What visually stunning cheese! With its chocolate coloured wax rind and dark brown and gold terrazzo like appearance, this promises to be an exciting discovery. Made with porter house ale, produced by Guinness, it just tantalises you in anticipation of what lies in store.

Irish Porter

Irish Porter

However, looks and pedigree sometimes amount to very little, and this is sadly the case here. This is the Celine Dion of the cheese world, beautiful to look at, but no personality.

It has a milky, mild cheddar flavour with a slight hint of bitterness, but where’s the porter house ale?

It would make a fantastic centerpiece for any cheeseboard, and is bound to impress and initiate cheesy conversation, but for the hardend cheese afficionado… forget it.

Purchased from Cheese Please, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2013

(2/5)

Vacherin Mont d’Or

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March 17th, 2013 Posted 7:26 pm

Vacherin Mont d’Or is normally supplied in small, round, open topped, wooden boxes about 6 inches (15cm) diameter and wrapped in cellophane. Though bigger wheels are made, they are not particularly practical, for reasons that will become clear later. The uneven surface is a pale pinky yellow, dusted with white, yielding easily under pressure when ripe.

Vacherin Mont d'Or

Vacherin Mont d'Or

This cheese is only available between September and March. The story goes, that it is made from milk from the same cows that normally goes into making Gruyère. However, during the winter months, the cows are brought down from their mountain pastures, put into barns for the winter and fed on hay. The result is the thicker creamier milk used to make this cheese.

Breaking through the cellophane wrapping, releases a wonderful earthy aroma of pine, farmyard and mushrooms.

Under the rind, the cheese itself is very gooey, almost liquid and needs to be spooned out carefully onto the chosen comestible vehicle.

The texture is creamy and decadent with a smooth taste, full of subtle aromas of meadows and hay. Around the perimeter, the flavour becomes strong with the turpentine like flavour of pine sap from the spruce bark, that lines the box. This adds a wonderful edge to the character of this cheese.

A traditional way of enjoying Vacherin Mont d’Or, is to make a hole in the top and pour in a spoonful of white wine. Then place the whole cheese into the oven for 20 minutes. This makes it even more liquid, into which chunks of bread can be dipped. Thereby turning it into a sort of instant fondue.

Vacherin Mont d’Or is quite expensive, costing about £12 for the whole cheese, but is worth it. However, it should be noted that there is another cheese that goes by the name of Vacherin. This is not the same thing at all and is rather disappointing in comparison.

 Purchased from Cheese Please, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2012.

(4/5)

Posted in Cow's milk, Soft, Swiss

Pyrénée Noir

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March 10th, 2013 Posted 8:23 pm

Also know as Tomme des Pyrénées, this is a visually striking cheese, covered in a black plasticky wax. The very pale yellow, almost white, pate is soft, flexible and oily looking.

Pyrenee Noir

Pyrenee Noir

It has a sweet buttermilk smell, a soft bite with a pleasing texture. The flavour is, as expected, delicate, milky and sweet. Typically cheesy, but not strong.

This is the sort of cheese that would be suitable for children and  those who don’t like strong cheeses and would normally choose Edam or Port Salut.

Unexciting for the hardened cheese buff, but pleasant and inoffensive.

Purchased from the cheese stall outside Brighton Station

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2012

(2/5)

Posted in Cow's milk, French, Hard