Cheese Fest

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Archive for July, 2013

Tomme de Vache

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July 21st, 2013 Posted 8:29 pm

In a French motorway stop, there was a craft fair and a man selling cheese. Amongst his offerings was this rather gruesome looking object. Gnarled, grey with bits of white, it looks like a lead weight that’s sat at the bottom of the sea for a few years… so we had to buy it ;-)

Tomme de Vache

Tomme de Vache

About 4″ (10 cm) diameter, with a leathery, dirty grey rind, this little cheese looks like it has seen better days. The outside smells strongly of ammonia, like it’s been sat at the bottom of a pigeon coop for a few weeks.

The pate is a dirty yellow colour, greying towards the outside edge. It smells very strongly milky and slightly blue. The texture is soft, rubbery and creamy.

The flavour is, however, not strong. Slightly alpine, milky with bitter overtones. Despite its rough appearance, it is a rather delightful little cheese.

Reviewed by Nick, Olympia & guest reviewer, author John Bartlett

(3/5)

 

Posted in Cow's milk, French, Hard

Beenleigh Blue

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July 14th, 2013 Posted 6:26 pm

Wet and lumpy with randomly shaped holes and delicate blue veining, this cheese looks a bit like a yellowish Roquefort, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Beenleigh Blue

Beenleigh Blue

It has a pleasing, soft and crumbly texture. On first tasting, it is intensely blue, a bit like a Danish blue. From this, you imagine that what will follow will be sharp and acidic. You prepare yourself for the for the bite… but it never materialises.

What actually happens is rather weird and somewhat hard to describe. There’s a strange acetone like, alcoholic hit. Like someone’s hidden a sliver of pear drop in it, or opened a bottle of nail polish. This quickly disappears and leaves you with a very distinct walnut and burnt toffee like aftertaste. It almost doesn’t taste like cheese at all. Most unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Fantastic, because it is so unusual!

Purchased from Cheese Please, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia.

(4/5)

Posted in Blue, English, Hard, Sheep's milk

Langres

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July 7th, 2013 Posted 5:22 pm

This rather smelly, but delightful cheese is made in the Champagne region of France in the town of the same name. Bright yellow/orange, sticky, wrinkly and sunken in the middle, Langres looks like a deflated alien brain.

Langres

Langres

About 3″ in diameter, and washed in Champagne mixed with annatto, to give it the orange rind, Langres is quite a smelly little cheese, slightly sweet, pungent but not stinky.

Then dent in the top is apparently due to the fact that it is only turned twice during maturation.  As the whey and wash drains through the cheese, causing the top collapses in. Some aficionados will pour wine, Champagne or spirits into this dent before serving.

In younger cheeses, the paste is quite firm, but it starts to go gooey around the edges as it matures. Ideally, it is about right when this process has reached about half way (about 1cm). The flavour is complex, there’s a fresh sharpness that makes way to a much mellower and satisfying flavour that has a great deal of character. Eaten with a sip of wine, brings out a floral quality.

Purchased from Selfridges, London

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2010

(4/5)


We originally reviewed this cheese in 2010, but on a recent trip to France spent a day in Langres. Of course we had to try this cheese in its home town, although avoiding it would have been difficult. In this town, it seems that everything is either cooked or served with Langres.

Langres in Langres

Langres in Langres

Top: Langres – Bottom left: Langres fraiche – Bottom right: Chaource

We discovered that the Langres cheese is also eaten fresh. It is pleasant enough, but tastes very much like any other fresh cheese. So, we’re glad that they drown it in booze and let it fester for a couple of months.