Cheese Fest

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Archive for the ‘1 Star – Meh’ Category

St. Albray

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March 31st, 2019 Posted 7:06 pm

This is one of the first cheeses we ever reviewed. However, we weren’t taking photos at this point. Nearly nine years later, we found some for sale in a visiting French market.

St. Albray

St. Albray

Many years ago, we decided to start taking notes about the various cheeses we had tried. This was one of a handful of cheeses included in that first week’s record. We recorded it as “Petit Tourtain”. Four months later, we reviewed it again under the name “St. Albray”, completely unaware that it was, in fact, the same cheese.

To be honest, we’re still slightly confused about the naming of the cheese. It is understood that St. Albray is the recognised name of the cheese. Normally, it is made in a large 1½Kg form, with the smaller (200g) version being referred to as “petit”. Seeing as the cheese is not protected by AOC status, it is entirely possible that other cheesemakers around France are producing bootleg versions.

The first thing we notice about the cheese is it’s six lobed flower shape. The rind is a pinky / orange colour dusted with white.

The pate is a pale cream colour, soft, slightly rubbery with a waxy texture. It has almost no smell at all.

The taste is very delicate, slightly salty, bittering slightly closer  to the rind.

In summary, it’s not a very exciting cheese. The best things about it are the texture and the fact that it’s pretty. It would make a good addition to a cheeseboard for non-cheeselovers.

We have reviewed this cheese three times now, and our opinion hasn’t changed.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2010 & 2019

(1.5/5)

Cœur de Neufchâtel

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February 12th, 2017 Posted 7:50 pm

Well, it’s St. Valentine’s day (almost) and I’ve been trying, for years, to write up this one at around this time of year, but always missed. Yes, I know… cheesy, but when you have a heart shaped cheese, waddya gonna do?

To be fair, it isn’t the only heart shaped cheese, and Neufchâtel is not always heart shaped. It can be found in other forms, logs, wheels and bricks.

Cœur de Neufchâtel

Cœur de Neufchâtel

Regardless of the shape, Neufchâtel has a soft, smooth, velvety rind, covered in a fine white mould. The smell is very mushroomy with hints of ammonia.

The pate is gooey and pale yellow just inside the rind, but almost white and crumbly in the centre.

It has a very slight buttery smell that is almost non-existent.

The taste is immediately salty, quickly giving way to a pungent flavour accompanied by a burning sensation.

There is no real after taste, but it leaves you with the burning and an anæsthetic sensation.

It is also one of those cheese that has an interesting effect when taken with wine, producing a strange metallic taste.

A bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You think it’s going to be mild mannered, a soft creamy, delicate cheese in a lovely little heart shape. But, then it bites.

It’s a bit of an unusual cheese and one to try because of it, but to be honest, it’s a little overrated.

Purchased from the cheese stall outside Brighton Station.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2012.

(1.5/5)

Goodweald Smoked

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March 29th, 2015 Posted 5:37 pm

Made by the Traditional Cheese Dairy in Stonegate, East Sussex, this smoked cheese looks the business with it’s lovely golden, orange colouration and the chequered patterning, from the wire racks it stood on during smoking. But…

Goodweald Smoked

Goodweald Smoked

…this was sadly disappointing. Now, it must be understood that I do enjoy a good smoky flavour, but there’s something not quite right about this cheese.

Its smell is remarkably reminiscent of vinyl (PVC) inflatable pool toys. That sort of sweet plasticky smell you get when you fetch the li-lo out of storage at the beginning of summer.

It is not unusual for cheese to have overpowering and uninviting smells, but the problem with this cheese is that it also tastes synthetic and plasticky.

This vinyl flavour came from the smoking process, as it was stronger around the extremities. Maybe we happened to have acquired a cheese from a bad batch, I don’t know, we haven’t tried it since.

It’s a real shame, the texture is smooth and satisfying, but the flavour is just wrong.

Produced by The Traditional Cheese Dairy

Purchased from Middle Farm, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2013.

(1/5)

Ser Królewski

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August 19th, 2012 Posted 5:07 pm

Wrapped in bright red plastic, with a pale yellow paste with a few bubbles, this caught my eye in a continental deli.

Ser Krolewski

Ser Krolewski

Polish in origin, I was informed by the shopkeeper that it’s name meant “the king of cheeses”. In fact, it means “royal cheese”. Either way, it’s title is bestowed under false pretenses.

Typically eastern European, it is fairly unexciting, with a sweet, milky, but rather bland flavour and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Fine, for sandwiches, but not for savouring.

 Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2012

(1/5)

Murcia al Vino

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June 3rd, 2012 Posted 10:29 pm

This very attractive looking cheese with its pale almost translucent paste and beautiful red/maroon rind promises much.

Murcia al Vino

Murcia al Vino

Spanish made, it looks, in some ways, similar to a Manchego, but made with goat’s milk and washed in red wine.

This leads to high expectations, but sadly these are not met. It has surprisingly little flavour. Slightly goaty, slightly reminiscent of Manchego, but mainly dull and tasteless like a Provolone. The only exciting bit is the rind which has a slightly perfumed flavour.

Purchased from Tesco.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2012.

(1/5)