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Tomme au Marc de Rasin

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October 25th, 2015 Posted 7:57 pm

It looks a bit like a rather old blackcurrant cheesecake that’s been sitting at the back of the fridge for far longer than it should have, but don’t be put off by its appearance.

Tomme au Marc de Raisin

Tomme au Marc de Raisin

Topped with the grape seeds and skins left over from wine making (otherwise known a marc). This cheese has a leathery black/grey/brown rind and a light golden waxy looking pate.

Not surprisingly, it has the sweet, alcoholic smell of rotting fruit and sour milk.

The texture is similar to that of Morbier, but more yielding, almost spreadable.

The flavour is strong and robust but not overpowering with mildly alcoholic overtones (a bit like eating cheese with a sip of wine).

All in all, a very pleasant cheese that’s a little different. Definitely one for the Christmas cheeseboard.

Purchased from La Cave à Fromage, Hove.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2014



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May 28th, 2013 Posted 12:14 am

This rather peculiar and delightful offering was brought over, a couple of weeks ago, from Germany by Marjam (aka Maus) a lifelong friend of Olympia’s.It comes from the Allgäu in the Alpine area of southern Germany……and, yes, it is covered with wild flowers!




The pate is a pale yellow, with the odd round bubble hole in it, very similar to many other Alpine cheeses. Of course, what makes this particular cheese rather unique is that they coat it in colourful, dried, wild flowers. Red, orange, mauve, white and green petals and herbs make it look more like pot-puris than a cheese, and it smells like it too.

The rind smells of hay, lavender and aromatic pipe tobacco. The pate itself has a very faint alpine cheese smell.

The flavour is mild, sweet and milky. The rind is edible, and it’s a good job too, because it turns this otherwise bland and unexciting cheese into something special. The rind tastes much like it smells: lavender; hay; flowers and herbs, with a subtle but definite underlying Alpine flavour.

An interesting experience and definitely something to seek out if you find yourself in that part of the world.


[the feet in the picture are German cheese biscuits, called käsefüss (Cheesy Feet) also brough over by Maus :-) ]

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2013.





May 22nd, 2012 Posted 3:35 pm

Cabrales is a Spanish blue cheese made primarily from cow’s milk but often with ewe and goat added.It has a grey/green colouration and a crumbly texture. It’s flavour, however, is a somewhat acquired taste.



This cheese should come with a warning. Tasting is not for the feint of heart.

It starts off pleasant enough, it’s paste is initially creamy, but then something awful happens. The acrid taste hits you like you’re chewing on a wasp, sharp, acid, bitter. It instantly dries the mouth, turning it inside-out and making it difficult to swallow. Then it burns and burns… and then it burns some more. I can only liken it to licking the corroded contacts of leaky PP3 battery.

Once swallowed, the bitter aftertaste lingers and it leaves you with a sore throat.

This is the vindaloo of the cheese world. Used, I’m sure, by young, testosterone charged, Spanish men, as a post drinking session test of machismo.

It is worth tasting, if only for the experience, but it is advisable to have a large glass of water close to hand.

Tasted at La Fromagerie, London (no, we didn’t buy any)

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2010


Ru Shan (乳扇)

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April 15th, 2012 Posted 5:24 pm

China is not known for its cheese, and for good reason. Anyone who has had pizza in China knows this (except if it was made with imported New Zealand cheddar). It is awful. Most Chinese cheese is quite rancid, tasting like what I imagine the regurgitations of a calf might.

Ru shan, is not so bad. Sold on the streets of many towns and cities in Yunan province, this snack food is rather unusual, but interestingly tasty.
Sheets of the cheese are placed on a griddle, stretched and toasted. As the cheese starts to brown,  the vendor presses a stick into one edge. Then the sheet is smeared with jam or flavoured honey. Finally, the cheese is rolled up to resemble a lolly.

It is an interesting experience. The cheese itself is chewy with a mild pleasent taste, slightly remeniscent of haloumi. The exact origin of the sweet condiment that had been smeared over it was indeciferable. Suffice to say that it was just sweet and slightly fruity, but not overpowering.

Not a great cheese, but none the less, an interesting experience. If you ever find yourself in the south west of China, try it.

Reviewed by Nick 2008