I love a very sharp cheddar, and a close second is a creamy blue cheese. My daughters, age 8 and 5, both love blue cheese. I'll be cooking and if they see the blue cheese out they both want some. So I'll put some in a plastic sandwich bag for each of them and off they go, happily snacking away.
French Feta, though I had a Corsican feta a couple months ago that blew me away.
Sid has a bandaged wrapped cheese that was gifted to me last year, what a treat.
Cheese glorious cheese....everything from fresh creamy farmstead chevre to creamy funky triples, to hard aged sharps......with crystals, man I love a cheese with crystals.
It's not abnormal for there to be a cheese course at my home....normally includes fresh fruit, preserved fruit.....macerated prunes/dried cherries/figs/fig almond loaf etc....olives, honey, and crackers (raincrisp are amazing)/bread.
Earlier this afternoon, while at the local produce market, I pickrd up a cheese that I've been meaning to tryfor a while: Purple Haze goat milk cheese, made by Califonia based Cypress Grove Chevre, based in Northern California. Cypress Grove makes the well known and well regarded Humboldt Fog.
The cheese is coated with lavender and fennel pollen, and is generally sold in 4-oz, 3-inch diameter discs. The cheese is luscious, creamy, and smooth. It ciuld almost be considered an alternative to some cream cheeses. I love Cypress Grove's "disc" cheese - regular, herbed, and now Purple Haze. The nice thing about Purple Haze is that the cheese's flavor is not masked by the fennel and lavender, yet the taste of the herbs is obvious but subtle. The small package travels well as it's wrapped in a secure plastic casing, and would be ideal for picnics, travel, and other outings. It's a nice size to place on a cheese board.
I've yet to find a Cypress Grove cheese that I don't like, but I'm only about half way through their product line. You might want to pick up a disc of one of their chevres if your market or cheese shop carries them.
oh Shel sorry......
as far as accessing 10 year Hook, you have to shop at Madison Farmer's Market.....
and Goatsbeard is sold in STL, Columbia MO, KC and Whole Foods in MO....it is my joy to have Ken Muno at my dinner table when he comes into STL for Wed farmer's market......there is always a great cheese course when Ken's here. the Muno's farmstead 55 goat dairy is 20 miles west of Columbia, so Ken drives 2.5 Hours to make it to STL. Great chevre. His blue is coming along nicely and the hand ladeled fresh chevre can't be beat. I've got several 2# tubs in my freezer......great for savory or sweet.
Purple Haze has been here for a while.....
we also get Judy Shad's cheeses too.
One of my English farmers market buddies was telling me about the cheese makers in her area.....oh man......
Last week a good shrooming friend was in town (he now lives in both Paris with his girlfriend and STL which was his home for years).....anyway they bring in lucious cheeses cryovaced and frozen from France, he sends detailed discriptions of his cheese mongers selections.....really delightful dining with them. This last time they were able to bring in canned (jarred) pate.....pretty darn tasty. Anyway it was facinating to learn that good raw cheeses can be frozen.
Niche, a restaurant in STL has Cow Girl Creamery Cottage Cheese on their cheese menu.......considered it but got Ewe's Blue and Delice de Bourgogne....shoulda done the cottage cheese. Their selling cheese by the oz (approx 4-4.5 per oz) comes with crostini and some preserves, presentation needs some help but cheese list is pretty decent.
I love most French cheeses, anything from Brie to Camembert to Roquefort. I also enjoy some Italian cheeses, including Gorgonzola - and love Danish Blue cheeses.
My favourites are British cheeses - local Scottish ones like Dunsyre and Lanark Blue and Dunlop, Isle of Mull Cheddar and some ewe's milk cheeses.
I also like other British cheeses, for instance Stilton, Leicester, Double Gloucester, Caerphilly, Wensleydale (beloved of Wallace and Grommit), Stinking Bishop, Shropshire Blue, Davidstow Cheddar, Lancashire.
I make my own oatcakes to eat with cheeses, and always have a couple of packs of oatcakes from Ian Mellis' shops, too!
Edited to add: I also love Emmenthal, Jarlsberg and some German cheeses, too. In fact, I don't think I've seen a cheese that I haven't liked!
Funny cheese story....one of my favorite cheese mongers got in some especially special Calvados steeped (?) camembert.....rare in the US and "special"....ok $20 later, I opened it in the car and after taking a bite did a U turn in the middle of a major road, went back to the cheese shop and quietly told him that the cheese had gone BAD. He tried it and said it was yummy.
All a matter of your preferences.
Shropshire Blue - one of my favorites. As I recall, a fairly modern cheese, developed in the 1980s or so. Back when my wife and I were visiting England I was getting tired of pub lunches that consisted in part of lukewarm peas and fat, soggy french fries. One day we were headed up to see some castle in the north and stopped for lunch at a place called The Bishop's Tun. It was named after a rock formation on the hillside, the Three Bishops. Anyway, I got the plowman's lunch, an assortment of bread, cheeses, cold cuts and some sort of pickle. One of the cheeses was Shropshire Blue, and it was love at first bite! Luckily it is becoming readily available here in the states. Not as good as what I ate then, but still a favorite of mine.
No, I'm afraid it's not! - Neal's Yard Dairy is a cheesemonger, just like Ian Mellis - they don't make cheeses on the premises and haven't for a long time, they are made in Herefordshire (I think) at NY Creamery. I have often visited their shop when in London.
The Shropshire Blue was actually first called Inverness Blue, and is like a cross between Stilton and Cheshire cheeses, with blue veins.
I see ... then I have been misinformed by two sources. I've seen the cheese in a local cheese shop with a Neal's Yard wrapper on it. In any case, would you say that the cheese with the Neal's Yard wrapper would be the real thing?
I might be able to narrow down my favorites to about 20, maybe.
Shropshire blue is one of them for sure. As with Huntsman's cheese, I got some as a layered blue/cheddar combination. I think it was Shropshire Blue and Double Gloucester. I drool just thinking about it :bounce:
I've been trying to remember the name, but it escapes me. A few years back I had this French cheese that I sort of recall being a semi-soft ripened cheese - don't recall the actual texture, firmer than a brie though.
I do, however, remember there being a thin layer of oak or hickory or ?? ash in the center. Can anyone refresh my memory? It was pretty good stuff.
I liked the part on the Lovetree site where they talked about storage of cheese, and dealing with mold. Basically the recommendation was that's what cheeses do, taste it, you might like it.
I've had some cheese get really slimy and foul after too long in the fridge, it gets chucked out, no questions asked. But a few light spots of fuzz or discoloration usually warrants an exploratory sniff and taste. Some gets scraped off, some doesn't. You just have to keep in mind that cheese is basically rotting milk - deal with it.
And Shroomgirl, the ash cheese was in rounds about 2 -3 inches thick, maybe 8, 9 inches in diameter, a soft, white rind with a light brownish tint here and there. I'll have to stop by the deli where I first bought it and see what they've got. I'm fairly certain it was of French origin. Another interesting note on the Lovetree cheeses was that they dusted a couple of their cheeses with charcoal.
Wow, what a coincidence. As I type this I'm listening to a commercial radio station instead of one of my usual entertainment sources. They just aired a commercial touting the virtues of Kraft American singles as the finest possible topping for a cheeseburger. Riiiiight.