Eat Cheese

My cheese is delivered and I have a cheese tasting dinner with friends.

The cheese (referred to in a previous blog entry) arrived on Thursday. It came in a box fitted around a Styrofoam cooler that contained the cheese and a reusable ice pack. The cheese was still cool, despite its long trip from PA via FedEx but the box was stinky, like you’d expect a box of moldy cheese to smell.

Moldy is a strong word. Blue-veined is the word the cheese descriptions use. It appears that I’ve hit that magical age where a person starts liking blue-veined cheese. Oddly enough, Mike has, too.

John and Lorna came for our cheese dinner. I put out an assortment of crackers and some sliced french bread. And the cheeses. Not only the four I’d bought online from iGourmet.com, but two others I’d bought locally.

Here’s my cheese review.

Amarello is a sheep’s milk cheese from Portugal. I bought it because I’d never had sheep’s milk cheese. It has a semi-firm texture and a rather sharp (to my palette), salty flavor. It reminded me of a cross between Provolone and Romano. I give it a thumbs down.

Brie is a soft cheese found in many places. I bought this particular brie at the local Safeway supermarket. They have several brands there and I know from experience that I like the store-brand “Primo Talgio” the best. I put it on the serving plate beside Coulommiers, a French cheese described in the catalog as the “ancestor of all bries.” When tasted side by side with the brie, it had a much more complex flavor and an interesting finish. I give both a thumbs up, but the Coulommiers gets a bigger thumbs up.

Saga is a blue-veined, brie-like cheese. I bought it at Safeway. It’s one of my favorites. It has an interesting flavor and should not be eaten with brie as it makes the brie taste bland by comparison. Thumbs up.

Morbier is the cheese that started me on this cheese quest. It’s a French cow’s milk cheese that has a unique appearance — a blue line running horizontally across its center. This cheese was the big hit of the evening. Everyone liked it. Even John, who has extremely conservative tastes in food. This cheese not only gets a thumbs up, but it will likely be on every future order.

Gorgonzola Dolce is a very soft Italian cheese that has a strong flavor and even stronger aroma. I think this was the cheese that, despite its double-wrapping, stunk up the box. I like this cheese, but I don’t think it’s because I like the flavor. It think I like the difference of the flavor. I’m always interested in eating something different and this definitely is different. I give it a thumbs up for that reason, but a thumbs down because the piece they sent is so enormous that I’ll be eating it for longer than I probably want to. I’ll probably try different gorgonzolas in the future. Smaller ones.

My cheese experiment cost about $60, including the locally bought cheeses and crackers. I have enough cheese left to do it again, several times, Mike and I will probably work through them over the next week or so.

I’ll probably do this once a month or so, just to build up my knowledge of cheeses and enjoy their flavors.

Got any recommendations? Use the comments link or form for this post.

One thought on “Eat Cheese

  1. If you like full flavored bries try a camembert. It has similar texture but a fuller taste. if possible get a french camembert, american ones seem to be very bland. If you like sweet soft cheeses try a pierre robert, brillat savarin, st. andre or a fromage d’affinois. Personally I have a strong dislike for morbier. I cant get past the smell I feel it tastes a lot like it smells. However its italian cousin taleggio ( also a washed rind cheese) is a much more moderate tasting less “stinky” cheese that has an excellent texture. I bet since its been 3 years since this post you’ve had a chance to expand your cheese pallate. In fact all the cheeses I’ve mentioned except for morbier are personal likes. If you know any good cheeses feel free to send me an e-mail.

What do you think?