Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

A Month of Cheeses

This is my second entry in a day (which violates my guidelines), but today is Cheese Tuesday and I realize I haven't been letting folks know what we've been enjoying here on the Northern Plains as old man winter comes and goes and struggles with young buck spring. Today spring is winning.


March 20

So basically I look over the cheeses at Surdyk's and pick out things we haven't had yet, trying to avoid two similar cheese on a particular Tuesday. (Or Thursday -- didn't I threaten to move this?)

Here's what I got this morning:

Dry Aged Jack: It's crumbly aged Jack cheese (which is a very basic cheese, normally). When cheeses get aged and dry they always say they're like Parmesan. It's from Sonoma California.

Swiss Gruyere: This surprised me, but I don't think we've had regular old Gruyere yet. It's like fancy swiss cheese. It makes for a great sandwich with some turkey and avocado. Or melted with cheddar in macaroni and cheese. It's fancy Jarlsberg.

Goat Brie. Need I say more?

March 27

Despite last night's stealing of all the cheese money I've collected (which was in an envelope in the back of a drawer awaiting my decision on what to do with it), I will remain undaunted and we will have cheese again today at 2:30. And not just three but four selections!

Hidden Springs Creamery Driftless Cheese, "A fresh sheep milk cheese with lavender and sweet honey". This is like a cream cheese. I didn't taste it, but it should be mild.

Tomme de Fedou. I can do no better than the Surdyk's description: "Taste this Tomme next to any other: It possesses a nuance of flavor and character unlike any other -- taste the sweet summer grasses, herbs, perhaps a flower or two. Sheep's milk, from the Languedoc." Nuance of flavor -- how about that! Do you think cluster mirror support in RHEL 4.5 has a nuance of utility? The Languedoc region is in the south of France; I looked it up. I also tasted the cheese, and it had, um, a nuance of grassiness. For those of us who want to remember our carefree childhood summer days chewing on fresh blades of grass, this is the cheese to try.

Dotziger Camembert Switzerland. This is wrapped in foil, which is why I bought it. I'm a sucker for shiny packaging.

Pere Joseph (Belgium). Another Monastery cheese, so we can achieve spiritual growth through butterfat.

2:30. I'll send a reminder. If this is too much for today I'll put it out again tomorrow.



April 3

We'll be having our weekly cheesefest as usual this afternoon. I seem to have wound up with four choices again, although that wasn't my plan. Here's what we have:

- Dean said to get some Muenster, sort of as a joke because it's a plain old common regular cheese. But the joke's on us, because there is a French Munster that's like a much tangier, softer version of the supermarket melting stuff. It definitely has an "aroma".

- People liked the "Driftless" cheese with lavender and honey last week, so this week I got their plain cheese. It's a fresh cheese, like Feta, which was Nate's suggestion. It's made from sheep's milk.

- Maytag Blue -- we had no blue cheese last week, so this week we have the Iowa famous blue.

- Lancashire, from Neal's yard in Englad. This is like Wensleydale with a graduate degree -- the same basic texture and underlying flavor as Wensleydale, but with a tangy salty backbite.

That's all at 2:30.



April 10

I think we'll interrupt the GFS2 meeting at 2:30 with this week's cheeses plus some pate I picked up as well, in honor of our special guests and all.

There's nothing too extraordinary this week.

Some English Double Gloucester which I thought we'd had but I don't find it on my list. It's just a really good Cheddar. One of those orange cheeses. Well, maybe we did have this, but people liked it.

Buttermilk Blue from Wisconsin. This is probably a lot like the Maytag Blue from Iowa we had last week.

Spanish Iberico -- cow, sheep, and goat's milk blend. It's mild but with a tang.

And the aforementioned Pate de Campagne for those who must have their meat.

See you at 2:30,


April 17

I forgot to send out the day-in-advance cheese description yesterday. We have more fun stuff this afternoon.

The most fun is that I got some really nice Fontina. The Surdyk's label notes that the cheese is "a great snack with some P:arma prosciutto" so I got some Parma proscuiutto (conveniently sold at Surdyk's). Good fancy proscuitto is quite the treat. I hope nobody likes it so that I can have it all.

I also got some Red Leicester, which is a whole lot like the Double Gloucester that folks like -- it's a cheddar that is the orange color that annoys Nate. I've been to Leicester, so the cheese holds sentimental value for me. In fact, I enjoy my semi-regular visits to the East Midlands because they seem to name their towns after cheeses in that part of England.

On the more obscure side we have some Robiola, which is Italian. I agree with the description: "a yeasty aroma gives way to a mushroomy flavor with a slight, fresh tang". And no, they don't mean Tang the drink of the astronauts, although I happen to own a pitcher with the word "Tang" molded into the glass which perhaps I should bring to work so we can have Tang Thursdays. Do they still make Tang? Does anyone know?

See you all at 2:30. I think we slightly impressed our visitors last week not so much with the cheese itself -- although it all got eaten -- but with the very notion of cheese Tuesday.


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