The Cheese Experiment

First, a few brief blog updates.  For subscribes who haven’t stopped by the blog in a while, there is now a description of my rating system and a blog roll available in the side bar.  I’ve also started using Twitter for the first time after reading a post by Kelly at Call Me Bookish about why she finds tweeting worthwhile, so you can now find me there as well.  And finally, I also received a Pintrest invite from Gretchen at The Happiness Project and I would be happy to pass on the favor, so if you’d like an invitation just e-mail me at kxw116 [at]  Alright now… on to the cheese!

As those of you who read my review of The Joy of Cheesemaking know, I was so excited about the cheese board ideas in the book that I went out and got some cheese of my own to try.  But, to avoid eating 5 wedges of cheese all alone, I waited until tonight when the boy was visiting from Atlanta so we could try them together.  Actually, we have enough left over I might invite some friends over for a cheese tasting tomorrow!  It was a lot of fun trying each cheese and sharing opinions, so while I laughed a little when the book said that being able to talk about cheese would make for interesting party conversation, I do think having a cheese board is a good way to break the ice at a party.  For those of you who might be interested, here are some brief reviews of the cheeses we tried:

Chèvre – We ate the cheese in the order suggested by the book, from least to most aged, so the first cheese was a fresh goat cheese.  The book describes Chèvre as “clean, rich, chalky and slightly metallic”.  I mostly just thought it tasted like cream cheese, but I like cream cheese a lot, so I was happy.  However, the boy thought it tasted like butter which made it weird to just eat.  The recommended sweet food to eat with Chèvre was honey, but unfortunately I was out.

Camembert – Next was the soft-ripened Camembert, made from cow’s milk and described as “mushroomy, fresh butter, mild and forest floor.”  Don’t ask what forest floor tastes like, as I still don’t know, but I definitely tasted the mushroom in this cheese.  As neither the boy nor I like mushroom, this cheese wasn’t our favorite.  However, the sweet food pairing was maple syrup so this was a good excuse to eat plain maple syrup!

Gouda – Our semi-hard cheese, gouda was another goat’s milk cheese with descriptors including “creamy, savory, grassy and barn yard.”  Perhaps the gouda I got wasn’t very good, but I would not described it as creamy.  In fact, I think it was kind of on the dry side.  The taste was pretty strong but went really well with the suggested side of dried cranberries.

Cheddar – Although I typically like cheddar, I decided to get a “fabulous extra mature” cheddar for our hard cheese.  I guess it was too mature for me, because I found the taste overwhelming, even with the suggested side of dried pineapple.  The boy liked it though, saying that while it was a strong taste at least it was a taste he liked.

Blue Cheese – The final category of cheese is blue cheese, for which I got a cow’s milk blue.  As expected, the taste was quite strong, but unexpectedly I really liked it.  The visible blue lines reminding me that cheese is made with bacteria and mold wasn’t the most appetizing, but I think crumbled on a salad I could probably get past that.  Plus, the recommend side was dark chocolate – definitely a point in its favor!  I should, however, warn you that the boy thought it tasted like old shoes, so blue cheeses aren’t for everyone 🙂


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4 responses to “The Cheese Experiment

  1. This was soo cool! I am glad you liked the goat cheese, it’s my all time favorite. Cheddar is always so surprising to people, since we think we know what it really tastes like thanks to all the “cheddar flavor” crackers and spreads out there. I’m always shocked when I have the real thing.

    • Thanks! I had a lot of cheese left over so the boy and I invited some friends over last night to do a cheese-tasting. I really wasn’t sure how to start that invitation (sooo, I have this cheese…) but I’m so glad I did it! We all had a lot of fun 🙂

      You’re so right about the cheddar – the fake stuff just doesn’t compare! And I definitely think I’ll be getting the goat cheese again. So tasty!

  2. Throw the goat cheese on a baby romaine salad with a red wine vinaigrette, tomatoes and some grated parmesan cheese. It is so good.

    What a great invitation starter!!! 🙂 LOL

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