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] gmail.com. 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 🙂