curdnerd's blog

Systematic sensory evaluation

Maryanne Drake of the North Carolina State University Department of Food Science Sensory Service Center has devised a lexicon of sensory analysis that can be used to describe the flavors present in cheese, particular Cheddar. Some of the more, shall we say, interesting terms she defines are:

Rosy/Floral: aroma associated with flowers
Bell pepper: aroma associated with freshly cut green vegetables
Waxy/Crayon: aromatics associated with medium chain fatty acids
Catty: aroma associated with tom-cat urine

Cheese Sale at Cal Poly

Every December, the Cal Poly Cheese program at the Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA holds a cheese sale from that season's make. This year production is up 10% and according to the press release, the sale this year will be the biggest yet. They make seven varieties of cheese, from a mix of milk that's 60% Jersey and 40% Holstein: Gouda , Smoked Gouda , Mustang Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar, Chipotle Jack, San Luis Lace and Reduced Fat Lace.

Bobolink Story

Voice of America has posted a nice story about Jonathan and Nina White's Bobolink farm in New Jersey. Bobolink cheese is made from the raw milk of pasture-fed cows, and the farm as a whole is based on small-scale, sustainable practices. Their cheeses are quite good, and can be found at the Union Square Farmers' Market in New York City, as well as other farmers' markets in the tri-state area.

Cheesemaking Workshop Update

Jim Wallace has posted an update about all the cheeses we made at the workshop last week, including pictures. They all look like they're progressing nicely!

Stilton Ice Cream

The Stilton Cheese Makers Association, along with the British ice cream company Churchfield's Farmhouse, have announced the production of a stilton-flavored ice cream. Stilton is a blue-veined cheese from the UK that is milder than Roquefort or Gorgonzola, but richer than other British blue cheeses. Double cream (48% butterfat) is added to the cheese to make the ice cream.

Cheeses of the Week - Monte Enebro & Hoch Ybrig

Monte Enebro is a moist, semi-soft goat's milk cheese from Avila, a town in the southern part of the Castile province in Spain. It is covered in mottled rind, part ash and part mold, that imparts an intense, tangy flavor. Pair with a Muscat or Cava.

Hoch Ybrig is a pressed cow's milk cheese from Switzerland made in the summer months in the Alps. It is quite similar to Gruyere, but it is washed in a white wine brine during aging, making it slightly sweeter than its more famous cousin. Pairs well with a Riesling.

Cheesemaking Workshop

This weekend I attended a fantastic, two-day, advanced cheesemaking workshop held by Jim Wallace of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. The workshop focused on making French cheeses, in particular Brie/Camembert (which, it turns out, are quite similar recipes despite their differences in shape), Reblochon, and Tomme de Savoie.

Cheese of the Week - Cabrales

Cabrales is a blue cheese made in the Asturias region of Spain from a mixture of cow's, sheep's and goat's milks. The texture is creamy and the inside mold is so vividly blue that it almost looks purple. An intensely-flavored blue cheese, it is best savored with a deep Spanish red wine, preferably one from the north of the country.

UPDATE: I shared this cheese with a friend this weekend, and it completely lived up to its hype. It was particularly creamy and crumbly, with a nice pungent blue mold flavor, and it paired so well with the Marques de Caceres Rioja Tinto 2001 that we drank wit

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