Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Roth Kase Smoked Blue Cheese "Moody Blue"

My son Thomas and I went to the Earth Fare this past weekend. It was his first experience and I must say he thoroughly enjoyed himself. As soon as we walked out the door he started talking about our next trip. I'm so proud of him, too. The lady at the cheese counter was quite bubbly and excited to share her love of cheese with us. And Thomas actually tried some things I never thought he would. But... more on that later...

This blog is about a new bleu cheese find the cheese lady introduced to us. Roth Kase of Monroe, Wisconsin won a silver medal in this year's U.S. Championship Cheese Contest for it's class "Smoked Cheeses" getting a 99.15 out of a possible 100 score. (the gold medalist got a 99.30)

Of course, I only found this out when I got home and looked it up. The cheese lady noticed my interest in the blue cheeses and suggested I try this one. The aroma hooked me right at the start. For people who don't think they like blue cheese... take a whiff of this stuff. Even Thomas admitted that it smelled tasty. (not enough to make him overlook the MOLD - he wouldn't take a taste, but... maybe next time, right?) The aroma is smoky, woody, sort of sweet. It made my mouth water, actually.

The taste? Salty, creamy, tangy, woody, slightly sweetish... if you want to introduce blue cheese to someone who hasn't ever tried it before or thinks they don't like it, offer them this one. I'm over the moon about it. In fact, between Pete and me it's almost all gone already. The cheese is not too "ripe" if you know what I mean. There are a few streaks of blue with the majority of the cheese being a soft buttery cream color.

This cheese was $15.99 a pound but well worth the price. A must on any cheese tray. When I got home I served it to Pete with crackers and red grapes. He said that combo was out-standing! And I agree. I urge you all to grab a wedge of this one before Pete and I eat it all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Havarti with Jalapeno

Yes.... I usually do this blog about "gourmet" cheeses, but guess what? I found a cheese that tastes like gourmet but is accessible to everyone.

Boar's Head Brand Havarti with Jalapeno. Its number 25 of 28 cheeses in the digital deli case.

I purchased this cheese in the deli of my local Kroger Grocery Store. If you are lucky your grocery store will also carry this brand. I love Havarti anyway... but I'd never had it with jalapeno peppers. This stuff is way better than any Pepper Jack I ever had! Seriously. If you like pepper jack cheese, you will LOVE this stuff!

The low down:
I purchased one third pound of this cheese for $9.89 per pound. My total cost was $3.07 and since I asked the deli lady to slice it pretty thin, I got about 10 slices. Hubby and I really liked this one. It went first before the Swiss and the Provolone.

I highly recommend this cheese. The peppers DID have a bit of a bite, but the sting was balanced by the smooth, creaminess of the Havarti. I am planning on getting at least a half pound of it next time I am at Kroger. This cheese is suitable as a sandwich cheese, with dried meats and fresh veggies or just to eat "as is". Put this out on your cheese tray at your Holiday party. Everyone is sure to enjoy it!

Speaking of Holiday parties... I had a wonderful idea the other day...

Instead of having another "Cookie Exchange" at the office or with your "coffee clatch", why not have a "Cheese Tasting Party"? Everyone can bring a bit of their favorite cheese and some crackers, or veggies/fruits, or a loaf of crusty bread. Sounds like a lot of fun, eh? Way more than a bunch of cookies, which a lot of people cheat on and bring store bought ones anyway. Or the Nabisco refrigerator tube kind. Ick.

Anyway... lots to do, tis the season to be busy... Falalalala la la la la...

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

No matter what your beliefs, we could all use a little more "Peace on Earth, good will toward men."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gorgonzola and Steak

Just for you, Pam. I'm sorry I can't tell you what dairy this came from because hubby threw out the wrapper before I could write down the name. But I did get some nice photos of the cheese itself, so thought I would share them with you. This cheese is Gorgonzola Dolce, which is a Northern Italian cheese. A young blue as opposed to the regular, aged Gorgonzola. It was rather creamy of texture with not so pungent of an aroma as the usual blue we get, which is most always Maytag.
I think you would like this one, my friend. I put it on my steak and on my baked potato and it was truly yummy. Here's the pics.

What a pretty cheese. I really liked this one.

Before the melting:

After the melting:

Can't you just smell it??? That was a super supper. Too bad I only got a little bit. There was just enough for both of us to have some on our steak and tater and then it was all gone. Boohoo... will be getting more of this stuff. Really terrific. I recommend this type cheese to anyone who likes blue cheese. I think even the casual eater of blue cheese would love this one. For one thing, it isn't quite as over-powering as the more aged varieties. Those with a sensitive nose will appreciate this one. It was well worth the cost.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Georgia Gouda Cheese

The next cheese from my most recent Earth Fare excursion is a "local" Georgia cheese. It comes from Sweetgrass Dairy in Thomasville, GA. That's it, on the right in the picture below. Or the upper left in the picture above. A lovely, NAY! A beautiful, cheese.

This beautiful cheese has a few small holes throughout. The aroma is mildly piquant. Appetizing, not off putting in the least. The texture is soft, yet a little dry, not sticky. Slices easily. The rind is chalky white, not too thick.

I tried this cheese along with the Mayenburg Goat Jack and the fresh tomato and the bacon. I enjoyed this one much more than the Goat Jack. The cheese is a lovely creamy yellow color. The taste resembles the familiar Gouda I am used to, a young, very mild one. There is also a hint of sharp cheddar here too. I have also tried this one with some fresh red grapes and it goes very nicely. Pete also loved this cheese. I think it is one of his favorites, so far.

If you can find this cheese, please try it. I think most any cheese lover will like it, and anyone would find it inoffensive. I think it would be good melted on things too. Should make a good grilled cheese sandwich. Or a nice cheese sauce over broccoli or some other vegetable.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Meyenberg Goat Cheese Jack - Smoked

Went to Earth Fare last weekend. I picked up four (count em - 4) different cheeses. The first one I am going to review is the Meyenberg Goat Milk Jack Cheese.

Pleasant aroma. I smell more of the smokiness than the cheesiness. I like that smoky smell. Makes my mouth water.

The texture is more dry than regular, cow's milk Jack. I sampled this cheese with home-grown tomato, low sugar, low sodium bacon and a local Gouda cheese. This was my breakfast. The cheese slices in the middle of the plate are the Goat Jack slices.

The taste at first is somewhat Jack-like. Then comes a "musty" flavor that will take some getting used to. I guess it is just the "goatiness" of it. But I have trouble with that every time I first taste most goat cheeses. The funny thing is that I love Feta Cheese. It's one of my most favorite cheeses and I don't find it musty tasting at all. This cheese, however, is. Not really strongly musty, but I notice it.

My overall impression: I most likely won't purchase this cheese again just because of the price, $19.99 per pound. There are cheaper cheeses out there that I enjoy more. If the price were cheaper I would possibly buy it again.

Would I recommend it? Probably not.

I like a sharper, more piquant cheese. Many cheese lovers might like this one and I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't buy it. I just think there are better ones out there. I don't have anything BAD to say about it - it just isn't something I would RAVE about. Not sorry I tried it. But will save my money next time and get something that makes me go WOW!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Non-fat Mozzarella Cheese

Okay, this is the set-up:

I was at the Kroger the other day, and I was in a hurry. I had a dentist appointment that I didn't want to be late for. So... I'm in a hurry, I don't have my glasses on (and are therefore nearly blind) and I see that the already shredded store brand mozzarella cheese is on sale. So I think, "Why not?" I mean, I already use their brand of block cheese and it's fine. So I picked up 3 packages of the stuff and I hurry home to put away the food before I rush off to the dentist. Then, a couple of days later I make a couple of quickie tortilla pizzas for Thomas and myself for lunch. And I see on the package that it says "Non-fat cheese". But I wasn't worried, how bad could it be?

Turns out folks that it is very bad indeed. The stuff doesn't melt like mozzarella cheese, it doesn't taste like mozzarella cheese and it doesn't smell like mozzarella cheese. I'm not really sure what it is, but my friends, it ain't cheese. It's some kind of weird, space-age technology, petroleum by-product, plastic, pretend food that I don't understand. And I don't want to understand it. It was nasty. Let me repeat myself: IT WAS NOT CHEESE. Avoid at all costs, people. I don't even think your body can digest it. It probably passes right thru entire, like when I was little and the dog ate one of my plastic army men (I was a strange girl child, what can I say) and it came out the other end and we found it in the yard many weeks later. Must have hurt like hell, but the dog didn't seem to take any lasting harm from it. Lived many more years thereafter. I have hopes that I will too, after ingesting this stuff.

Bottom line:
Price: cheap when on sale.
Would I buy this again? No, no, no. Hell NO!
Would I serve this to my friends? Nope, not even to my enemies, probably.
Would I recommend it? I would recommend that they stop calling this stuff "cheese" and I would recommend that they stop selling it as a "food" item. Other than that? Absolutely not.

I have decided that I will, in the future, limit my cheese health-o-meter to cheddar made with 2% milk. That's about as healthy as I'm willing to go with my cheese. I might have to cut the fat in my diet in other places and I might consider not eating as much but dammit! I ain't messing with the cheese no more! Its gonna be REAL cheese or nothing from now on, for this girl and her family. I'm not even sure something as fake as that stuff was is good for you anyway. It can't be.

End of this cheese story.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mexican Queso Cheese

Okay, here's my "Doh" moment. Why didn't anyone ever tell me this stuff is so good?! I don't know why I never bought any before. I mean, we eat at Mexican/Southwest/Tex-Mex restaurants all the time. And I love the stuff when I have it there. Why didn't I ever think to buy any of it for home consumption? This stuff is great! Wonderful! Beautiful! Perfect! Shall I go on? I think not, but you get the idea, right?

Having somewhat the texture of aged mozzerella. The taste begins like a super mild, milky cheddar; progresses thru sharp cheddar; and ends on an extra sharp note. It isn't quite as piquant as extra sharp cheddar would be tho. And the way it melts. How marvelous! Takes just the least little bit of heat for it to melt beautifully. It gets all stringy and goopy and fun to play with. I love this stuff.

Will I be purchasing this type of cheese again? You betcha!
Would I serve it to my friends? Every one of them.
Do I recommend this cheese to any and all cheese lovers? I do, I do, I do...

Mexican Queso cheese is a wonderful invention. I have no clue if it is "authentic" Mexican or another American thing, but I don't care. It's yummy and I plan to keep right on purchasing it and enjoying it. I hope you will too.