Sunday, January 20, 2008

Comte French Raw Milk Alpine Cheese - tasted 01/20/08

Hubby picked out this cheese and therefore, I don't have a brand name for it, either. (I'm not starting out too good, am I?) I will get the brand for this one and the Double Gloucester from last week as soon as I can and pass them on to you.

This is a lovely, creamy white cheese with a brownish-tan colored natural rind (which I will be saving to use as a flavoring in my next pot of soup). It has a firm, smooth texture. Easy to slice. Feels good "to the teeth", to borrow a pasta cooking term. This cheese is semi-dry. As it came up to room temperature it became slightly oily.

From the label:
Raw cow milk, salt, animal rennet, lactic ferments.
Net weight: .26 lb.
Unit Price: $16.99/lb.
Total Price: $4.42

As I said, Pete picked this cheese. So, of course, he didn't care for it. Me? I love it! It is a robust, flavorful, some might say "pungent" cheese. I accompanied my first serving of this cheese with red seedless grapes, cherry tomatoes, pumpernickel bread and iced peach tea. The tomatoes were really good with this cheese. So was the pumpernickel. The grapes didn't go so well. This cheese needs to be served with foods that can "stand up" to it. I would serve it with such things as cured meats, different types of pickles, olives, rustic breads, veggies... I would not serve it with sweet or fruity items. Except maybe berries with balsamic vinegar.

There is almost a flavor of Parmesan cheese when you first put this in your mouth. Then the flavor changes into something else. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's something I've tasted before. Some other type of cheese. Gruyere, perhaps? Something about this Comte French makes me think of fondue. This is a very rich, slightly nutty flavored cheese.

This cheese is not for everyone. It has a strong, distinctive flavor that some people may object to. I would save this one for guests you are sure will appreciate it. Despite the cost, I would buy this cheese again. Perhaps not every week, or even every month, but two or three times a year would not be out of the question.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Double Gloucester tasted on Jan. 13, 2008

Traditional wisdom says:
"Double Gloucester is a traditional English cheddar-style cheese from Gloucestershire with a bold orange color and bright, somewhat sharp flavor. Double Gloucester has the honor and distinction of being used each spring for the Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake on Gloucestershire's Cooper's Hill, which consists of competitors chasing a wheel of Double Gloucester down an uneven hillside. The competitors are expected to catch the wheel of cheese; but, with speeds in excess of 70mph, this is virtually impossible."

Now for my say:
This cheese is yellow-orange in color. Dry, not quite crumbly in texture. Somewhere between medium and sharp cheddar. It has a natural rind which is creamy white in color and somewhat 'powdery' to the touch.
The label reads: Pasteurized cows milk, dairy culture, vegetarian rennet, salt, natural coloring Annatto, penicillium Roquefort.
Unit Price: $11.99 per pound. I purchased .40 pounds of this cheese and paid a total price of $4.80 USD. The piece I bought was cut from the wheel when I asked for it. Since I didn't know that I was going to be doing this blog when I made the purchase, I did not take note of the brand. I will be sure to get that information the next time I am at Earth Fare.

My first taste:
With this cheese I had red seedless grapes, toasted rye bread with olive oil spread and a glass of unsweetened, peach flavored, iced tea.
This cheese is inoffensive. It has a pleasant taste and texture. It feels good in the mouth, not mushy or gummy. It has a very mild odor. It was dry enough and firm enough to slice very thinly. No aftertaste. My opinion is that Double Gloucester cheese is good with fresh fruit. It would also be nice for a grilled cheese sandwich, or a cheese tray. Over all I would say this is a nice, average, inoffensive cheese. Anyone and every one should like it. There is nothing objectionable about this cheese but it's price.
My Final Say:
I would gladly eat it if someone offered it on a cheese tray or with fruit at a party or luncheon, but I see no need to pay the extra price for something that isn't really that much better than a good, quality, regular cheddar cheese.