One of the main reasons I started this blog was so that, in addition to keeping friends and family up to date, I could also use it as a way to keep track of what I’ve learned…and what I’ve eaten. So, every now and then (frequency depending on how much my tummy can handle), I’m just going to list the cheeses I’ve tried, some information about them, and what I thought. This is probably the best way to live vicariously through me while still maintaining your own trim figures. Enjoy?
Hidden Springs – Bohemian Blue
Hidden Springs Bohemian Blue is a pasteurized sheep’s milk blue cheese that is actually made in collaboration with the neighboring Hook’s Cheese Company in Westby, Wisconsin. Named after cheesemaker Brenda Jensen’s grandparents, who were Bohemian in origin, this blue is dry and crumbly with a sweet and sour finish. For me, this is perfect. I’m usually not a big fan of wet or drippy blue cheeses, and when I told that to the friendly man behind the counter at Mission Cheese (which is where I do nearly all of my cheese ‘studying’), he recommended Bohemian Blue. When I first tried Viognier wine, I was told it was the red wine drinker’s white wine. I kind of feel that way about Bohemian Blue: It’s the blue cheese for people who don’t love blue cheese. I will be going back for more.
Jasper Hill Farm – Constant Bliss
Constant Bliss is a hand-ladled pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont with a flavor all it’s own. Constant Bliss is soft and creamy, with an oozy layer right under the bloomy rind. I have to be honest: In this cheese, I didn’t find bliss. I was expecting a strong flavor, but I found that the texture overwhelmed the cheese and the rind was somewhat inescapable. However, the ayrshire cows at Jasper Hill are pasture-fed, so the taste of the cheese can really change from season to season. Basically, I will try this again. Also: The Cowgirl Creamery library notes that Mateo and Andy Kehler of Jasper Hill have worked hard to run a sustainable dairy and business and that they treat their cows wonderfully. Obviously, I am a big fan of theirs.
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company – Nicasio Square
Nicasio Square is a pasteurized washed-rind cow’s milk cheese which has a really rich flavor, similar to Taleggio. From the Nicasio Family Cheese Company in Nicasio California, the cheese takes the name and shape (when it’s full) of the town square at the center of Nicasio. Awesome! I loved this cheese as soon as I tried it, and immediately bought some to bring home. It was a little bit too ‘stinky’ for Mike, who admitted that the really liked the first bite, but wasn’t a big fan of the full and lingering flavor. For me, eating Nicasio Square at home was a great experiment/lesson in the importance of cheese temperature. When I let the cheese sit for about 40 minutes before eating, it was creamy and oozy, much like the picture above. The next time I ate some I was too hungry to wait, so I pulled it out of the fridge and went to town right away. It was a completely different experience! Not only was the the texture much more firm (not oozy at all), but the taste was much more subtle. Mike would have enjoyed it that time, but…I ate it all.
Uplands Cheese Company – Rush Creek Reserve
Rush Creek Reserve is a washed-rind raw cow’s milk from the Upland’s Cheese Company in Dodgeville Wisconsin. Not only is the rind washed, but it is then wrapped in spruce bark and aged for sixty days. The paste inside is luscious and silky and the spruce gives it an earthiness that you can really taste. The flavor is smokey, almost like bacon, or at least as far as I can remember (it’s been over 6 years since I’ve had any). This cheese is so good that I was licking the rind and my fingers after I ate it. I didn’t buy any to bring home, because I didn’t trust myself to make wise decisions around it. Note: Rush Creek Reserve is a seasonal cheese which is only sold November-March. So, try to get your hands on some now or you’ll have to wait until next year!
Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery – Double Cream Cremont
Much like Vanessa Williams, I too prefer to save the best for last, which is what I’ve done with this list and the Double-Cream Cremont. Oh man, you guys, this cheese is so delicious. I’m having a hard time using words. Like the Bonne Bouche from which this blog gets its name, the Double Cream Cremont is from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery. Double Cream Cremont is a mixed-milk cheese combining local cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and even Vermont cream. This cheese is smooth and extremely creamy. When I had this cheese as part of a sampling plate, they actually had to serve the Cremont in it’s own little dish because it was too creamy to stand on its own. You could eat this with a spoon, and I have no doubt that someday I will do just that. The rind is beyond edible with a nutty taste, and the paste/cream inside is yeasty. It tastes like a super creamy version of a nutty bread or something. I know I sound insane, but just go ahead and try it for yourself. I want to buy this cheese for everyone I love.