By Beryl Peters; Jan Barnes
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Extra resources for Cheese & wine
Louis Grubb compares the maturation of his cheeses to the slow development of teenagers. Cashel Blue is flaky, sharp, and acidic when young, he says, but with maturity comes creaminess, complexity, and a more subdued character. A three- to four-pound cylinder of Cashel Blue has a beautiful appearance, with well-spaced blue-gray veins in an ivory background. The texture is moister and creamier than many blues, with restrained salt and an ingratiating butteriness. If the cheese “weeps” at room temperature, pat it dry with a paper towel.
WINES THAT WORK: 50 CHEESE & WINE CH EDDAR Raw or pasteurized cow’s milk England and United States Cheddar’s reputation has suffered in the United States due to the tasteless, waxy blocks of rindless cheese sold under that name in most supermarkets. Traditional cloth-bound Cheddar is one of the most complex and captivating cheeses made anywhere. England still can claim a handful of raw-milk farmhouse Cheddars, such as Montgomery’s (pictured on page 38), Keen’s, Quicke’s, and Westcombe. The United States can boast of the excellent Cheddar made by Fiscalini Farms in California (see photos pages 23, 38, 140) and Shelburne Farms and Grafton Village in Vermont.
Nevertheless, American cheese counters sell truckloads of Brie, and some of it can be pretty good. It can also be bitter, salty, and ammoniated, so it always pays to ask for a taste before purchasing. There is not one Brie, but several, all of them made in northeast France, east of Paris. Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun both have AOC status (see page 142). Brie de Nangis (rare in the United States) and Brie de Coulommiers, also called simply Coulommiers, do not. Brie de Meaux is generally considered to be the king of Bries, but if you have a choice, buy on taste.
Cheese & wine by Beryl Peters; Jan Barnes