Monday, March 24, 2008

Diligently Selected Cheese from Napa Rose

Please read ahead for the best damn cheese plate I've ever received.

Going clockwise on my plate, here is every last creamy detail....please note these are the descriptions of their cheese expert and not myself - except for the first one.

Pave d'Affinois - France
~This was one of the first cheeses to be made comercially using ultrafiltration, a method that results in a higher yield of solids. This cows milk cheese is allowed to ripen in a warm, humid cellar for two or three weeks. Similarities are to Brie. (Also my favorite of the seven)

Sofia - Indiana - USA
~ This is a beautiful and very unique Goats milk cheese made on Capriole Farms, located in Greenville Indiana, right over the Kentucky border. Sofia has a layer of wrinkled mold on the outside that comes from the particular starter culture that Capriole Farms uses. The curds are hand ladled into molds along with vegetable ash. The ash coats the outside and is marbled throughout the cheese which contributes to its tangy and salty quality.

Queso de Mano - Colorado - USA
~This raw Goat's milk cheese from Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, it was given this name because it is made entirely by hand at the creamery. Its white interior has a robust, nutty flavor with herbal hints. The texture of it is reminiscent of the Spanish Garrotxa from the Catalonia region, but it has its own distinctive taste. It is aged for a minimum of four months.

Winchester Gouda - Winchester - California
~Jules Wesselink is the cheese maker for Winchester Cheese Company which makes this mild Gouda that is aged for 60 days. This cheese is made with raw milk, from Holstein cows. The style "Boere Kaas" which means "Homemade on the farm" is the same way their families have been making Goudas in Holland for generations.

Bandage Cheddar 18 month - California - USA
~This is a cow's milk cheese from Fiscalini Family Creamery in Modesto, California. The flavor of the cheese is nutty with many floral notes as well as a natural sweetness and refreshing clean tasting attributes. The Fiscalini family is rich in California dairy tradition that dates back four generations, that's over 100 years here in California.

Pennsylvania Noble Amish White Cheddar - Pennsylvania - USA
~This happens to be the most interesting cheeses that I have found in a long time. The Cheddar, is beautifully crafted with a light, bloomy rind and Cave aged for 1 years. It has all of the sharpness that a mature cheddar should have plus some wonderful sweet notes characteristic of great Pennsylvania Organic Grass Fed Raw Cow's Milk Cheese.

Mine Shaft Blue - California - USA
~Aged in goldmines up around Placerville, this cow's milk blue is fruity and has just the right amount of salt. This blue is strong but not overly aggressive in flavor and has somewhat a creamy texture. It is injected with the same mold strain as Gorgonzola.

Rogue Creamery "Reserve" Blue - Oregon - USA
~This creamery started in Oregon 1957. This particular blue is made from raw cow's milk wrapped with grape leaves and allowed to age for a year. It has a semi soft, creamy texture with a subtle, sweet flavor. This cheese is very hard to find, we had to order it one year in advance.