LTH Home

specialty cheese notes

specialty cheese notes
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • specialty cheese notes

    Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 6:45 pm
    Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 6:45 pm Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 6:45 pm
    We are rapidly moving into the seasons of specialty cheeses. I thought why not list notes, now that I am a copyeditor and homemaker after sickness and exodus from Manhattan to the perfumed crude oil cornfields and soybean plantations of deep South IL. Petit Vaccarinus season is here! The spruce bark wrapped, "organic fondue" liquidy pastel-moldy cheese with a wonderful mild-ish funk. Yay! Soon Rush Creek Reserve a somewhat similar domestic cheese will show up. Then, three year Comte'. Then the old person's favorite. Colston-Bassett Stilton. Cut from the truckle, or, for those that don't know any better, bought in a decorative ceramic crock. Paired with a Port and Christmas ghost stories around the fireplace! I love old people and how they can no longer taste a damn thing except Limburger for the skinflints and Stinking Bishop or Wildspitz(hello! Caroline Hostettler!) for those of more-discerning palates. I do not know what the pandemic means for importation of cheese. Before I got sick I already saw the French shipments drying up. Well, I suppose if we can't get black market goat crottin rubbed in ash///shhh/// we have the Queen of Midwestern goat cheese, Judy Schad, to provide us with, imo, superior product. And, those cheeses are not seasonal, except for my favorite which I can't get her to make again: Mt. St. Francis and Mt. St. Francis Reserve. Two fucking incredible aged stinky washed rind goat pyramids. Alas.

    Anecdote re: petit vaccarinus

    these are expensive cheeses in their little wood boxes...the Swiss tend to toast them, but I find them delicious as is, well, warmed to room temp. of course, I was selling them for 40 bucks a pop...so, fucking Upper East Side brats were drawn to them(and the Maison al a Truffe, the Brie de Meaux sandwiching Brillat Savarin impregnated with perigord)...they liked sticking their fingers in them. So once I was distracted by a precocious little boy with great questions, meanwhile his evil sibling, I learned too late was thrusting his fingers into our precious horde of petit vacarinous...I was photographed for a piece holding a wheel of Brie al a Truffe on my shoulder for an industry mag...days later a little French "girl" ran away from her distracted "parents" and punched her fingers into my tender 50 dollars a pound cheese. Fucking French are the worst. It is an axiom in the food industry: Spanish, French, Argentinians, all full of shit.

    I had a co-worker for a short while before she left, she is a nomad, however, she worked at Pastoral. I always heard good things about them when we lived in the city. It was a dinner for many friends at Bin 36 years upon years ago where we sat at a long table near their cave and I ordered burrata for us, my first time having the delicacy...long since I am familiar with the two milks for this cheese. Cow or Buffalo. And their reputable purveyors. Bacar in San Francisco in SOMA my former home and another Great Table of friends, I ordered Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk which none of the twelve would touch and that was when I knew I was onto something, washed rind soft-ripened cow's milk cheese. In Clybourne Corridor in Chicago...I met a friend who was the partner of the owner of Ragstock. We visited him and he revealed a tower of bandaged-wrapped truckles from Neal's Yard. And, Lo, the scales dropped from my eyes. He offered me a sliver of the paisley-molded bandaged truckle Isle of Mull. He died of liver cancer not long after. He pushed my boat away from the shores of what the fuck I was going to do with my life and, eventually, I met the motherfuckers in cheese work around the world. And, when I say a deep dive, a rabbit's hole, I fucking mean it.
    Last edited by Christopher Gordon on September 21st, 2020, 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 7:42 pm
    Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 7:42 pm Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 7:42 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:...I met a friend who was the partner of the owner of Ragstock. We visited him and he revealed a tower of bandaged-wrapped truckles from Neal's Yard. And, Lo, the scales dropped from my eyes. He offered me a sliver of the paisley-molded bandaged truckle Isle of Mull. He died of liver cancer not long after. He sent me away from the shores of what the fuck I was going to do with my life and, eventually, I met the motherfuckers in cheese work around the world.

    Thanks, for the notes . . . and I really appreciated this.

    I just unofficially pre-ordered some Rush Creek Reserve (from an industry friend who's getting some), which is typically released around Thanksgiving. Due to overly restrictive regulations, because it's made from raw milk, they have to hold it for 60 days before they can ship it. It loses something but it's still special. But once, during a visit to Uplands, where it's is made by Andy Hatch, we had a chance to taste it much younger and it is something I'll always remember.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 8:05 pm
    Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 8:05 pm Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 8:05 pm
    Rush Creek Reserve: re: FDA restrictions. Rush Creek is one of the finest cheeses made in our great country. 60 days is young for a domestic cheese, not that I give a shit. Pregnant French women enjoy unpasteurized cheeses without consequences. As a cheese professional, I know that due diligence in cheese making is the best practice. It was in the mid-80's due to "Mexican bathtub cheese" that there was an outbreak of listeria in fresh cheeses. Many died...children...the elderly. The FDA (incorrectly in my opinion) cracked down on all fresh cheese. Listeria broke out again. VULTO(cheesemaker upstate), who had amazing cheeses including the one linked to Listeria was closed last year-ish. Their main cheese was named after the producer's dead wife. The problem was he and his workers had open sores on their arms and were working the curd barehanded...the shit you learn in these industries...
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 8:13 pm
    Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 8:13 pm Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 8:13 pm
    I hope you get the Rush Creek. Always a short supply.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #5 - September 23rd, 2020, 7:45 am
    Post #5 - September 23rd, 2020, 7:45 am Post #5 - September 23rd, 2020, 7:45 am
    I took David Asher's course in natural cheesemaking. Here in waaay upstate NY, I can always get today's raw milk to make my cheese. If you have a competent dairyman, and you know what you're doing, as Christopher Gordon says "Pregnant Frenchwomen can eat the cheese." So can pregnant upstate New York women.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #6 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:18 am
    Post #6 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:18 am Post #6 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:18 am
    Geo wrote:"Pregnant Frenchwomen can eat the cheese." So can pregnant upstate New York women.


    The restriction isn't for all raw milk cheeses, only those that haven't been aged 60 days.
  • Post #7 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:21 am
    Post #7 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:21 am Post #7 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:21 am
    Spiney--yes, I know. I'm focussing on a Camembert-style, so it applies to my cheese.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:34 am
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:34 am Post #8 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:34 am
    5-6 weeks is pretty well aged. The guidelines are written with a cushion in there.
  • Post #9 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:47 am
    Post #9 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:47 am Post #9 - September 23rd, 2020, 8:47 am
    True enough Spiny. And my batches are small, and kept within family and a tight circle of friends, none of whom is going to be (ever) getting pregnant any time soon. :P We're just a little bit past that!

    My dairy people tell me that there are good reasons to be careful: back in the bad old days milk caused lots of serious illnesses. But these are good conscientious folks, neighbors, and I trust them implicitly. So I don't worry at all.

    Cheese from raw milk is sooo incredibly different than that made from pasteurized milk. World of difference.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #10 - September 23rd, 2020, 9:10 am
    Post #10 - September 23rd, 2020, 9:10 am Post #10 - September 23rd, 2020, 9:10 am
    Re: camembert; my favorite legally stateside is a Camembert de Jouvence Fermier...fungal, fetid, assertive, unlike any camembert or brie you will have here. The brie de Jouvence Fermier is a little timid, still nothing like what you might find at your supermarket. These are both pasteurized for export. Fermier meaning farmhouse.
    Last edited by Christopher Gordon on September 23rd, 2020, 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #11 - September 23rd, 2020, 10:13 am
    Post #11 - September 23rd, 2020, 10:13 am Post #11 - September 23rd, 2020, 10:13 am
    Where might I find it, Christopher? I order regularly from Murray's.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - September 23rd, 2020, 1:31 pm
    Post #12 - September 23rd, 2020, 1:31 pm Post #12 - September 23rd, 2020, 1:31 pm
    Definitely, Eli's Manhattan(he is a Zabar, but not affiliated with the West Side Zabar's) ask for James Coogan(and mention my name). These are the closest to the un-pasteurized soft-ripened cheeses available in the states. They have a great catering operation. Be prepared to be charged a pretty penny. Let me know. Eli's Market 1415 3rd Ave, NY, NY 10028, 212-717-8100.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more