Cheeses 149-156, a Tasting Flight, oh my!

Hello Cheese Lovers!

I have been away for a bit, exploring some other food, but over Christmas, my husband gave me a $50 gift certificate for cheese, and yesterday I decided to see what could be had for $50 in Vancouver.

I present to you, the first ever “My Blog of Cheese” tasting flight.

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Here is a summary of each cheese and my impressions, and all before 6 in the morning!

Livarot (France)

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I have wanted to review this cheese for over a year, and boy, do I wish I tried this one earlier, it’s a gem. Livorot is  on AOC washed rind cheese from Normandy, France made from pasteurized cow’s milk. This one’s a stinker! It’s meaty, asparagusy (is that a word?), chewy and sticky, creamy  and gooey. The paste is light with small eyes, the rind is yellow/orange and sticky. There’s a slight crunch from the salt crystals in the rind. This cheese is amazing, so good! I just want to eat it all day. Wow!

Pain D’Ange (France)

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I’m thinking this means “Bread Angel?” Does that mean it’s supposed to be eaten with bread, like a raclette? I really can’t find out much about this cheese, but that’s OK, because  I’m not into it-at all.  It’s overly mild, lifeless, and floppy. It lacks salt, and is somewhat insipid, it’s almost sweet. I just don’t get it, I feel like I’m missing something with this cheese. Can’t win them all.

Landana Gouda Blue Cow-organic, Holland)

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I have been looking for a cheese like this for a long time: the love child of blue and Gouda, perfect! This is a handsome cheese, tall and strong with a wax rind, shot through with blue. It doesn’t read to me like a gouda, it’s more like a structured blue, and pretty mild for a blue. It has a surprisingly  creamy texture, and unlike many blues, it’s not overly salty or too in your face-it’s pretty chilled out.

La Tomme des Joyeaux Fromagerie (Quebec)

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This is an unpasteurized, cow cheese from Quebec. It’s a pretty cheese with a nice yellow paste and dark brown rind. The taste is, well- “farm-yardy,” you can really taste the terroir of the field, and I like that. It’s an authentic tasting cheese. It reminds me of Tomme de Savoie. It’s a meaty, chewy, melt in the mouth cheese. Mild with  sweet grass notes.

Le Religeuse (Quebec)

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The Nun, is a thermalized, organic cow cheese from Centre du Quebec. It was created in 2012 by the Fromagerie Presbytere for the 125th anniversary of Sainte Elizabeth-de-Werwick where the cheesemaker is located. The term Religieuse (Nun) refers to the cheese crust that forms at the bottom of the fondue pot or the well-grilled rind around the half wheel used in raclette. It’s a tall, handsome cheese, with medium-sized eyes in paste. It’s very mellow,and  slightly rubbery, I can barely taste it, mind you, this is a fondue of raclette cheese, and I’m eating it straight, so that’s hardly fair…let’s try it melted…oh! Much better! Melt this one, it’s just great, gooey and unctuous, mmm.

Queso de Cabre al Romero (Spain)

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This is a pasteurized goat cheese from Castille-la-mancha, aged for four months and covered in Rosemary. Goat AND Rosemary, together, as they should be. It’s toothsome, with a great texture, and lovely rosemary hint, nice and chewy, very mild yet delicious, nicely balanced. Although it is technically cheating by adding an extra taste, I will overlook it for this one, nicely done.

Mannoir (Quebec) which I believe is Tomme du Manoir Affines au Cidre de Pommes 

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This one is a little mysterious. It’s a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, but I can’t find any reference to a “Mannoir” from Quebec, yet there is a Tomme du Manoir Affines au Cidre de Pommes- which looks a lot like my mystery cheese, so let’s go there. I first attempted this cheese straight, and once again, didn’t care for it. Then it occurred to me that this is also likely a raclette, so I melted it, and presto, delicious! There’s a little lesson there, if a cheese seems weird to you, melt it, you just might be eating it the wrong way. If this is the Cidre de pommes, it was finished in apple cider, which explains the sweet note-not bad when melted, do NOT eat this one cold.

 Black Mountain Cheddar (Wales)

This attractive cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk by the Coombe Castle company. It’s named for the Welsh Mountain Range where it is produced from Welsh cheddar, white wine and garlic and herbs. This one is cheating, clearly, it has onions, herb and garlic right in it-and I didn’t notice this it until it was too late. Still, very nice surprisingly soft paste for a “cheddar”, great balance, with a nice onion tone, a friendly cheese.

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So that’s it, 8 cheeses in 8 minutes-have a great weekend, see you soon!
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