Posts Tagged ‘cheese and wine

10
Jun
13

Cheese: Iberico

Iberico

Iberico is one of the best known and most purchased cheeses in Spain, but it does not have very much exposure in the United States. Here in the states Manchego is the most familiar Spanish cheese followed by Mahon and Idiazabal. So we hope to shed a little light on this wonderful cheese and expose our readers to it.

Iberico cheese is produced only in the province of Valladolid in central Spain. In order to maintain some semblance of order and control of its large cheese production the Spanish government created the Denominations of Origin Certification. This designation controls the name, area, and standards of production to insure a consistent quality product. Iberico is not yet DOC certified but it has applied for certification and hopes to receive it soon. However the dairies that produce this cheese have maintained their own high standards and guidelines since 1987.

Iberico is made with a blend of pasteurized milk from cows, goats and sheep. The combination of these three milks varies from season to season based on the weather and the breeding patterns of the goats and sheep. However the following minimum guidelines are strictly adhered to by the producing dairies. The blend minimums are: cow milk 50%, goat milk 30% and sheep milk 10% In general the cows’ milk provides the flavor and acidity while the goats’ milk provides the slightly tart flavor and the whiter color and the sheep milk adds the richness and buttery consistency due to its higher fat content. With that said, the fact is that the higher the content of the sheep’s’ milk the better the cheese. Iberico’s flavor is herbaceous with a very mild goat tang that blends with the buttery sheep milk to produce a very comforting flavor and aroma. The interior paste has a light yellow white to slight beige color and a mild sheepy aroma. Once the aging 2 month process ends the cheeses are covered with a plastic outer rind that is inedible. This rind is similar in appearance to the one that covers the popular Manchego so Iberico can and is sometimes confused with it, so be careful when you are shopping for it.
In Spain Iberico is usually used as a table cheese served with quince paste (membrillo) but it is also a great melting cheese so it can be used in many recipes. Here are a few suggestions: shred it in an omelet, slice into your favorite salads, melt it over pasta or potatoes and rice entrees. For a tapas serve it with Chorizo or Serrano ham and a hearty bread.

Wine parings: Medium Spanish reds or a good Pinot Noir or Beaujolais or for a white wine try Sauvignon Blanc

26
Nov
12

Cheese: Livingstone Gold

Livingstone Gold is a distinctive North Otago sharp flavored cheese produced in a traditional open vat. A natural additive, annatto is added to produce its golden color, inspiration for naming it Livingstone Gold after North Otagos historic Livingstone goldfields.

26
Feb
12

Cheese: Huntsman

Huntsman Cheese

Huntsman Cheese

Huntsman is the marriage of two delicious British classics; Double Gloucester and Blue Stilton, brought together through a complex layering process. Creamy, forceful Stilton is sandwiched between an exterior of mellow, Double Gloucester. The result is an excellent flavor combination that is as delicious as it is beautiful.

With the 2 layers of Blue Stilton you will take full advantage of the combination of Double Gloucester and Blue Stilton. Perhaps the best description is found in prose for Stilton as composed by G.K. Chesterton;

Stilton, thou shouldst be living at this hour
And so thou art. Nor losest grace thereby;
England has need of thee, and so have I–
She is a Fen. Far as the eye can scour,
League after grassy league from Lincoln tower
To Stilton in the fields, she is a Fen.
Yet this high cheese, by choice of fenland men,
Like a tall green volcano rose in power.
Plain living and long drinking are no more,
And pure religion reading “Household Words”,
And sturdy manhood sitting still all day
Shrink, like this cheese that crumbles to its core;
While my digestion, like the House of Lords,
The heaviest burdens on herself doth lay.

My personal wine pairing favorites with Huntsman cheeses are aged,  mellow Cabernet Sauvignon for reds and bright, crisp acidic Sauvignon Blancs for the white wine.

13
Dec
11

Cheese: Beecher’s No Woman Jerk Spiced Cheese

Beecher's No Woman Jerk Spiced Cheese
Beecher’s No Woman Jerk Spiced Cheese

Adding Jamaican Jerk spices creates a cheese with a warm, nutty, spicy flavor. It’s smoky and earthy with a touch of brown sugar and cloves. No Woman’s unusual and satisfying flavor is sure to excite your taste buds.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Pair No Woman on a plate with dried mango and roasted almonds
  • Melt on a shaved pork or turkey sandwich
  • Use half No Woman and half Just Jack to make a sultry macaroni and cheese

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Beer complements No Woman’s flavor, especially a Hefeweizen or Red Ale.
  • Zinfindel is surprisingly delicious and peppery.
04
Apr
11

Cheese: Appenzeller

Appenzelle Cheese

Appenzelle

Appenzeller is a classic Swiss “alpage” cheese that receives its unique flavors from the herbs, liquors and wines that comprise the solution in which the wheels are bathed. The wheels are washed frequently and aged for a minimum of four months until they develop an herbaceous, nutty flavor and a smooth, milky finish. Appenzeller, Emmenthaler, and Gruyère form the classic Swiss fondue trio. Our Appenzeller is selected and ripened by Maître Fromager Rolf Beeler. We recommend that you try pairing this cheese with Merlot or an Alsatian white wine.

30
Mar
11

Cheese: Tarentaise

Tarentaise

Tarentaise

Vermont Tarentaise has been made by John Putnam from organic cow’s milk at Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont since July 2002. Based on the Alpage-style cheese Abondance, Tarentaise is fairly firm and aged for at least six months. The flavor is grassy, nutty and buttery; as the wheels age in our caves, the flavor becomes more assertive. Tarentaise was awarded the prestigious honor of “Best Farmstead Cow’s Milk Cheese” at the 25th American Cheese Society Conference and, with over 45% butterfat, makes a perfect melting cheese as well! Medium-bodied, fruity red wines pair well with this cheese – try it with Rich Pinot Noir or Velvety Cabernet Sauvignon.

25th Annual Conference, American Cheese Society’s Winner.

26
Feb
11

Cheese: Mimolette

Mimolette

Mimolette

This hardy cheese from Normandy couldn’t be more different from its neighbor Camembert more. Looking like a cratered, dusty cannonball, Mimolette is infamously difficult to open for its super-hard, craggy countenance. Inspired by Dutch Edam, it has since gone in a unique direction; the appearance and floral aroma of the rind is the work of tiny mites, specially evolved to cheese. The French call them ‘tiny affineurs’ for their important role in the aging process. Its electric-orange paste has sweet, caramelized depth and smooth, fudgy finish – maybe a little Calvados will help you forget about the bugs.

Botter Prosecco

Botter Prosecco

This is a nice pairing before dinner with (brace yourselves) a nice Italian (yep, not French) Prosecco, such as Botter Prosecco!




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