29
May
09

This sounds like the ultimate cheese book from Laura Marinez of The Artisan Palate

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The Everything Cheese Book: From Cheddar to Chevre, All You Need to Select and Serve the Finest Fromage (Everything: Cooking)

I’ve always found cheese to be as fascinating as wine – so few ingredients can be combined in so many different ways to reflect the personality of the cheesemaker and the local region that it’s from.  No wonder the two have always tasted so delicious together – provided you know which cheeses pair with which wines.  Here’s just a little sample:

Charles Creek Winery Offers a Unique Lesson in Wine and Cheese – OpenWine Consortium

The following are nuggets of knowledge about cheese, which were for me new realizations. Perhaps you’ll find few new things about cheese that you’ve never known, too, which might enhance your experience with cheese (and wine) a bit more.

* High alcohol wines do better with robust cheese (lingering the tasting experience); one note wines do better with light cheeses (shortening the tasting experience).
* Cheeses also balance sweet with acidity.
* Cheese ages from the rind inward. Around the rind, the cheese is aged more and is more firm, getting softer as it heads toward the middle, because of the aging process. Laura suggested that people taste cheese from the middle first, for the best impression.
* A wheel of cheese must be kept in tact, otherwise it begins to deteriorate.
* Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey… “Curds” are the fat and protein of a cheese, while “whey” is the sugar and water. (I’m glad I wasn’t Miss Muffet, because I don’t think I could have handled that task.)
* There are three classifications of cheese: Artisan (hand made with this tradition going back 1,000 years), Farmstead (this cheese has cows being raised on the property from which the cheese is going to be made), and commodity (big business, hundreds of animals, and is a much lower cost).
* Cheese has a rice flower coating, and this is what creates the rind. This is a living process (cheese like wine is a living substance).
* As cheese ages the rind becomes more solid.
* Taste cheese first, then taste wine. As Laura pointed out, it’s a lot easier this way, because when your mouth has wine in it, it’s not as easy to get cheese into it also. (I suspect that when you see someone drooling, you’ll know that the cart was placed before the horse.)
* Bill added that the bread that he would be serving with the cheese would be a sweet baguette, because a sour dough one would interfere with the tasting process, while the sweeter bread would serve to cleanse our palates.

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