Judging a board of American cheeses
Fabrice went on a trip to the beautiful green state of Oregon. It was for leisure but, of course, he tried a lot of American cheeses. Here is a picture of all the cheese that he tasted. His favorite one was the CheeseHeads strings at the bottom right corner.
OK, it’s a joke. Granted, there are awful cheeses/pieces of plastic in the US.
But there are also great artisanal cheeses made with high-quality milk, obvious know-how, and great crazy ideas. Here is an American cheese board carefully selected at Market of Choice in Bend, OR.
Let's taste them together!
made by Cowgirl Creamery (Point Reyes, CA)
Type Triple-cream, washed-rind
Milk Organic, pasteurized cow milk
Aging About 4 weeks
Texture Buttery, generous
Aromas Creamy and beefy aromas
> Fabrice’s ranking #1 - whipped cream feeling with a nice beefy kick
Clothbound Peppercorn Cheddar
made by Face Rock Creamery (Bandon, OR)
Type Cheddar wrapped in cloth bandages and dipped in butter with peppercorns added to the curd
Milk Pasteurized cow milk
Aging 2 years+
Texture Crumbly and melting texture
Aromas Nutty flavors and rustic flavors enhanced with the red and green peppercorns’ spiciness. > Fabrice’s ranking #3 - the peppercorn really adds to the cheese without overpowering its great qualities.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
made by Uplands Cheese (Dodgeville, WI)
Milk Grass-fed raw cow summer milk
Aging 10-12 months
Texture Grainy with crystals
Aromas Rich, spicy, bacon-y with a fruity finish
> Fabrice’s ranking #2 - nice Parmigiano-like texture, real complex evolving flavors
made by Cascadia Creamery (Trout Lake, WA)
Type Semi-hard natural-rind
Milk Organic raw cow milk
Aging 3-4 months in lava tube caves
Texture Semi-firm, supple
Aromas Buttery, woody with a tangy finish
> Fabrice’s ranking #5 - mild, not too much complexity
made by Cypress Grove (Arcata, CA)
Type Fresh bloomy-rind
Milk Pasteurized goat milk
Aging 5 weeks
Texture Runny edge, powdery then creamy body
Aromas Lemony, creamy, fresh
> Fabrice’s ranking - #6, disappointed after everything heard. It was maybe too aged since it had soapy off-flavors.
Rogue River Blue
made by Rogue Creamery (Central Point, OR)
Type Blue cheese wrapped in Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear brandy
Milk Pasteurized cow milk
Aging 8 months
Texture Creamy, delicate with big crystals
Aromas Subtle blue cheese flavors that finishes in a sweet and fruity aftertaste
> Fabrice’s ranking #4 - very complex cheese, the brandy-soaked leaves really add to it, but too many crystals that denature the creamy texture
Please share with us your impressions on these cheeses and tell us what cool cheeses we've missed!