Less common cheeses that you have tried

I’d like to hear about the less ordinary (to you) cheeses that you’ve actually tried. Don’t bring up Casu Marzu if you haven’t eaten it with all its maggoty splendour, please. But I would like to hear about different types of cheese that you consider ‘out there’ and what you thought of them

As for me, in the past I’ve described my experiences with the elder cheddars way too much as it is, so I’ll mention only briefly that I have consumed 30 year old cheddar and loved every sharp, bright bite of it.

Others I’ve enjoyed:

Gjetost, or brunost. A norwegian whey cheese with cream added to it, it’s very fudge-like in its consistency, with a caramel-like sweet, tangy undertone and a tendency to make the roof of my mouth tingle. I’ve only ever been able to find the Ski Queen brand of it, made from a mix of cow and goat milk. Traditionally served on norwegian flatbread, I like it warmed slightly and nibbled in small bits. Addicting, and very unlike other cheeses I’ve experienced.

Époisses de Bourgogne, a french soft ‘smear-ripened’ cheese. I had it on a cruise ship in the caribbean ages ago, and fell in love with it immediately. The odor was NOT funky and the flavor was sweet, creamy/salty, and otherwise indescribable but amazing. Sadly my repeated attempts to procure more in the US got me samples which stank of ammonia, and even worse, tasted of it. As I understand it, US laws prohibit sale of this cheese unless it’s been aged 50 days or more. And I think the extra aging causes a lot of this product to go over. A pity. I should see if I have better luck with finding a decent sample in Canada.

Aged gouda. A whole different taste from the usual gouda I get! A friend brought me a pound of 7 year old gouda directly from the Netherlands some years ago, and it was wondrous! Completely unlike the tame goudas I’d had before, with sharp notes completely different from the sharpness I associate with cheddar, the sample didn’t last long. I’ve not found similarly aged samples in the US.

Juusto, a finnish cheese, hard as a rock until it’s toasted! Then it softens and becomes quite savory. Good stuff!

Jack Parr, a combination of Jack cheese and parmesan, it was formerly made by the defunct Beechwood Cheese factory of Beechwood, WI. Rather like a parmesan that could be melted, it made for wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches, or just microwave a slab of it on a plate for a minute, or until it became golden brown and bubbly, pour off excess fat, and you had an instant creamy/crunchy hot cheese chip! It is no more. :frowning:

Goat Milk Cheddar. Like regular cheddar, this product becomes more enjoyable to me the older the sample is. Less than 2 years old results in a pretty pedestrian product, IMHO. Older than that, and it starts getting interesting. But finding samples older than 2 years is tough, so mostly I don’t bother.

That’ll do for a start, as far as my reminiscences go, in dealing with the curd. How about yours?

Circassian cheese. The cheese of my people. :smiley:

If you can find Montgomery’s Cheddar from Neal’s Yard, out is divine. Sharp, crumbly, without smirking like old sweat socks.

This probably isn’t that unusual (cheesewise-speaking, I don’t get out a lot), but I really like Cheshire cheese-- you have to toast it. That brings out the nuttiness. I read that the Roman soldiers in ancient Britain used to toast it in campfires on the points of their swords.

I’ve never tried Limburger. It is the ultimate stinky cheese. Who can enlighten me on its taste?

Long ago when visiting the Netherlands, I was offered a cheese containing stinging nettles. I was apprehensive (being less adventurous at the time than I am now), but I really enjoyed it.

Can’t remember what type the actual cheese was - pretty sure it was hard, though.

I bought some Limburger so I could say I’d tried it. I thought it tasted a bit like blue cheese, only stronger. I’m not all that fond of blue cheese either.

I have also tried Gjetost (I thought it paired nicely with apples and tasted a lot like caramel) and some 12-year-old cheddar. That cheddar kind of sank to the bottom, and I burped it for hours afterwards, so I probably won’t sample that again. The Gjetost? Sure, if I think about it. BTW, I got it, and the Limburger too, at Hy-Vee which is the biggest grocery store chain in the upper Midwest.

Nothing rare but not available in the grocery; I’ve become a big fan of Rush Creek Reserve

Aged Gouda is a momser. I love it.

Limburgur is Kraft cheese slices compared to Bierkase, or beer cheese. You can clear out a room by unwrapping a piece of this baby. There’s no beer in it…it’s meant to be EATEN (with dark bread and raw onions) alongside a foaming stein of Pilsner.

Another delightful stinky cheese is true Wisconsin Brick. You can find Brick cheese throughout the Midwest, but it’s a very mild butterlike cheese. Wisconsin Brick is a rind-washed cheese with a particularly pungent presence, worth seeking out. Eat with dark bread, onion, and beer as above.

Widmer’s Cheese Cellars in Wisconsin sells the real deal through the mail. Your postman will either push the package up to your door with a ten foot pole, or demand to be taken in and served with beer, bread, and onions, depending on his Upper Midwest proclivities.

My only exposure to Limburger was from cartoons, but I always wondered exactly how bad it smelled. So when I encountered some tightly wrapped in a supermarket, I decided to give it a try. When I got home, I unwrapped it, and was instantly assaulted by what smelled like extra-sharp cat urine. But I figured, “Hey, they make this stuff and sell it, so someone should be buying it. How bad could it be?” So I held my nose and took a bite. It tasted every bit as vile as it smelled. Just like how I imagine extra-sharp cat urine would taste.

I’d try it just for the name.

Extra-sharp cat urine…mmmmmmmmmmm…

Oscypek, A smoked sheep cheese from Poland. It’s very salty and very smokey. Very nice toasted on bread with strawberry jam. I had a few different varieties, both homemade and from the supermarket. I definitely preferred the homemade.

I don’t know the name, but an Armenian smoked string cheese. I don’tknow how it’s traditionally eaten, I just snacked on it with beer. Sort of similar in taste to the above-mentioned cheese, but milder.

Geit(!)ost: Get one from a local producer. They’re miles ahead of the mass-produced ones. And they’re technically not cheese.

I had a fenugreek cheese once. A soft, pretty mild white cheese, but with that powerful fenugreek herbiness.

I’ve had a cheese on my list to try before I die for a while now: Kaffeost (coffee cheese). It’s a very hard cheese made of sheep or reindeer milk that you put in your coffee. When your mug is empty, the cheese has softened enough to be eaten.

And maybe one of you guys could help me out… In The Netherlands I often got a smear-ripened cheese that had a thin stripe of blue mold in the middle. It’s a delightful cheese, but I just can’t remember the name!

I went to go buy some less common cheese, but the shop was out of it. :smiley:

Brunost is brown cheese. I liked trying it but a little underwhelming. Gjetost is the same with emphasis on goat milk.

Not otherwise had too many weird things. But Stilton has some interesting candied fruit additives.

Stinging nettles calm down after being cooked, but supposedly delicious. I’d like to try that.

Long ago and far away, I fell in love with a recipe at The Old Spaghetti Factory with mizithra cheese. Incredibly hard to find, even in Wisconsin. Maybe we’re not Greek enough for it.

Stinking Bishop, Gromit!

Real cheese, not very stinky. Named after the perry used to wash it, which is named after the pear used to make it, which is named after the man who bred the pear, who had a notoriously stinking temper. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinking_Bishop_pear).

More interesting cheese: Brebis, named after the breed of sheep that produces it on Pyrenean pastures. Used in a Taloa, which is like a Basque version of a bacon sandwich, only made with a chapati (well, something similar) and including the cheese. Delicious.


This! I fell in love with Époisses while in Burgundy. Came back to the States and yes, every @$@# Époisses I find stinks of ammonia, even the Époisses I bought from a fancy online cheese shop who swore to me it would be great, no ammonia at all. It arrived; ammonia. Mr. Athena didn’t believe me about this until we went back to France and got some of the good stuff again. I so miss it.

Qadgop, have you had Rush Creek Reserve? If not, you must. This thread is timely; the new batch comes out in a couple weeks. I have 3 on order, but I’m guessing you’ll have local stores that carry it. It’s ethereal.

What else? I’m not sure what really counts as “less-common”. Taleggio is one of my favorites. Champagne requires a triple-cream Brie. We also used to get damn good sheep’s milk feta at the local co-op, but they’ve been out for months (supposedly the sheep are “resting”). Morbier is worth a try, and there’s several good American producers who do knock-offs. Aged Provelone is also becoming less rare and is a good stand-in for Parmesan when you want more of a funky kick.

That’s just off the top of my head… I’m sure I’ll think of more.

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese perhaps?

Okay, not really. I’m not enough of an afficianado to remember the various brands, so all I can offer is sheep and goat cheeses. I do like smoked Gouda.
And Mancheco (sp?).

I did like Owl’s Nest Horseradish and Cheddar Spread.

Etorki. I saw it in a cheese shop* and thought to try it since it was Basque and I’d just finished reading a history of the Basque people. It’s something like Emmentaler but with a richer flavor.

Cheddar is far from uncommon, of course, but the Truck Driver Cheddar from the Vermont Cheese House is incredible.

*Let’s not quote Monty Python.

Serra de Estrella, also known in Portugal as Quejo de Serra, made in the Estrella Mountains. From the link:

When it’s young, it’s so creamy it can nearly be dipped out of the rind with crackers. Wonderful stuff.