Let's talk about CHEESE!

Thanks for alerting me, Susan! I could rhapsodize over cheese all day long but I feel the need to share some bad news.

Penicillium Roqueforti, the wonderful bacteria used to make Bleu cheeses such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Camembert is going extinct. This is an example of the main disadvantage of using mono-cultures. When the strain gets too weak to clone, there aren’t any other options.

Better educated and equipped cheese-makers than I are trying to save our brie but I do worry about the future generations of cheese lovers.

My favorite cheese is the one I have in my hands, but of course I have my favorites and stinky cheeses are right up there. We have recently moved house (and state) so I haven’t got my creamery set up but I do have plans for a second system so I can play with bleu cheeses without worrying about the spores sneaking off and infecting my system. I have been told that bleu cheddar is kinda ick.

Concur. Costco has an excellent cheese selection. Their own offerings are good and the imports are good as well. (They also have excellent meat and wine as well.)

Years ago, I discovered etorki, a swiss-style cheese from the Basque region of France. It’s delicious, but I could only get it from one cheese show 100 miles away. So I was delighted when Trader Joe’s had it (calling it “Basque Cheese.”)

I’m also a big fan of Emmenthaler.

Trader Joe’s has something called “Unexpected Cheddar” that is quite good.

I believe it was a favourite of the members of the Spanish Inquisition.

You have to be almost fanatically devoted to it.

It’s best served on a soft pillow, that’s for sure.

@Qadgop_the_Mercotan is another raging cheese hound who could wax eloquent (and piquant) for pages and pages about the food of the gods.

Aged cheddar with apple slices and bacon in a grilled cheese sandwich is also amazing.

I’m not a huge cheese eater by itself, but I will say that caciocavallo cheese is fantastic shredded and used on pizza. It’s kind of similar to provolone, and much more complex than mozzarella.

Caciocavallo Silano Cheese – Dolceterra Italian Within US Store

I’ve taken recently to making my own fresh ricotta (essentially, steam a pot of milk to the cusp of the boiling point and pour some distilled vinegar and lemon into it, stirring constantly—it forms curds, which you stir for 5 or 10 minutes, off the flame, then drain it through cheesecloth). It’s not a great improvement on storebought ricotta, but it’s comparable. Certainly much fresher, and much cheaper. Also fun, if you go for that sort of thing.

Esrom. Not available in the U.S. any more for unknown reasons. Think Tilsit, only aged so it has flavor.

Not to be confused with Edam–the cheese that’s made backwards.

ETA: The pages that say Esrom is Port Salut are wrongish. It may be Danish Port Salut, but the Port Salut I can find in the U.S. is nothing like Esrom other than being, well, cheese.

Today I found a Cabot cheddar aged 10 years at my local semi-cheap supermarket. The most aged cheddar I had had before was maybe 3 years, and that was seriously delicious. This cheese (I ate all 7 ounces in one sitting) was incredible. I don’t have the words to describe it.

I’ve had Single Gloucester whilst staying in Gloucester with friends. In truth I have no particular memory of it. Nor do I have any particular memory of Stinking Bishop, which we had at the same time. Unremarkable, I guess.

No love for Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Parmesan? The last, incidentally, is eaten by the good people of Parma in chunks, as an appetiser. Try it.

More generally, spend time in a French hypermarche, taking in the many hundreds - maybe thousands - of cheeses available. Pick yourself out a few goats‘ cheeses to try. I have never been disappointed.






Let me check… no.



No and no.

No, no and… no.

Not today, no.



Not much call for it 'round here.

No (never even heard of it).

Yes! Yes, we have that… oh, wait… no.



I’ve heard it’s awfully good, but no.

Definitely not.

Sounds terrible. No.

No, no, no.


Emma who? No.

That startled me! But no.

Hey, I know that guy! But no.


What did you call me? No.

The cat’s eaten it.


I’d sooner eat Venezualan Beaver cheese! No.

And just you don’t all think I’m overly negative about cheese, here’s the Cheese Roll Call!

Aged cheddar, Cheese curds.

Don’t you mean Ez?

I’ve only had it twice, but I love Tete de moine. The first time we ate it, it was part of a cheese/meat/fruit board at a restaurant. When I ordered it, I had it sent to my son’s house. It came with instructions to take the plastic off and let it breathe. His wife made him put it in the garage. Grin.

You also have to order a special shaver. That helps it breathe more. The smell is strong but once it’s been properly aerated, the taste is smooth. Goes well with pears.

I heard she’ll inherit the Earth.

True enough.