Thursday, January 20, 2005

Say Cheese!

Last night Matt and I attended a cheese tasting class at MIT as part of MIT's Independent Activities Period. The class was taught by Ihsan Gurdal, who is the owner of Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and the South End. We learned all about the theory and practice of good cheese and heard some funny stories about how Ihsan finds his cheeses. Then, we tasted 11 different kinds of cheese.

Following are the types of cheese we tasted and my comments, taken from my hand-written notes. The cheeses in bold text were my favorites. (BTW, I don't know why the table is displaying way down at the bottom of the post. I don't have time to figure it out now. Be sure to scroll down to read. Sorry about that!)

Name Milk Location Price Comments
St. Maure Chevrepaille Goat Deux Sevres, France $15/lb Soft & runny, a little sharp. Very runny, ripe,
goopy logs. Goes well with Sauvingon Blanc.
Don't spend less than $10 or more than $20 on
this wine.
Tortita Las Mil Ovejas Sheep Extramadura, Spain $14/lb Good, hard, clean. Sold to Mario Batali's restaurants.
I would buy this.
Bucheron Goat Deux Sevres, Frances $10-12/lb Machine made. Sharp, like herbs, semi-soft.
White log.
Vermont Dandy Sheep Townshened, Vermont $20-22/lb Good, hard. Molded in a salad spinner.
Westcombe Red Cow Somerset, UK $17/lb Bright red/orange due to annato seed coloring
(I thought only Americans colored their cheese!).
Similar to cheddar, but not. Dry and crumbly
like cheddar, but nothing outstanding.
Brie de Nagis Cow St. Simeon, France $15/lb Runny on the outside, chalky and more dry on
the inside. Sharp, ripe rind. Very very good.
I would buy this.
Fournols Cow Auvergne, France $12/lb Texture was soft like brie, but not runny.
Bright orange washed rind. Stinky rind. Taste
reminded me of meunster.
Ubriaco Durello Cow Verona, Italy $18-19/lb Wrapped in walnut leaves, then soaked in wine
for 6 months. Tasted like wine! Crumbly and nutty
like Parmeseano Reggiano. This was my favorite
of the night and I would definitely buy this.
Pecorino Pepato Stagionato Sheep Pelermo, Italy $19-20/lb Very salty. Peppercorns throughout cheese.
Hand made on small farm. Stagionato means advanced
form of maturity. A little goes a long way.
Crater Lake Blue Cow Central Point, Oregon $12/lb Good, clean, blue cheese. Nice, but nothing
outstanding about it.
Persille Pont Astier Cow Auvergne, France $10/lb The ugliest cheese of the night. Looked like
it was covered in dust and dirt. It was! Aslo
covered with mites! Don't eat the rind, whatever
you do! Blue, but not injected with mold. The
mold comes from the air, naturally. This cheese
is sold to Emeril's restaurants.


Post a Comment

<< Home