Friday, 21 November 2014

Cheese Tasting Evening at Cherry Blossom Bakehouse

Dee:  "Yesterday evening the Cherry Blossom Bakehouse hosted a cheese tasting event in conjunction with their supplier, who was also in attendance to discuss and answer questions on the various cheeses being presented.  Tasting notes were provided for nine of them but there were a few more, not all of which we tried.  In addition, there were also recommendations for wines to accompany each type of cheese, which we found most useful.

Below is a breakdown of what was on the tasting notes and what my own views were;"

Aged Leicestershire Red
Tasting Notes said:  “Made using a traditional recipe, Aged Leicestershire Red is buttered, cloth-bound and matured for six months to produce a flaky, open texture cheese with a slightly sweet, caramelised flavour and rich golden orange colour. It is the only pasteurised Red Leicester produced in the county of Leicestershire and is a firm favourite at Long Clawson Dairy.”
Dee said:  “Great, lovely deep colour, packed with flavour and a strong texture.  This was the cheese that I used in the recipe for the sunshine patties in an earlier post.”
Recommended Wine:  Grove Mill Riesling

Roquefort Societe PDO (AOC)
Tasting Notes said:  “Appellation d’Origine Controlle (AOC) protected, this cheese is made with milk from sheep grazing in Les Caussos mountains and ripened in the caves of Combalau”
Dee said:  “The PDO notification stands for Protected Designation of Origin.  A good mixture of saltiness and creaminess.  The pairing of this with the sweet wine was inspired.”
Recommended Wine:  Chateau des Arroucats (or Sauternes)

Occelli in Foglie di Castagno
Tasting Notes said:  “Produced from goat's or sheep's and cow's milk in quantities that vary according to the availability of the season, this cheese is left to age for about a year and a half. The wheels are then wrapped in chestnut leaves which transform them and imbue them with a strong and exceptional flavour.
Dee said:  “Loved the strong taste of this one and could make out a hint of chestnut.  Quite a crumbly texture giving a very pleasing finish.  Goes well with beer too so I have to love it all the more for that.”
Recommended Wine:  from the Tasting Notes: “It pairs well with Langa wines but is ideal with dark craft beer too.”

Tasting Notes said:  “Tornegus is a washed-rind cheese - during maturation the rind is washed with brine including some special bacteria: this affects colour, texture, tase and aroma. The pinkish rind also has a scattering of Egyptian Mint, to give the cheese a sweeter finish; texture is  silky - semi-soft - and the flavour spicy, becoming fruitier and more powerful as it matures.”
Dee said:  “A powerful, earthy flavour.  I got hints of leafy green vegetables.  Went really nicely on a cracker with some home made chutney.”
Recommended Wine:  Gruner Veltliner

Verzin di Vacca
Tasting Notes said:  “A marbled cheese made from full cream cow’s milk. Its name echoes the famous marble of the Frabosa quarries, as the paste is white with green ('verzin' in the Piedmontese dialect) streaks. Creamy and spreadable, it has a strong flavour but with hints of fresh milk.”
Dee said:  “A very pleasant smooth and creamy blue cheese.”
Recommended Wine:  Suri Monferrato Bianco.  Tasting Notes added: “Verzin can be paired with a good Piedmontese red, even young, but a good-bodied still white will also go well with it.”

La Gran Reserva: Beppino Occelli
Tasting Notes said:  “These cheeses are selected to be Beppino Occelli's best. They are aged for a long time in the Valcasotto cellars, they are refined and enriched with Barolo. 'Old' cheeses for 'new' flavours, born from the quest for intense flavours that combine well with the prized Langa wines.  Their unique characteristics are what make them the Grand Cheeses of Beppino Occelli.”
Dee said:  “Had the perfect balance of maturity, strength, saltiness, creaminess and added flavour from the blended herbs and spices on the outside, which Jay informed me were the grape must from the wine, so there you go.”
Recommended Wine:  Barolo Flori

Joie de Chevre
Tasting Notes said:  “Joie deChevre is a wonderful semi-soft goat’s cheese from Brock Hall Farm in Shropshire.  It’s got a lovely fresh taste, slightly fruity with a little sharpness.  Great if you’re unsure of goat’s milk – this one is likely to convert!”
Dee said:  “I wasn’t too sure about this one first time round.  The taste was a bit mild for me, but something drew me back to it and it grew on me.  Quite a milky feel to it.”
Recommended Wine:  Gamay Rose

Rosary Goat
Tasting Notes said:  “Rosary is a fresh, creamy goats' cheese with a mousse-like texture and a natural acidity. Recent winner of the Supreme Champion Award at the British Cheese Awards 2014, it is made from pasteurised milk, using a microbial rennet, which makes it suitable for vegetarians. Just enough salt is added to enhance its unique flavour.”
Dee said:  “This was great spread on crostini bread.  The texture lent itself well to spreading rather than being cut into chunks.  No chutney needed, just the cheese itself.”
Recommended Wine:  Nostros Reserva Sauvignon Blanc

Morbier Aoc Hennart
Tasting Notes said:  “This a semi-soft mountain cheese made in the Jura mountains of the Franche-Comte.  It has a layer of vegetable ash running through the centre which is an echo of the tradition of adding a layer of charcoal overnight to protect the leftover curds from the making of comte that day, then the following morning the cheese would be topped up with fresh curds.  It has a mild flavour with a nutty aftertaste and a fairly strong odour.”
Dee said:  “We were divided on this one.  Jay didn’t like it but I did.  Soft and chewy texture with an earthy flavour.”
Recommended Wine:  Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Jay’s Cheese of the Evening:  Tornegus
Dee’s Cheese of the Evening:  La Gran Reserva:  Beppino Occelli
Honourable Mention:  Occelli in Foglie di Castagno

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