Stinky Cheese Wednesday, February 25th, 2015


Yesterday’s Cheese Bearer contracted a wretched case of the Creeping Crud and was unable to bring in the delectables for Stinky Cheese Tuesday, so SCT is SCW this week. And it is a doozy!

Starting at the top is the ever popular Marco Polo by Beechers. This stuff is beautiful. It is their Flagship cheese with green and black peppercorns thrown in for good and savory measure. It has been a very popular cheese today.

On the bottom left is Comté by Esprit de Liberté. This close relative of Gruyere packs quite a powerful flavor and smell. It is one of the stronger cheeses that most people still handle well.

In the middle is Midnight Moon by Cyprus Grove. This is the clear winner of the day. Strong, goaty, gritty, and just plain packed with flavor, this is simply amazing. It is a truly wonderful experience.

Lastly is Castello’s Havarti Jalapeño. This one is super creamy, like most Havarti cheeses, and that cuts the spiciness of the jalapeños down to zero. It retains the jalapeño flavor but loses all of the bite.

Stay Cheesy!

@Cheese Forum+

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Sorry for the delay, but yesterday was atrociously busy.  Busy in a good way, but busy none the less.  Oh, and that means no picture either.  Maybe next week?

On to the cheeses!

First off, I brought in Reny Picot St. Rocco Brie.  I was going to say something about how much I normally hate brie, but I just did a search on previous posts to find an example to link to and there are none.  None.  Every post that mentions brie or any other washed rind cheese talks about how much I was surprised by it.  With the notable exception of Limburger, of course.  There was a Double Cream Cremont goat cheese from the early days of SCT that really treated me badly, but aside from that, I guess that they’ve really grown on me as my experience with them increases.  I guess that what I’m saying is, I’m surprised that I’m not surprised that I really loved the St. Rocco Brie.  It was buttery, creamy, spread well on the little crackers that we had, and was just plain yummy.  No longer shall I talk smack about the ripened cheeses, nor shall I fear putting them in my mouth.  Except for Limburger.  Seriously.  To hell with that crap.

Secondly, we had Williams Sharp Pinconning.  Pinconning is a relatively new type of cheese, having been made for the first time in 1915 in Michigan.  It is an aged colby, and as such has beta keratin mixed in to give it its orange color, and is quite crumbly.  It has a flavor that is almost like a sweet cheddar, with a very smooth texture.  This one was actually quite sharp and really makes me want to try their extra sharp variety.  It was wonderful, and received a lot of compliments.

Finally, we had BelGioioso Extra Sharp Provolone.  This is one of the sharpest cheeses that I’ve ever had, and it was amazing.  It has an incredible Provolone bite to it, hitting you right in the hinge of the jaw, with a wonderful, dry texture and an aroma that warned you that this is going to be intense.  We did have a couple of visitors to the Official Table of Stinky Cheese Tuesday that upon catching a whiff of it, decided not to tangle with this rather serious cheese.  BelGioioso can certainly produce a mean Italian cheese!

Stay Cheesy!

@Cheese Forum+

By the way, for those that read the blog and see the link to the Cheese Forum and are wondering what it is, it is one of my channels on RedMatrix.  It is really hard for me to put Red into a 30 second "elevator pitch", since it is so many different things rolled up into one beautiful package.  For some people, it is like Facebook where you get to write the privacy policy, decide what is important enough to see on your wall, and none of your activity gets sold to advertisers.  For other people it is like WordPress without ever having to worry about spam comments.  People use it like Drupal or Joomla with built in, cross site authentication and privacy features.  Still others are using it as a tool to facilitate direct democracy in their communities.  Most importantly to me, it is also a community of wonderful people from across the world that are trying to make the internet what it should have been in the first place.

If any of that sounds interesting to you, hit up this link for a list of public servers and create an account.  It might take a bit of getting used to, but there are tons of great people willing to help, and it is so very worth the time.

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, February 10th, 2015


Yet another Stinky Cheese Tuesday and it was a beautiful one!

Starting up at the top we have Sincerely, Brigitte’s Garlic Basil Jack.  It was actually quite a bit mellower than I had expected, with the garlic flavor actually not as distinct as either the basil or the cheese.  Very nice, with a lot of compliments.

Next up, going clockwise, is Old Croc Extra Sharp Cheddar, the first Australian cheese that I’ve brought in.  It claims to be Extra Sharp, but unlike most everything else from Australia, it really has no bite whatsoever.  However, it is a very tasty mild cheddar and does its county proud.

Saving the best for last is Sartori’s MontAmoré.  This is Sartori’s BellaVitano with a new name.  Apparently, they decided that BellaVitano was not a good enough name for it if it doesn’t have something added to it, so their plain old BellaVitano is sold as MontAmoré.  I couldn’t care less what it is called, because this is a masterpiece of creamy goodness.  It is salty and gritty, which comes with the aging, with sweet and creamy notes that make for a solid chunk of mouth watering happiness.  My favorite by far, and most everyone else agreed.

See you next week, and stay cheesy!

@Cheese Forum+

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015


Ahoy, mateys!  Yet another SCT has popped up, and while it is certainly not winning any awards, it is still quite yummy.

Going left to right, we have Serra Cheese’s Provolino.  I’ve been trying to find a link to them that doesn’t have to do with their cheese recall from last year, or the two failed health inspections from last year, but it is proving quite difficult.  I’m figuring that since the cheese is back in stores that they are either doing much better now, or they have at least greased the proper palms and the regulators are looking the other way.  Either way, this is a mighty fine cheese!  Provolino is either a slightly aged mozzarella or an immature provolone, depending on how one looks at it.  As such it is like a dry mozz, or a provolone without the bite.  Quite an interesting taste and texture.  Hopefully we don’t get Lysteria.

Next up is Great Midwest’s Habanero Jack.  We’ve had this one a couple of times before, and it is exquisite.  The jack flavor is strong, and the habanero peppers don’t overpower it.  It is still fairly spicy, but not enough to completely scare off those that are more sensitive to the heat.  It also has a fairly soft texture that really wants me to try melting it on a sandwich if I can ever keep any around long enough to try.

Lastly is Red Apple Cheese’s Applewood Smoked Cheddar.  This one, while it got fairly high praise from everyone else today, I found to be a bit disappointing.  The smoke really overpowered everything else, which is really odd for Red Apple Cheese.  They typically do an excellent job of balancing the smoke and the cheese, but this one was just a little acrid.  It wasn’t so far off balance that it fell over, but enough that it limped over my taste buds.

Until next week, stay cheesy!

@Cheese Forum+

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Hello everybody.  I’m posting two weeks in a row!  Go me.  Anyways, today’s SCT brings us three cheeses which are all new.

Starting with the absolute, hands down, best cheese of the day, we have Henri Hutin Belletoile Triple Cream Brie.  This is the mellowest, butteryist brie I’ve ever had.  I’m normally not a big brie fan, although washed rind, soft ripened cheeses are certainly growing on me.  This cheese is stellar and makes me happy in my heart, despite it being a type of cheese that normally ruins my day.

Next up is Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano.  I’m normally a huge fan of all things Sartori, but the Black Pepper Affiné that I’ve written about before has spoiled me as far as black pepper cheese is concerned.  For me, the BellaVitano is too sweet a base for something as savory and forceful as black pepper to properly mesh with.  I may have a dissenting opinion, however, since I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about this cheese in particular.

Finally, I brought in Henning’s Horseradish Cheddar.  This cheese is mild both on the horseradish side and on the cheddar side, leaving me wanting more of both.  It has elicited quite a few “yums” over the last few hours, but I’m not sold on it.  Then again, when I eat something labeled “Horseradish” I expect it to kick me in the jaw, not caress my tonsils.

Until next week, stay cheesy!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Sorry for the horrible lapse in posts as of late.  The SCT blog server took a dive for three weeks, and things had just been too damned hectic with the holidays and all of the end of the year stuff for work.  I am, however, going to try to get back into the habit of posting the delightful delectables that grace our palates every week.

Today’s Stinky Cheese Tuesday, along with January 6th’s was provided by TeamWorks Media, the company that McCormick Theological Seminary has brought on to help redesign and rebuild the website.  On their first visit here, they heard tales of Stinky Cheese Tuesday and just before Christmas we received a box full of lovely cheeses from them with a note stating that the next SCT was on them.  They are truly, a wonderful bunch of people over there!

First off, the one cheese that I brought in today, Henning’s Fire Mango out of Kiel, Wisconsin.  This is a quite spicy cheese with a very mellow cheddar flavor.  Put head to head against Great Midwest’s Fire Mango, Henning’s would come in a distant second.  It is really no contest.  The flavor of the cheddar in Great Midwest’s is so much more developed and the mango sweetness is more noticeable.  That said, Henning’s is still a good, hot cheese for those who like their spice.

Secondly we have Fiscalini Cheese’s Extra Mature Bandage Wrapped Cheddar from California.  This is an amazingly well aged cheddar, with a sharpness that goes straight for the hinge of your jaw.  It has that wonderful grittiness of tiny salt crystals that is the hallmark of cheddars aged for more than a year.  One of the best cheddars I’ve ever had, hands down!

Saving the best for last, we have Beecher’s Smoked Flagship out of Seattle, Washington.  I have praised the virtues of Beecher’s Flagship cheese here multiple times, so I won’t rehash that too much, but adding the smokiness to the equation elevates it from the divine to the I-Will-Push-You-Down-The-Stairs-For-This.  It is just smoked enough to give it a faint aroma and a positively lovely flavor.  I’m so deeply enamored with this cheese!

Stay cheesy!

@Cheese Forum

Scary Cheese Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Sorry, no picture today.  It’s OK ’cause no picture could possibly come close to summing up the abject HELL that I have transformed the second floor into.  

In honor of Halloween this week, I figured that I would do Scary Cheese Tuesday and bring in cheeses that are scary for one reason or another.  That meant that I brought in Comté, Great Midwest Mango Fire Cheddar, and Amish Country Limburger Cheese.  The Fire Mango and the Comté I’ve already covered, the first being "hot as hell" and the second I described as "smelling like a dank basement two weeks after a flood", so I’m going to be spending the rest of this on the Limburger.

Nope.  Just plain nope.  The first thing that one must understand about fromunder Limburger is that it is made with the same bacteria that give a nasty human foot the rank odor that makes it distinctive.  One of my coworkers, Jamie, aptly described my desk as smelling "like a nursing home".  Believe it or not, it actually tastes worse than it smells.  It is, without a doubt, the worst thing that I’ve ever put in my mouth on purpose.  Every other cheese that I’ve brought in, no matter how much I didn’t like it, at least made it down the hatch.  The Limburger gave me an instinctive need to expel it.  The Bene Gesserit could have used this instead of the pain box during the Gom Jabbar Test of Humanity.  There were a few people that actually enjoyed eating it, but I’m pretty sure that if I had the sunglasses from They Live then we would have know the truth about them.

Never again.

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, October 7th, 2014


Good grief!  Two days between SCT and the post.  I’m slacking.  But you have a macro photo, taken with a real camera and even edited a little bit to remove dust spots.  I’m trying to make up for it.

This week saw three hard cheeses, all of which were mighty tasty and well received.

Going from left to right, we start with Pecorino Ginepro which did not have a creamery of origin, but simply said “Italy”.  This was the day’s clear favorite.  It is similar to a Romano cheese but is soaked in Balsamic vinegar and crusted with juniper berries.  It has a mildly nutty flavor with a bit of the savory vinegar on the front end, while the juniper berry after taste left several people exclaiming, “There’s the gin!”

In the middle is my favorite, the Piave Vecchio.  This one also just cryptically said “Italy”, but being P.D.O. we can at least narrow it down to the Belluno area.  This particular variety of Piave was “Oro del Tempo” or “Golden Time” meaning that it had been aged fro at least twelve months.  This is a very hard cheese.  I worked up a sweat cutting this one.  It was so very worth it, though.  It has a flavor that is quite similar to Parmigiana, but lower in salt content and with a slightly less nutty taste to it.  A very mild and fresh tasting cheese, this would have been wonderful drizzled with a touch of honey.

Lastly we have Appleby’s Cheshire.  This is the last of the traditionally made Cheshires.  Cheshire cheese is similar to Cheddar in texture due to them both going through a cheddaring process, but Cheshire is made using a low acid rennet as a starter.  This gives it a much milder flavor, without nearly as much of the tang and bite that Cheddar has.  Factory produced Cheshire is typically made with a high acid rennet which makes it taste much more like a Cheddar than it should.  Appleby’s Cheshire is still made in the traditional manner and wrapped in cloth for aging.  That was one thing about this particular cheese that I had to warn people about.  There were errant threads still stuck to some of the pieces that had rind on them.  An absolutely delightful cheese.

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014


Sorry for the delay in getting this up, things have been a bit hectic the last two days.  It was, without a doubt, the stinkiest Stinky Cheese Tuesday yet.  All three cheeses were soft ripened cheeses with quite the strong aroma.  Everyone described the entire IT/HR department as smelling variously like a barn, a locker room, and the devil’s sock drawer.  Even with my normal distaste of ripened cheeses, I really enjoyed all three of them.

Going left to right, and from strong to strongest, we start with Cyprus Cove’s Truffle Tremor.  This is a fine, ripened goat cheese with truffles (hence the name) and was clearly the favorite of the day.  It has a white rind, and a creamy, soft layer that is about .5 cm thick surrounding the bulk of the cheese, which is a crumbly goat cheese speckled with black truffle.  Simply fantastic cheese.

Next is a Spanish Cana de Cabra.  This is another ripened goat cheese that was amazing.  This one is traditionally made in a log shape and eaten when the volume of soft cheese is about equal to that of the crumbly cheese in the middle.  Pungent, tangy, yummy.  This cheese is amazing.

Lastly is Von Trapp Farm’s Oma.  It is named after the current cheese maker’s grandmother who first made the cheese in 1959.  This is the one that stank up the entire east side of the second floor.  I had it wrapped in cling film, in a zip lock baggie, and then in my Hello Kitty lunch box and it still managed to destroy the air quality in my car during the 90 minute trip into work.  This in a fully ripened cow’s milk cheese that has such a creamy, tangy taste that it was well worth the struggle to make it past the stench.  

Next week’s cheeses have already been procured, and it is three hard cheeses for contrast.

Stay cheesy!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, September 16th, 2014


Sorry about last week, folks.  I did try to make up for things today, and partially succeeded.

The first cheese is from our formerly unGoogleable friends Country Connection.  Unfortunately, it is an abomination.  Since everything else that they make has been stellar, I figured that I’d try bringing in their Tex Mex Jack today.  It is atrocious.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  If you buy this, Aristaeus, the Greek god of Cheese will make you lactose intolerant out of spite.  For those of you on the other side of the Atlantic and unfamiliar with the term, Tex Mex is supposed to be a unique fusion of American and Mexican cuisine.  The way that it is most often encountered is at Taco Bell.  A bland, vaguely Mexican spiced mush that has as much in common with real Mexican food as French Fries have with Coq au Vin.  This cheese tastes like they just poured in a whole bunch of Old El Paso™ Taco Seasoning into it.  Slightly chili flavored and super salty.  Completely nasty.

Well, now that is out of the way, let’s move on to much tastier fare.

Next on the plate is Dofino Edam.  This is my favorite for the day.  It is incredibly buttery and smooth, with a healthy dose of nuttiness thrown in for good measure.  It is like a buttery Emmentaler and is simply a joy to eat.

Thirdly is Red Apple’s Applewood Smoked Cheddar.  This one was enjoyed by quite a few people, but in my opinion the smoke is a bit over done.  This one is very smoky.  The underlying cheddar is quite good, but it gets lost in the taste of charred wood.  It is still good, but tastes and smells more like a cured meat than a cheese.

Lastly, we had quite a surprise.  Castello’s Saga Classic is a Blue Brie, or Bavarian Blue.  Given the fact that my dislike of Brie is not easy to hide, I figured that this one would just make me hate my taste buds for while.  It is surprisingly delicious!  The Brie flavor hits you up front, but is surprisingly mellow.  The Blue comes in on the back end and is also not too intense.  The first thing that came to mind when eating it was that it was like a slightly moldy Camembert.  That may sound like a back-handed complement, but it is actually a whole hearted endorsement.

Stay cheesy, and we’ll see what next week has in store!

Sharing Space With The Tacos