Stinky Cheese Tuesday, May 27th, 2014


It’s my first Stinky Cheese Tuesday after vacation and this one is a doozy.  While we were away a new store opened up about a mile down the road from our apartment.  They advertised a monumental cheese selection so I was quite keen on checking it out.  I got more than just a wee bit carried away but have enough cheese for next week, too.  Their selection is quite different from everything else in the area, but their prices will guarantee that I don’t go there more than three or four times a year unless I win the lottery.  Without further ado, the cheese!

In the back we have Mustard Mélange Gouda from Holland’s Family Farms in Wisconsin.  It is a cheese that is mild in every way, yet displays quite a complex set of flavors.  I couldn’t even begin to decipher what all of the spices are that have infused this particular cheese, and even though it gets top billing the mustard seed is quite a tame note.  I was, however, thoroughly disappointed that it did not give me the ability to fold space-time.

To the left is Cabot’s Hot Habenero Cheddar.  This is a three alarm fire, at least.  Easily one of the hottest cheeses that I’ve brought in, or tasted for that matter.  There is some flavor there as well, but it is mostly just plain heat.  Nothing wrong with that.  As an aside, I just learned that pronouncing habenero as habeñero is something that is typical of Americans and is a hyperforeignism.  There is no accent on the n and I have made another small step in reducing my appalling ignorance of other languages and cultures.

To the right is today’s winner, Little Dragon from Zingerman’s Creamery in Michigan. This is a very fresh, spreadable  goat cheese crusted with fresh tarragon.  It gets its name from tarragon’s older moniker, dragonwort, which is still present in its scientific designation, Artemisia dracunculus.  It tastes like a slightly goaty cream cheese at first, but the lovely sweetness of the tarragon is a quick follow up.  It would have gone really well spread on a baguette or toasted bagel, but was delicious all by itself as well.  A lot of people were also using it to tame the burn from the habenero cheese.  Because they are wimps.

I’m looking forward to next week!

My Favorite Guilty Pleasure In Colorado


Hello everybody.  We just made it back from Colorado yesterday, and Mom is doing fine!  Every time that we go back to Colorado, I end up over indulging in one of the greatest things to ever grace the surface of my tongue.  Or the planet, for that matter.  Cheddar & Bacon Easy Cheese!


This stuff is consumed on Mount Olympus, folks.  There is nothing redeeming about it, health-wise, and you can feel every bite go straight to your gut, hips or wherever your body stores excess fat.  But it is so worth it!  Unfortunately, this food of the gods is not sold in Illinois.  I called Kraft foods and petitioned them to include us in their Realm of Happiness but was told that it is not sold east of the Mississippi.  Since it is a can with compressed air it can’t be taken in checked luggage on an airplane or shipped via regular mail.  So I end up gorging myself on can after can (at 630 calories a piece!) every trip to see family and friends.  This trip out I actually kept it down to two cans, but it was still enough to do some damage.  If you’re ever in the western part of the US, give it a shot!  Your body will hate you for it, but your taste buds will be happy!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, May 20th, 2014


Hello everybody!  This is a special twofer Stinky Cheese Tuesday since Pastor Barb is holding court at McCormick and I’m hosting Stinky Cheese Tuesday in my home town of Longmont, Colorado.  My mom had surgery today (which went fine!) and Kristi and I had to keep Dad distracted during the whole thing.  My dad had a catastrophic stroke about four and a half years ago.  You can read a whole lot more about him here and see some of my photography to boot.  Part of the bit of his brain that was injured by the stroke was the bit that controls emotional behavior.  Having him at the hospital would have been a bad idea, so we took him to the Longmont Cheese Importers instead.  If I’d had the presence of mind, I would have taken a whole bunch of photos but I was too awestruck to have thought of it.  They have a huge refrigerated cheese room with enough variety to keep me going for years!  Crackers, jams, wines, salamis — anything that could possibly make your cheese experience complete.  I want to go there when I die!

Anyway, on to the cheese!  First off, we have the Blasers Antonella Garden Vegetable and Sweet Basil.  This cheese is a mild cheddar with carrots, chives, bell peppers and tomatoes, caked with fresh sweet basil.  It is an outstanding combination of flavors and almost makes you feel like you are eating something as healthy as salad.

Next, the Coombe Castle Sage Derby was absolutely delicious!  It is another mild cheddar but with a huge helping of dried sage mixed in.  Very savory and herbaceous, just a real joy to eat.  If you ask me.  Kristi and Dad were both a bit put off by this one.  Your mileage may vary.

Also on the agenda for today was Henning’s Garlic and Dill Cheddar Cheese Curds.  Kristi is all about the “squeeky” cheese and cheese curds in particular.  Mixed with her love of dill and garlic, this was right up her alley.  While I wouldn’t call the cheddar sharp, it certainly was not a mild cheddar.  The dill and garlic are pretty much in your face with this cheese as well.  Thumbs up from everyone on this cheese!

Lastly, I had to introduce Dad to No Woman.  I guess that there is no accounting for taste, since he really did not like it in the least.  Well, I guess that leaves more for me!

For those of you at McCormick today, Barb brought in the following cheeses (and the descriptions are hers, too!):

Champagne Cheddar from Dietz & Watson — a mild white cheddar with the champagne on the finish, just a whiff and a promise of the bubbly.

Apple Smoked Gruyere from Red Apple Cheese —  nice Gruyere, mild, with a smoky glow. Not apple-y, just smoky!

Balsamic Bella Vitano Reserve from Sartori — aged in Balsamic Vinegar but not vinegary at all. It captures the oaky sweetness of the balsamic which stands up to the sturdiness of the cheese.

So there you have it, a double-dose of cheesage for your Tuesday enjoyment!  An extra special thanks to Pastor Barb for stepping up, stepping in, and making sure that McCormick, the Refectory and LSTC were not devoid of cheesy goodness today!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, May 13th, 2014


Once again, it is Stinky Cheese Tuesday, and as you can see I actually decided to share some of the No Woman cheese today!  It is a few of our Student Employees’ last Stinky Cheese Tuesday since they graduated on Saturday so we needed to make this one special.  Congratulations, LaJeanne, Kathi, Wes, Christopher and all the rest of the McCormick Graduates!

Let’s just go ahead and get the No Woman by Beecher out of the way since I’ve already sung its praises elsewhere.  Seriously, this is one hell of a cheese.  Happy taste buds seem to be Beecher’s primary product.

Next is the Dairy Vale Vintage Cheddar out of Australia.  If ever there was a cheddar that gave Kerrygold a run for its money, this is it.  Harder and quite a bit sharper than Kerrygold’s, this is a mighty fine cheddar.

Lastly we have another cheese from our unGooglable friends, Country Connection.  The Monterey Jack with Fresh Dill and Garlic is superb.  The Jack base is so creamy and mellow that it ends up being just a hint of flavor supporting the dill and garlic.  Not a cheese to eat before getting close to other people, but it will keep the vampires away quite successfully.

I did end up calling the phone number on the Country Connection label to see if I could get any more information about them.  They are apparently the same company as Expand International, which I also could find no information about other than an address.  There were prompts to talk to someone in sales, accounts receivable, or accounts payable.  I chickened out and didn’t talk to anybody.  Mayhap next time I’ll actually talk to the sales person.  Until then, there is still an air of mystery surrounding the cryptic dairy products from Country Connection.

Next week I’ll be out and about so Stinky Cheese Tuesday’s custodian will be Pastor Barb, our indomitable web developer and DBA.  She promises to send me a list of the cheeses she procures, but I’ll have no real way to review them.  I’ll be back to heading up SCT on the 27th, so until then, stay cheesy!


I don’t know how many of you have wanted to comment on stuff and been stymied, but it was just brought to my attention (by my lovely wife, Kristi, who wanted to publicly note the lack of cheese curd reviews) that comments were not enabled on most of the posts here.  I typically compose all of my Stinky Cheese Tuesday write-ups in Red Matrix which is an absolutely amazing communications framework that I use for just about everything from hosting and sharing files, to social media, to blogging.  Red Matrix then cross-posts the entries here but disables comments, which I had no idea was happening.

TL;DR:  Y’all can comment on posts now, should the spirit move you!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, May 6, 2014


***Today’s Stinky Cheese Tuesday has been brought to you by Jeff Japinga, Dean of the Doctorate Program at McCormick!***

A huge thank you to Jeff Japinga for being so kind as to bring in the cheeses for today!  He described it as being “a tour of Northern Europe” and “a very white cheese day”.  It most certainly is both.

Firstly, since three of today’s cheeses would be termed “swiss cheese” by your average American, a bit of an education liberally stolen from Wikipedia.

Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmental cheese: Streptococcus salivarius subspecies thermophilus, Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus helveticus or Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus), and Propionibacterium (Propionibacterium freudenreichii subspecies shermani). In a late stage of cheese production, the propionibacteria consume the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria and release acetate, propionic acid, and carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide slowly forms the bubbles that develop the “eyes”. The acetate and propionic acid give Swiss its nutty and sweet flavor.

That is where the holes come from, and also what differentiates all three of the “swiss” cheeses on hand for today.

We’ll start off with the Castello Danish Fontina.  It is a soft, mild cheese that has a bit of a bite to it, and quite a strong smell to it.  It should not be confused with an Italian fontina which typically has a much stronger flavor and is aged for quite some time.  This cheese actually reminds me a bit of a provolone with the same kind of peculiar sharpness to it, which comes from stopping the maturation process while there is still a lot of lactic acid in the cheese.

Next is the Kerrygold Swiss.  It is a mildly sharp, nutty swiss that just begs to be melted on a burger.  Kerrygold continues to impress me, being a cheese maker that has made so many different styles of cheese from all over Europe, but done them all so very well.

The last of our swiss cheeses is Tine’s Jarlsberg.  This is a Norwegian cheese that is like a drier, milder swiss.  Not quite a hard cheese, but not as soft as your average swiss, it has a very mild, nutty flavor and is one of my favorites.

I saved my personal favorite for last, with the Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda.  This is a nutty, hard, salty and buttery cheese with a complex flavor that just makes my taste buds sing.  It is an absolute joy to eat!

Again, a very special thanks to Jeff Japinga and the Doctorate of Ministry department at McCormick for providing today’s fare!

Until next week!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


***Today’s Stinky Cheese Tuesday was sponsored by the entire McCormick IT Department***

“Kristi?  Do we have any hydrochloric acid?”


“I might need to burn a taste off of my tongue.”

That’s right folks, today’s Stinky Cheese Tuesday involves a soft ripened cheese like Brie, and I didn’t die from it.  Starting at the far left, we have Saint Angel, a smoked gouda and a chipotlé cheddar.

Believe it or not, I could find absolutely no information about the Country Connection Chipotlé Cheddar cheese.  The label says that it is made in Southern Wisconsin and distributed by Country Connection LLC, Chicago IL, but I could find nothing about them in my searches this morning.  It is, however, a very good cheese.  Amazingly enough, it has no heat whatsoever, but it does have a very pronounced chipotlé flavor.  The cheese is fairly mild as well which makes for a mellow experience in contrast to many of the other pepper cheeses out there.

The Maple Leaf Naturally Smoked Geliefde Gouda is quite the smoky cheese!  As a gouda, it is quite passable.  It doesn’t have any bite to it, but has a very cheesy flavor to it.  The smoke is a bit overpowering and off putting for me, but it has gotten a lot of compliments today.

Saint Angel is a French cheese that actually surprised me.  It has a bit of that brie kick on the back end, but more like a salty, buttery camembert than anything else.  I won’t go so far as to say that I liked it, but it didn’t make me want to guzzle caustic substances to evict the flavor from my mouth, either.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience.

Next week will be the first Stinky Cheese Tuesday provided entirely by someone besides me!  Jeff from the Doctorate Department will be taking us on a cheesy tour of Northern Europe, and I can’t wait!

Stinky Cheese Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Happy Earth Day everybody!

The cheeses that I brought in today are all wonderful and yummy.  There is a goat gouda, a Danish blue and a mango & ginger white stilton.  The only bad thing about today’s choices are two of them are very crumbly and hard to eat with a toothpick.  That’s why we have fingers!

Orange Windmill Cablanca is a positively wonderful goat gouda.  It is a fairly firm cheese without spilling over into the hard cheese territory and has a nutty, creamy, and very goaty flavor.  If you’ve never had a goat cheese and want to know what makes goat different from cow cheese, this is a cheese that will educate you quite easily.

Castello Danish Blue is a real treat.  It is one of the bluest cheeses I’ve tried, and when I was cutting it this morning the pressure from the knife was enough to cause it to weep, so it is a bit on the runny side as well.  It also has a distinct sweet undertone that makes it stand out from your average blue with its own distinct character.  It begs to be melted on a steak!

If you like your cheese sweet then the Clawson Carnival Stilton is one that will blow your mind.  The stilton base that Clawson makes is one of the best out there, and the fruits that they add to it are quite different and imaginative for a cheese infusion.  The mango and ginger is no exception.  It is a very sweet cheese with the mango informing the flavor quite a bit, but the tang of the ginger hits you on the back end of the taste in a delightful way that keeps me eating way more than I should.  It is most certainly a dessert cheese, but an excellent example of one.

Until next week, or until I find something else cheesy, whichever comes first!

I Must Petition The Cheesemonger

On that fateful day in early March that I ran into Jewel-Osco’s cheesemonger and was introduced to No Woman, he informed me that I could ask the folks at the dairy counter for special orders and he would fill them for me.  Last month, I thought that this was a nice gesture.  Today, I know it is my imperative.

I started looking into some of the companies that make the cheeses I’ve been procuring and growing to love and it is fascinating!  Little tidbits like Faribault Dairy, the maker of the AmaBlue Gorgonzola (reviewed here), is the oldest operating cave aged cheese maker in the United States.  Big tidbits like Beecher Cheese‘s “World’s Best Mac & Cheese” is listed as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and has been on the Martha Stewart Show twice.  Oh, and I am totally making that Mac & Cheese, so consider yourselves forewarned.

The biggest thing that I’m learning though, is that the cheeses that are carried by my local grocers, while varied and amazing, are not even the tip of the iceberg.  Beecher makes twelve cheeses, of which we’ve tried three.  Cabot makes nine different types of flavored cheddar, and I’ve only brought in one.  And so I need to petition the cheesemonger.  I’m thinking of trying a couple of manufacturer-centric Stinky Cheese Tuesdays where we sample several cheeses from a single manufacturer.  Maybe even some Face-Off days where we try the same type of cheese from different places and vote to see which one we like best.  Who knows?  All things are possible with cheese!

Sharing Space With The Tacos