All posts by A.K. Williams

#CheeseLover – Idizabal

Welcome to How to Say Cheese

Think of me as your virtual cheesemonger inviting you to explore fine cheese selections without the intimidation. Trying new flavours and food should be fun.

Each week, I am sharing some of my favourite cheese selections or tasty discoveries from around the world. I encourage you to visit your local fine cheese counter and ask for a sample.

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Idiazabal

Make Mine a Lacha. Idiazabal is a smoked cheese made from the milk of the Lacha (Laxta in Basque) breed of sheep from the Taxabolas Mountains. The Natural Wedding Company site has more ideas on how to decorate hard or formed cheeses with edible flowers.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Medium
TASTE Caramel and grassy, with a smoky finish.
SMELL Grasslike with an acidic smokiness.
RIND Thin and light brown with an oily feel due to a 3-10 day smoking process.
INTERIOR Ivory to pale yellow in colour; dense, dry scattered with small holes.
FABULOUS Dense smooth paste with a clean fresh aroma.
FAR-GONE Soft on the edges with a bitter sharp flavour.


Best way to enjoy
Delightful in field greens salad with edible flowers for lunch. For dinner try on BBQ burgers and grilled meats. Idiazabal makes a wonderful snack with membrillow (Quince Paste), sliced apples and pears.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY Spain
REGION Navarre
MILK TYPE Sheep
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 2 – 10 Months
PRODUCER Quesoalbeniz Albeniz

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

ONLINE

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities USA
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers Fine Cheese stores Murray’s Cheese
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help Just Click
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese  @murrayscheese

12th Day of Cheese – Roquefort

Roquefort

You will never see a whole wheel
 of Roquefort in your local store as producers cut the wheel in half to ensure the correct amount of blue. So many hidden surprises about cheese that you will have fun exploring. Inside the ebook “How to Say Cheese” we had fun creating a reveal widget.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavoured
TASTE Strong spicy, salty flavour followed by a rich creaminess.
SMELL Pleasant and earthy.
RIND Rindless, wrapped in foil to stop bad mould.
INTERIOR The paste is bright white, dense yet soft and creamy, with many small caverns coated with blue/green mould (Penicillin Roqueforti)
FABULOUS Firm yet soft, but not wet, filled with cavities covered in soft velvety grey-green mould
FAR-GONE Extra mould growing on the surface on a smell similar to hydrogen peroxide (bleach) Slimy texture and excess liquid, especially when wrapped in plastic for long periods of time.


Best way to enjoy
Combine with pears, dried figs, walnuts and honey. Mix with butter to spread on fresh bread.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY France
REGION Aveyeron
MILK TYPE Sheep
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 5 Months
3 Weeks in a cave
PRODUCER Roquefort Carles

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

ONLINE

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities Canada
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers Fine Cheese stores Cheesyplace
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help Just click
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese  @cheesyplace

11th Day of Cheese – Beemster Gouda

Beemster Gouda

Matured for more than two years, this cheese retains a creamy mouth feel yet has a firm and crumbly texture. Deep caramel notes and mouthwatering crunchy crystals surprise the palate to make this variety a coveted favourite. The co-op producing Beemster is a member of the Caring Dairy and is also produced in the USA.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavoured
TASTE Flavours of butterscotch and caramel with a sweet nutty finish.
SMELL Sweet and nutty.
RIND To stop mould growth the 10.5 (23 pound) wheels of Beemster XO (extra old) are encased in plastic.
INTERIOR Dense and firm, but still soft enough to bite. Thickly scattered with small protein crystals and occasional small holes. The paste is a rich orange that is darker towards the edges.
FABULOUS Bright orange colour with a hard texture speckled with little crunchy bits.
FAR-GONE If stored improperly after cutting, it becomes hard and rocky, still tasty but difficult to bite.


Best way to enjoy
Shave over a mixed green salad. Enjoy on a tea party platter with roasted cashew nuts and hot cup of Early Grey tea. The bergamot oil in the tea cleanses the palate.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY Holland
REGION Beemster
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 26 Months
PRODUCER Beemster.us

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

 Online 

Canada

USA

REGION  Canada Vancouver Most Cities
STORE  CheesePlace.com Benton Brothers Speciality Cheese stores
ASK FOR  Just Click Jonah or Andrew For help
ONLINE  @cheesyplace  @bentonscheese

9th Day of Cheese – Etivaz

Etivaz

High in the Alps sit the co-operative run cellars of L’Etivaz, surrounded by alpine meadows. The product is made in traditional copper cauldrons over open wood fires and aged in village chalets with aging rooms that were built in 1932.


Due to the short cheese making seasons, the cheese makers often have other jobs e.g. Carpenters or mechanics. To ensure that the cheese is made from only mountain milk, the cows must eat mountain grass for 3 weeks before they can start making milk for this cheese.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavoured
TASTE Full and rich with fruity hints followed by smokiness
SMELL Fruity and herbal aroma with a spicy finish.
RIND Smooth pale brown crust with “L’Etivaz” embossed on the side of the wheel.
INTERIOR Solid with a smooth texture and scattered crystals, dark yellow in colour turning light brown near the rind.
FABULOUS Firm texture, golden yellow in colour with scattered protein crystals.
FAR-GONE Odor of ammonia and pink spots near the rind.


Best way to enjoy
 Alongside pickles, fresh fruit and cured meats, great for picnics and seasonal event platters.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY Switzerland
REGION Vaud
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 8 Months – 3 Years
PRODUCER Etivaz-AOC.ch

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers Speciality Cheese stores
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese

8th Day of Cheese – Gruyère

Gruyère

The term “gruyère” earned its name from 
tax collectors who operated between 
France and Switzerland in the Middle Ages who received cheese as payment. In order to age huge amounts of cheese, some large Gruyère producers have created 2Km tunnels within mountains.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavoured
TASTE Nutty with a herbal grassy finish.
SMELL Slightly fruity and herbal.
RIND Thin yellow and orange waxy rind which darkens to a light tan colour as it ages.
INTERIOR A smooth and dense paste the colour of straw with scattered milk protein crystals.
FABULOUS Firm dry and dense paste pale yellow in colour.
FAR-GONE Wet to touch, rind slides off with a strong ammonia.


Best way to enjoy
One of the classics for French onion soup or quiche. Gruyère is a best known as the go-to cheese for Swiss fondue that is served with bread and boiled potatoes.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY Switzerland
REGION Fribourg
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 4 – 18 Months
PRODUCER Von Muhlenen

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

ONLINE

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities Canada
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers local supermartkets Cheesyplace
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help Just click
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese  @cheesyplace

7th Day of Cheese – Ossau Iraty

Ossau Iraty

Made in the Ossau Valley near the Irati—the biggest beech forest in Europe— this cheese is aged on beechwood boards. The AOC regulations stipulate that only 
raw, unpasteurized milk be used. Some wheels are stuffed with Espelette peppers.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Medium
TASTE Ranges from sweet, herbal and grassy to sheepy, followed by an acidic tang on the finish.
SMELL Lactic and fresh with a herbal aroma.
RIND Thick and crusty, often with dusty white patches. The colour ranges from light tan to coppery orange. An image of a sheep’s head and number are embossed on fermier wheels.
INTERIOR Firm texture with small irregular holes and cracks. Off-white in colour; occasionally with pale yellow blotches throughout the paste.
FABULOUS Firm interior without too many cracks and a sweet herbal aroma.
FAR-GONE Dry paste full of cracks with large mould spots near the rind and dull soapy taste.

Best way to enjoy
Ossau Iraty is amazing served on wedges with sweet preserves from your local farmers market.

12daysofcheeseossauiraty
Cheese Info

COUNTRY France
REGION Basque
MILK TYPE Sheep
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 4 Months
PRODUCER Valleé D’ Aspe

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

ONLINE

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities Canada
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers Fine cheese stores that focus on small production global cheeses Cheesyplace
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help Just click
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese  @cheesyplace

2nd Day of Cheese – Red Leicester

Red Leicester

Red Leicester can be a Kosher cheese. There are various styles of Red Leicester including a blend with Indian chutney mixed into the cheese.

“Leicestershire” refers to the region in England where this cheese is from, and it’s a hard word for many folks to pronounce. The English themselves shortened the spelling of the cheese to “Leister” and the pronunciation to “Lester”.

 

During WW2, food colouring agents were banned, so “Red” was dropped from the name and the cheese suddenly sported a glowing white interior.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Mild
TASTE Sweet caramel with a slight hint of earthiness.
SMELL Faint barnyardy aroma with sweet notes of mushroom and caramel finish.
RIND Peel off the brown cloth before eating. The edible rind is reddish-orange with a powdery mould on it.
INTERIOR Firm fudge-like texture, and scattered with irregular small holes. The colour is bright orange due to the addition of annatto. Sometimes small blue veins are present, which add flavour.
FABULOUS Firm texture with a sweet earthy aroma. Dry, dark-coloured cloth on the outside.
FAR-GONE Edges soft and brown, sour damp musty smell and slightly bitter taste.
Best way to enjoy
 Grated or cubed, a nice Cheddar alternative that melts smoothly into sauces, adds colour to any cheeseboard and is a yummy addition to salads.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY United Kingdom
REGION Leicestershire
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 3- 6 Months
PRODUCER Long Clawson Dairy

Buy This Cheese

COUNTRY

Australia

Canada

USA

REGION Melbourne Vancouver Most Cities
STORE Oasis Bakery Benton Brothers Local Supermarkets
ASK FOR Angel Jonah or Andrew For help
ONLINE  @oasisbakery  @bentonscheese

Nuit D’Or

@howtosaycheese #cheese

Nuit D’Or

A wee stinker from Burgundy, France. Produced by Delin, a small family run company who concentrate on making several amazing cheeses. Made of cow’s milk, this one for me stands out. Washing the orange and sticky rind evolves the flavour.

The flavour is fruity and a bit yeasty, but it never seems to get too strong. The paste is nice and doughy, the rind is bright orange colour and sticky.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavour
TASTE Rich and fruity with a slight salty tang on the finish
SMELL Pungent with a bit of a yeasty and musty odour
RIND Soft wet and sticky and remains stuck to your fingers, coppery orange in colour
INTERIOR Soft and doughy with a few small holes in the middle, chalky if younger
FABULOUS Pungent with a sticky rind and the flavour doesn’t linger for too long
FUNKY Slimy rind and the flavour is intense, almost sour and bitter at the same time

Cheese Info

COUNTRY France
REGION Burgundy
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 1 Month
Best way to enjoy
Stinky cheeses are best when left on the counter for a least 1 hour before hand, this gets the flavours going and the texture nice and soft.