10th Day of Cheese – Appenzeller Surchoix

Appenzeller Surchoix

First mentioned in text in around 1282 AD, Appenzeller is one of the oldest Swiss cheeses. Unique to Appenzeller, the brine recipe includes either cider or white wine and up to 20 local herbs.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavoured
TASTE Rich, creamy and fruity, with a piquant finish.
SMELL Sweet and grassy, with a slight musty finish.
RIND Thin yellow to orange colour, covered in dusty white patches.
INTERIOR Pale yellow, fudgy, silken texture, with pea sized hole in the centre.
FABULOUS Firm, pale yellow paste wit a slight fruity aroma.
FAR-GONE Pink band of colouration near the edges and a strong smell of ammonia.


Best way to enjoy
On light rye bread, or melted over steamed vegetables. With thinly sliced smoked meats such as prosciutto, a great addition to any celebration platter.

Cheese Info

COUNTRY Switzerland
REGION Appenzell
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 4 – 5 Months
PRODUCER Appenzeller.ch

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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

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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

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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.

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Cheese Info

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

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6th Day of Cheese – Queso de Valdeón

Queso de Valdeón

12daysofcheeseplatter_day6Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full flavoured
TASTE Creamy and buttery, with a strong spicy and tangy finish.
SMELL Mixture of damp leaves with a spicy musty odour.
RIND Wrapped in Sycamore leaves, the rind is dry, thin, pale brown, with patches of white.
UPDATE:
Due to new strict regulations exported Queso Valdeon is now wrapped in foil with an image of leaves instead of being wrapped in real Sycamore leaves.
INTERIOR Firm, yet crumbles into a creamy texture; the inside is filled with numerous large and small cavities lined with a blue mould. The paste ranges from bright white to a pale tan colour.
FABULOUS Firm, bright white past, exposed mould looks bright with a velvety texture.
FAR-GONE Soggy leaves, dark brown around the edges, a rancid smell and damp sticky rind.

Best way to enjoy
Works well in a blue cheese sauce, for pasta or forest mushrooms. A wonderful addition to any cheese plate with dried figs, apricots and chilled grapes to cleanse the palate.

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Cheese Info

COUNTRY Spain
REGION Picos De Europa
MILK TYPE Mix of Goat & Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 1.5 – 2 Months
PRODUCER Queserías Picos de Europa

12daysofcheesequessodevaldeon

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5th Day of Cheese – Comté

Comté

Ensuring that the milk is as fresh as possible, the milk for making Comté isn’t allowed to travel more than 20 Kms from where the cows are milk.

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full flavoured
TASTE A rich flavour of nuts with grassy notes. Older wheels have a fruity finish.
SMELL Nutty, with a herbal, fruity essence.
RIND Natural crust, rubbed in a morge solution to encourage rind development.
INTERIOR Supple and dense, with protein crystals scattered throughout when aged for over a year. The colour is dark golden yellow turning almost tan towards the edges.
FABULOUS Dry, firm and dense, with few or no cracks.
FAR-GONE Slight pink colouration on the edges; a damp tacky rind that sticks to your fingers with a strong ammonia smell.

Best way to enjoy
A vital part of French cooking or cheese plates, Comté adds an amazing depth of flavour to a fondue or grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread.


Cheese Info

COUNTRY France
REGION Jura, Franche Comte
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 4 Months – 4 Years
PRODUCER Comte

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4th Day of Cheese – Piave

Piave

An Italian, grana-style cheese, where the milk is skimmed before production to prevent spoiling and allowing the cheese to age for longer periods of time. Named after the river which flows through the region, Piave has DOP status under European Union regulations. Authentic Piave is produced in the Dolomites mountain range, in the province of Veneto.

 

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Medium
TASTE Nutty and sweet with an almond-like bitterness.
SMELL Rich and earthy with a faint aroma of nuts
RIND A thin, smooth natural rind, vibrant ochre in colour, embossed with the Piave name.
INTERIOR Hard, dense, and smooth in texture with occasional crunchy bits.
FABULOUS Dry rind with a dense hard texture, with occasional crunch bits (protein crystals).
FAR-GONE Becomes soapy and bitter if stored improperly.

Best way to enjoy
Grate over your favourite pasta dish or mixed greens salad. For a cheese plate, cut into cubes and serve with dried fruit and nuts. 


Cheese Info

COUNTRY Italy
REGION Veneto
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Vegetarian
AGED 3 – 18 Months
PRODUCER Agriform

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3rd Day of Cheese – Manchego

Manchego

Manchego comes from Castilla La Mancha in Spain. There are 65 producers, 35 make raw milk Manchego.

 

12daysofcheesemanchego

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Medium
TASTE Nutty and sheepy, with a slightly salty finish.
SMELL Fresh and milky with a sheepy fragrance.
RIND A thin layer of wax coating with a distinct zigzag pattern on the edge which represents espatro grass which used to make traditional Manchego moulds.
INTERIOR Firm with many tiny irregular holes; the texture is dry but with a balanced amount of moisture. A faint yellow colour, that darkens around the edges when aged.
FABULOUS Firm dense texture with a slightly sweet aroma.
FAR-GONE Rind slides off when touched, extremely crystalline, bitter and sweaty on the finish.

Best way to enjoy
 Fragrant herbs such as rosemary make the perfect fresh accent for this earthy aged Spanish cheese. Versatile, it can be used with mashed root vegetables or a salad vinaigrette, shaved and marinated in olive oil.

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Cheese Info

COUNTRY Spain
REGION Castilla La Mancha
MILK TYPE Sheep
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 2 – 24 Months
PRODUCER Quesos Coqueya

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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

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1st Day of Cheese – St. Agur

St. Agur

St. Agur comes from the Auvergne region in central France, it is a soft creamy cheese with a decent amount of blue. The ageing process is about 2 months, then wrapped in foil.12daysofcheeseplatter_day1

 

The amount of blue isn’t overwhelming and I find people are pleasantly surprised when they try it. There is a bit of sweetness that comes from the double cream in combination with a slight mustiness of the blue on the finish. 

Cheese Profile

FLAVOUR Full Flavour
TASTE Rich and creamy balanced with a mild 
 blue bite.
SMELL Spicy and rich with a hint of salt and
sweet tangy finish.
RIND No rind; the foil wrapper stops unwanted mould growth.
INTERIOR Dense yet soft with a bright white paste and many small mouldy caverns.
FABULOUS A soft texture; cavities covered in velvety green and grey moulds.
FAR-GONE Almost liquid texture with extra surface mould; smells like peroxide.
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Best way to enjoy
Spread on a cracker or add to a blue cheese dressing. Reach the next level of delicious by melting on grilled steak.

newsletter_TEMPLATECheese Info

COUNTRY France
REGION Auvergne
MILK TYPE Cow
RENNET TYPE Animal
AGED 2 Months
PRODUCER Fromagerie Bongrain

 

stagur_platter_sm

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