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 DOPstatus under European Union regulations. Authentic Piave is produced in the Dolomites mountain range, in the province of Veneto.
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.
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.
Firm dense texture with a slightly sweet aroma.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starting December 8th, I will be posting unusual and tasty cheeses that will be awesome for holiday platters or your own DYI Cheese Advent Calendar!
If you want more inspiration, check out the 29 unusual fine cheeses featured in my e-book, How to Say Cheese. In addition to more platter ideas, there are tips on which rinds are toxic and how to tell if your cheese is fresh or ready for the bin.
Check back often to for ideas on your next flavour discovery and which retailers from around the globe will be joining me. Better yet, sign up for my cheese club newsletter to find out first hand what cheese counters in your area carry these unusual and tasty selections. Some retailers may have holiday discounts on the featured cheeses.