12
Feb
12

Episode 30: Headless French Cheesefreak

Hey y’all – Bonjour and Mercy Buckets, the Cheesefreak is back!

So for our first overseas trip in like 1000 years  Bob and I saved up to go to the nice Jewish Christening of our Niece April (kidding, it was an actual Christening) in England, and we treated ourselves with a week in Paris – J’adore!

How can one not be in Paris and eat cheese every day.  There’s literally a fromageire on every corner.  I was in cheese heaven.

So, we decided to tape a Cheesefreak there – unfortunately the recording went a bit off and were a bit headless, nevertheless, the cheese were all really good (of course).

There’s about a million cheeseporn websites about French cheeses, this one is really helpful, dating back to 1997 (and still looking like a 1997 website) – but the cheese library is super helpful… http://www.fromages.com/cheese_library.php

So, on to what we devoured:

  1. Brie de Meaux – good. But the rind tasted like broccoli.  The mofo is huge though!!!
  2. Comte St. Antione – holy Isht!  This is one awesome cheese.  I know it’s like the french cheddar, but it’s so much better than any Comte I’ve ever had.  Go get it now.  or maybe it’s only good in France. Fudgy texture, well balanced, never bitey flavor, Comté has a buttery, hazelnut taste that grows on the tongue. It finishes with a wave of cream that slowly expands to fill your entire mouth.  Epic amounts of info on this one here: http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/travelogues/france/jura   Here’s the awesome old fort the cheese caves are in…

3. Mimolette Extra Vielle – It’s made in Normandy, yes that Normandy…

Cowgirl has a good page on this one. http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MIMOL

It’s a safe cheese – good picnicking one….not my favorite.

4. Blue d’ Auvergne – this was a boring heavy safe blue. Not even going to bother telling y’all much about this one…although the town it’s from is gorgeous…

Generally peeps don’t lie – French food and wine was amazing everywhere and Paris is simply amazing.  Go before you croak.

18
Sep
11

Episode 29: Summertime Cheesin’

Well hell has frozen over, the fat lady’s a singing and the pigs are a flying.  The Cheesefreak is back and in action in DC!  Finally.

It’s only been since December – what??

I’ve had many demands for by the locals in this town (ok like 2 demands) to restart, so I thought that I’d start by posting some footage from Summer 2011(!) when I first moved to DC.  We were on a delightful roofdeck with Meghann and Mike (now married!) and our BFF Lauren visiting from NYC.  Twas a lovely evening, I think, it’s been over a year…

I bought these cheeses at a fancy cheese and wine store on 14th street called Cork Market www.corkdc.com.  They’re pretty nice in there and have a smallish but excellent selection.

So we started with:

1. Delice de Bourgogne – Young cow cheese from Lincet Creamery in the Burgundy region of France.  Total fairy tale land – I mean really – who lives like this?

It has a bloomy rind and a fluffly texture.  It’s tangy, tart and made with creame fraiche….good with white or sparkling wine.

Like you I have no idea what creame fraiche is – so here’s a little learnin from good ol’ Wikipedia: is a soured cream containing about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than American sour cream. It has a comparatively low viscosity and a higher fat content.

Mmmmmmmm butterfat.

We  liked it – fresh and nice.

Next we busted into a:

2. Lamb Chopper.  This cheese is made by Cypress Grove and is sheep’s milk. And it was totally a snore…..

Next!

3. Clothbound Cheddar by Cabot Creamery…You all know Cabot – they’re freakin huge and like rule Vermont cheese.  This baby is one of their special cheeses as it is a cheddar that is aged 10-12 months and stored at the famous and impossible to find (I know, I’ve tried unsuccessfully) Jasper Hill Farm caves. Its supposed to taste like toasted nuts, toffee, and fruits and goes great with beer.

We thought it was good a good picnic and melted cheesebread cheese.  Nothing to write home about. Better than the average Cabot you get in the store though.  Man I feel bad knocking any VT creamery right now with the total disaster that state is in.  Forgive me oh gods and goddesses of cheese.

And finally….

4. Bleu de Gex

This come from France, like…

From the Jura region – kinda in the far eastern part in the middle.

It’s supposed to taste like mushrooms, tarragon and violets…and well we thought it smelled like nuclear fallout and had a nasty ammonia aftertaste.  Blech.

So….We’re back!  We’ll be filming and doing more shows soon.  If you’re in DC and want to be on the show just let me know!

P.S. I have to say I love that Meghann busts out my favorite Madeline Khan moment ever in this video…If you don’t know it – here ya go…

25
Dec
10

Episode 28: Guest Cheesefreaks No. 1! California Cheesin’

How awesome is this…

The whole concept behind this blog was for other people to send along videos eating cheese along with my silly adventures.  After lots of friends talking a big smack about sending me some vid, Kim and Tom came through!  So…

Since I was not present during this chessefreakin’, I’m flying a bit blind in my comments, but fortunately our Cali friends gave tons of details.  K and T live in the San Fran area and went full Cali in this one.  Since it’s a great food place, it’s no surprise these cheeses appear to rock. They’re all from Marin County – which is stupid beautiful.

Also not surprisingly, their first cheese was from Cowgirl Creamery. If you know your cheese (which I barely do), everyone knows about these ladies and their legendary cheeses.  If you wanna seems all fancy you can just get one of theirs for a party and look like you know some isht.

1. Pierce Point by Cowgirl Creamery – supposedly this is ‘library cheese’ (huh?) – it’s a cow based fall winter cheese – it’s washed in muscato wine and rolled in dried herbs..it’s won all kinds of awards.  It’s super mild and good for a quiet day (according to the cool kids).

2. Beserri by Barinaga Ranch – This is a sheep cheese made like a basque hard cheese (hello – love this – I love Basque cheeses!). it’s rich and delicious! from their website: “The larger of our two cheeses is called Baserri, which means farmhouse in Basque. This cheese is a 4- to 5-pound tomme. The green Basque countryside in France and Spain is dotted with ancient tile-roofed baserris where Basque farmers still make their living in traditional ways, often milking their sheep by hand and making small batches of cheese that they sell locally. Our Baserri is made in that spirit, in small batches, by hand. It is a West Marin interpretation of the Basque cheeses you can buy from farmhouses in the Basque country.”

3. Fiscalini Bandaged Cheddar – this is a raw milk aged cheddar (18 months) and is supposedly the world’s best extra mature cheddar  - and from the video – it appears to actually rock!  Here’s a bit more info on this one from the interwebs: “Fiscalini Bandaged Cheddar is the product of master craftsman Mariano Gonzalez, who perfected his art at Vermont’s Shelburne Farms developing one of the first domestic bandage-wrapped cow’s milk Cheddars. Now in Modesto, California, at Fiscalini Farmstead, Mariano is making his world-class raw milk cheddars using traditional methods and aging them for at least 16 months before releasing them in limited quantities. Fiscalini Bandaged Cheddar is a true American farmstead cheddar and sings with a luxurious balance of buttery, grassy, and savory flavors. This cheese is one of the few American cheddars that can compete with the famed cheddars of Neal’s Yard Dairy in England. Try this cheese with crisp apples, or toss a handful into pie crust for a truly sensational apple pie. Pair Fiscalini Bandaged Cheddar with an American Craft Ale, or wines such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Grenache.”

Also just fyi K and T – perhaps by intuition, you did eat the cheeses in the right order.  You start with youngest first and eat to oldest. Well done!  and thank you both so much for the video!!!!! miss you guys!

20
Dec
10

Episode 27: BFF Chrismakuh Cheesefreak

Hello Cheesefreakers!

This is a very brought to you all by our BFF’s Megan and Seth from Boston (who we miss terribly).  They were kind enough to send along to us some tasty delights from Zingermans – a food shop from MI with a good sense of humor and very enthusiastic cheesemongers.

So Zingermans was so thorough in their explanation of the cheeses I think It’s worth giving them some screentime and writing what they wrote about the cheeses:

1. L’Etivaz

2. Emmetaler

3. Comte from Essex Street Market

4. Antique Gruyere

In short – all of these were similar cow’s milk hard cheeses with subtle differences.  I think the biggest surprise was the Comte, we’ve had it on the show before, but never even close to this good.  It’s a pretty general cheese from France, so I think you really have to fight to find a good one of these.  Bob also loved the Antique Gruyere.  All of these were excellent-ish.  All good for parties and all good for cooking with.  and Zingerman’s is truly charming.

The best part of this was it was a surprise from our friends – we love you guys!!!  Merry Chrismakuh.

07
Dec
10

Episode 26: the Lemonheads

The CheeseFreak is back in action!  I know my ‘dozens and dozens’ of viewers have been wondering:

Well I’ve just been darn busy with my new job, but I’ve decided to get back into the cheese action.  I have a ton of old footage I haven’t posted and some new I’d like to shoot, so to all my new DC peeps, if you’re into eatin’ cheese with me let me know and we’ll get together and start the cheesefreakin’!!

So, where were we – well it was May in Boston and I sat down with my good friend Meri to try tres excellente cheeses from Fromaggio’s (that fancy cheese store in the South End).  Awwwww the South End – I’m mega sentimental about my old guppie hood. Well I’m just sentimental about Boston in general….

So here’s what we ate:

1. Limburger: Boy,was I reluctant to try Limbuger after all those Loony Tune memories of this cow cheese being supposedly so stinky and strong.  It’s supposedly the world’s stinkiest cheese.

well as luck would have it this cheese is actually fabulous. Limburger was originally invented in Germany by Belgian Monks (I don’t understand either) who wash the cheese in beer (mmmmmm beer), which gives it the stink.  It is mild, slightly salty and fruity.  This Limburger is actually made in Wisconsin and is aged 6-12 weeks.  It’s best with beer (duh) and/or cider.

2. Caprotto: OMG this is an amazing cheese. Go get it right now.  It’s a goat’s mild cheese from Salerno, Italy.  What amazing is the cheese made from goats who graze under lemon trees and they end up eating a lot of lemons.  The cheese actually has a lemon flavor.  Seriously yo, it’s incredible.   Here’s where Salerno is, btw:

and for some reason all this talk of Lemons go me thinking of the Lemonheads, that grunge band who did the cover of Mrs. Robinson.  Yes kids, we did dress like this and this sound actually was popular.  Don’t judge.

3. Bleu des Basques:  Well you might have noticed I’m a bit obsessed with cheeses from the Basque region, especially the blues. This one is actually from the Pyrenees Mountains in the French Basque region.  This is an excellent blue and pretty fab for parties.

Actually all three of these were just great, a rarity on this show.

Soooooooo I’m happy to be back!

07
Jun
10

Episode 25: We likey Harry’s!

Hi All – please forgive my very excessive absence!  I’ve started a new job and have been wicked busy with moving Bob and I to a new city!  DC that is.  It’s a now capital cheese show!

So, I have a bit of footage shot back up in New England…this puppy is a part two of the night we shot this winter with Sonal and Mahin.  Bob snuck into this one too!

After that dreadful trip to Trader Joe’s cheeses, I also went to this hole in the wall cheese shop in Boston’s Haymarket (it’s the market where they sell wholesale, total pandemonium but worth going to) called Harry’s.  It was kinda scary on the outside but inside is filled with this awesome world of cheese that’s wicked cheap!  It was kinda like going to willy wonka’s factory. Go now!!!!  Roy there is awesome.  It’s at 98 Blackstone St. what are you waiting for?

Here’s what we devoured:

1. Parrano from Holland. WE LOVED THIS CHEESE – Bob went apesh*t over this one.  It won the 1st runner up for world cheese competition several times.  It’s a mild nutty salty and sweet (drooling yet?) cow cheese which is semi-firm and has a smooth golden color aged 5 months.  They make it in big mofo 20lbs wheels and it is technically a gouda. It is marketed like an Italian Parmagianno Reg.   People say it’s a Dutch cheese that think it’s Italian.  Whateves, it’s just damn good… go get it now!  It made us feel like:

2. Morbier from France.  This is a cow cheese which split the crowd.   It’s recognizable by it’s vegetable ash (some would say tastes like ‘ass’) strip.   It’s a semisoft cheese aged 45 days to 3 months.  It’s made in the village of Morbier France (Comte region).  It’s got a yellow rind.

It has a pretty cool story behind why it has the line of ash.   Basically the cheesemakers would have leftover milk from the morning cheese and they would pour  into the mold and it would only fill half the mold.  So they would cover it would a layer of ash to protect it and then pour the evening milk on top of it.  So basically this cheese was born out of not wanting to waste milk.  Now they do it on purpose.

Some of us hated this cheese as the ash layer is well, ash-y.  I thought it was ok, some hated it.  Well at least it’s purdy where it’s made:

3. Danish Blue from Denmark.  This is a GREAT blue.  Go get it. This is a semi-soft cow blue aged 8-12 weeks.  you can eat the rind.  It was invented in early 1900s by Marius Biel trying to imitate a Roquefort style cheese.  It’s milder and sharp and salty and served crumbled on crackers or a salad.  It’s hella good like No Doubt.

20
May
10

hiya ya’ll

Well the cheesefreak has moved to Washington DC, and I’m all behind on all parts of my life because of the move.  New footage is already taped – just need time to actually type them up.  Gimme a little bit and I’ll have them up!




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