Episode 13: Recessionista Cheesefreak

Ok so I’ve had lots of feedback (yes believe it or not some people are watching – shocking I know) that the cheeses I’ve been eating on the show are impossible for folks in the burbs to find (probably true) and too expensive and fancy (not really true) and that I needed to get my butt to an ordinary grocery store or Trader Joe’s and buy some easier to find and more normal cheeses for the show.

Ask dear viewers and ye shall receive.

We headed on out to Trader Joe’s in lovely-esque Hanover, MA and dug up three tasty and easy to find cheeses for you all to try,  I figured I should go for cheeses which folks normally wouldn’t try because they had weird names or looked weird, well besides the smoked gouda, which was recommend by both my friend’s Amanda and Claire separately.

I was joined my awesome friend Chris (lawyer) for this show – he’s a darn good guest because he knows better than to just let me flap the whole time.

All Trader Joe’s cheese are the Trader Joe’s ‘brand’ I’m assuming they have deals with cheesemakers who then they repackage….isn’t that their whole gig?

Here goes:

1. Smoked Gouda –So Gouda is a town in Holland. This is the dutch cheese that everyone knows. It’s always made from whole milk and the production is very automated.  It’s been made in Holland since the 12th century and should be eatin with beer in hand (mmmmmmm beer).  It gets its spongy texture from a process called ‘washing the curd’ – once the cheese curd is built up and cut – you wash away some of the whey using hot water.  Kinda cool.

So my snobby cheese books say that Gouda is “one of the most unexciting cheeses imaginable.” Well f-you snobs.  Chris and I really liked it!

2. Comte, sometimes called ‘gruyere de comte’– this is made in France in a very ‘sound of music’ beautiful part of the Alps in a bunch of small towns.  This is one of those origin name controlled cheeses that can only come from one area.  It’s a raw cow’s milk cheese.  It’s usually aged 180 days and it’s the most commonly made French cheese (who knew – I had never heard of it – I mean – really?  More than brie? – really?).   What’s cool about this cheese is that it takes over 120 gallons of milk to just make one wheel!

It is supposedly one of the world great cheeses – we were like ‘meh.’  Kinda flavorless zzzzzz.

3. Mimolette Francaise – or ‘the nuclear orange cheese.’  This is a french copy of a edam or gouda like cheese.  The experts say that except for its color, this is on of the blandest cheeses out there – we concur.  The even said this is the cheese that the French give to tourists who they think can’t handle real cheese ( I was like b**ch please!).  It’s aged 6 months and was Charles De Gaulle’s favorite cheese.  It seems like it would be good to melt and good for parties.  The wacky thing  about this cheese is that little cheese mites exist in the rind, and that if you leave it for 2 years , they eat away the rind until it looks like a cantaloupe and supposedly then the cheese is very yummy.  Whateves, I ‘m not keeping around a cheese with mites for two years to find out.

So the idea was that theses cheese were supposed to be less expensive than my ‘fancy’ cheeses I get in the city – lo and behold – they were massively more expensive, but you did get more cheese for your money….but who’s seriously going to eat all that freakin’ cheese… the portions are crazy huge.   Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone, but I can only eat so much cheese before I start to get all way full feeling and just have to stop and roll over and rot for an hour.


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