Episode 19: A Wonderfully Strange Time Indeed

Good friends Roger and Dan came on over and were the lucky winners of the cheesefreak lottery – they got to eat the cheeses picked by the national Cheesemonger for wholefoods, Cathy Strange.  Man, when you’re loaded like Wholefoods is, you can sure afford a fantastic cheese buyer, and Ms. Strange knows her isht!  If you haven’t – watch episode 18 to hear Cathy go through these puppies.

Roger and Dan are quite the foodies and are great guests.  If you ever get a chance to eat one of Roger’s cakes, take it – earth shattering and body fattening.

Anywhoo, here’s what we ate:

1. Bonne Bouche from Vermont Butter and Cheese. This baby placed 1st for aged goat cheese at the American Cheese Society awards.  Vermont Butter and Cheese, apparently known in the biz as VBC is up in Websterville VT and been around since the late 1984 read up on them on their website.  Here’s what they say about this cheese on their website:

“Bonne Bouche is made from pasteurized milk and set in tubs for lactic coagulation for 24 hours. The following day, the cheese curd is carefully hand ladled into moulds and drained overnight. The cheeses are then unmoulded, ashed and moved into the drying room and then into the aging room where the controlled environment is cool and humid. The entire process takes seven to ten days before the cheeses are packaged in their individual micro-caves.” Plus it’s damn pretty:

We thought it was kinda amazing.

2. Gruyere reserve wheel specific  age was 12 months.  This is a classic melting Swiss cheese.  The country makes tons of this name protected cheese in the Jura Mountains and from the Fribourg Canton.  In other words, totally gorgeous swiss land:

Whole foods cuts their cheese in house. All of these cheeses come from single source farms – a lot of which are co-ops.  It’s a salty nutty and beefy cheese and is cave aged.  It’s been made since the 13th century in huge 80 pound wheels.

This is the cheese you get on French onion soup and it’s THE fondue cheese. You know what I’ve had a fondue pot that has just sat on the shelf for years collecting dust.  Really should use it. Can’t go wrong with this stuff.

3. Parmigiano Reggiano.  OK.  Seriously.  Ok.  This is amazing cheese.  There’s no need for me  to go into it since Cathy does such an amazing job describing its history and how it is made.   Bob and I are officially addicted to this cheese now. Go get some, and some honey and go to a friend’s party – you’ll be very popular.

4. Hubbardston Blue made by Westfield Farm in good ol’ Hubbardston, Massachusetts!  This cheese won the best blue in 1993 at the AmericanCheese Society.    It kinda looks like the moon.

It’s soft, creamy, runny blue with mushroom like flavors.  It’s Cathy’s favorite goat’s milk blue!  It’s pretty darn good


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