Episode 20: Skiing CheeseFreak Part 1: The Dog Ate My Homework. and Part 2: Toe cheese confessions.

Ok before I go into this yuppiesque show, I want you all to donate to the Haitian relief effort – www.redcross.org.  I just watched the 60 Minutes special on it and it was incredibly heartbreaking.  Go give something. Now.  Seriously. You’re indulging (myself included) in a show about fancy foods and these people have nothing. Less than nothing.  Donate Donate Donate!

Ok enough with the lecture.  I’m fortunate enough that my family was able to meet in Breckenridge, CO to go skiing over Thanksgiving (I’m epically behind on posting shows).  Like any resort town it had a cheese shop, Breckenridge Cheese and Chocolate.

As you can see in the video(s), we met with the proprietress of the shop ‘Ann Dowling.’ A lovely person and very knowledgeable about cheese. Be sure to check out their shop at www.BreckwineandCheese.com .  Ann gave us three awesome cheeses to try.

So……..we were all hanging out, and I had put out the three cheeses in the other room, and all of sudden I looked over and my brother Michael and his wife Lacey’s ‘baby’ Tucker was going at the cheeses!  It’s a damn big baby – seriously – this dog is like your own personal couch. He’s an Rhodesian Ridgeback. Funnily enough the dog went for the stanky blue Valdeon first.  It was gone in seconds.  It’s a seriously powerful cheese, I was worried the bugger was gonna blow chunks or collapse from strong cheese overload.  Luckily he made it just fine.  He was even a bit sorry….

We were left with just two cheeses (only slightly covered in dog slobber).  There was a lot of family there so this video is a bit rowdy.  We start with my dad and sister Melissa, and then repeat the show with Lacey and my stepmom Janet.  Be sure to watch to the very end of the Lacey and Janet video for a bit of funny.

Upon further research, Ms. Dowling is clearly in cohoots with Murray’s cheese shop in NYC, as both of her selections are highly sold out of their stores and their book has tons of info on them.  Hence, most of the below is out of their ‘Cheese Handbook’.

1. Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog: This is a very tasty goat cheese.  I guess it’s superfamous, but I had never had it – good stuff for all kinds of occasions.

From Murray’s “Humboldt County, California, is known for three things: growing more weed (ha!) than anywhere else in the U.S., the ubiquitous fog, and the immaculate cheese, Humboldt Fog. Pioneering cheesemaker Mary Keehn has created an American classic, at once tangy and herbal, with two moist layers divided by a delicate line of ash, and a crumbling, lactic tang that is perfection. A perfect layer cake of a cheese, and one of Murray’s best sellers. We like it best for dessert, with a rounder, juicy Riesling from California or Washington.”

I guess the mary jane stuff is true – it’s even been made into a movie:

2. Pecorino al Tartufo. Again – these are sheep cheeses from Italy, been made as far back as 25 B.C.  Rumor has it that these were the first cheeses.  A shepard, preparing for a journey, put some sheep’s milk in a bag made from a sheep’s stomach.  As the milk shook within the enzyme laden pouch it began to solidify.  Within a few hour’s time, the heat and movement made these damn fine cheeses.   Not quite the mistake that discovered penicillin, but I’ll take it as a good rumor.

Aside – I can’t hear the word shepard and not think of Mel Brooks’ Moses bit with the 15 commandments:

This particular one has truffle in it.

From Murray’s: “Those enterprising Toscani tarted up one of their many sheep cheeses with generous slabs of black truffle. Younger wheels are smooth, buttery and rindless; more aged versions are flaky beneath a hard crust. Both have the damp, earthen aroma of fungi. The creaminess of younger varieties is straight-up sexy, while the heady flavor of truffle in older wheels is leaner and more restrained.”

We – well, some of us liked and some of us thought it tasted like another kind of cheese:

Thanks to all of the fam clan for putting up with my cheese addiction and being good sports!


1 Response to “Episode 20: Skiing CheeseFreak Part 1: The Dog Ate My Homework. and Part 2: Toe cheese confessions.”

  1. April 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I really love goat cheese desserts, their are awesome. If I have guests, I just make goat cheese deserts and they love it. Are there any other good uses for goat cheese?

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