Since last year I have been having a rather tricky time finding perfectly ripened, stinky, creamy, gooey Les Freres from Crave Brothers. As luck would have it about 6 weeks ago I found a Petit Frere and decided to hold it for a while.
Like a good girl I kept the cheese in my crisper, and periodically would check it for any weird molds, or funkiness. Every few days I would open up the package, let it breathe, re-wrap it, flip the cheese over and put it back in the crisper.
Yesterday it was time. My inspiration was Brie en Croute. Something I've heard about, but never had. Essentially you take some soft-ripened, bloomy rind cheese, top it with something yummy like a fig jam, or fruit and nuts, wrap it in puff pastry and pop it in the oven.
So, yesterday at work I took the Petit Frere, put it in puff pastry, I forgot eggs for the egg wash popped it in the oven for 10 minutes on 425 and then bumped it down to 350 for 15 minutes more. When I opened the oven door I was knocked out by the smell. Sooooo good. The cheese which had a slight funk before going into the oven came out smelling a bit funky and a little flowery. It had also squirted out of the bottom a bit, so we opened up the top and put all that cheese right back in. The cheese had a sweet slightly tangy milk flavor with a little bit of a white button mushroom thing going on. We noshed on this with some balsamic onions and a bottle of wine made by a friend of one of the crew. Perfect way to end a day of work.
So, this all leads me up to the giveaway. This Christmas Santa got me a bunch of books, including the book The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin. I got a lot of cheese books this past Christmas and this one is a lot of fun to read. Look for a background on Jeanne from Cheese Underground on pg. 52 One of the things I like most about this book was learning about cheesemakers I didn't know before. The cheese world in general for good or for ill has a category for "Celebrity Cheesemakers". This book does a good job of talking about cheesemakers you might not have heard of, and how they started on the path to the tests, and commitment it takes to become a Master Cheesemaker in WI. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from Joe Widmer
You saw my guys out at the vats flipping the cheese--a lot of that's done with machines now at other plants. We're still leaning over the vats. What do you want, Grandma's doughnuts, or Dunkin' Donuts?
Full Disclosure: Shortly after putting up the Limburger post I got an email from a representative for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board asking if I'd like to get a copy of this book and do a review of it. I told her that I'd already gotten a copy, but would pass it along to my readers if they wanted to send me one.
So, now I have this extra book and I want to send it to you. But how will I choose? If you want to enter all you have to do is tell me about either one of your favorite cheeses (hopefully not one I've already written about), cheesemakers, or cheese shops. That's it. Send me an email with your pick, a brief description why your pick rocks and your name. I will assign numbers to the entries based on the order I receive them, and pick the winner from a hat. I can't wait to read your suggestions!
Yes, I will ship outside of the U.S.A.
Yes, I still wish there was a Master Cheesemaker title that included and was available to all cheesemakers in any state.