Sunday, July 4, 2010

Caveman Blue is Good Food. Seriously.

Cheese is a basic food. It really is. Of course there are different ways to classify cheese: industrial, commodity, specialty, artisan, farmstead,and others terms that exists now and are will be created in the future. At it's core though, cheese is a basic, primitive food.

Cheese is milk that has"gone bad" in a controlled environment. It can be made with very few ingredients. All you need is milk, salt and a coagulant. You can make cheese with lemon juice, buttermilk, animal rennet, synthetic or true vegetarian rennet. It amazes me that all the same ingredients can be manipulated into so many delicious ways.

A great example of taking just a few ingredients and turning it into a variety of products comes to us from Rogue Creamery in Oregon. In addition to a few other cheeses, they make a slew of different blue cheeses, each with their own distinctive flavor profile.

Seasonally made Rogue River Blue is one of the most anticipated cheeses on the scene. Wrapped in grape leaves that have been soaked in pear brandy this cheese is moist and supple with earthy and tree fruit flavors.

Echo Mountain is one of my favorite blues in all of the cheesey kingdom. Earthy with a slight tang brought about by the blending of cow and goat milk make this a complex, subtle, salty piece of heaven.

Then of course is their newest cheese: Caveman Blue. Aged up until one year this cheese is a bit like eating butter. A compound butter made with vanilla. That sounds like such a passive way of describing this cheese. Saute some bacon in a pan. Drain most of the bacon fat and put it in a glass jar in your fridge for use later on down the line. Then take a grass-fed beef patty and cook it up in that wee bit of bacon fat. Put that patty on a toasted hamburger bun that had VT Butter and Cheese Creamery cultured butter with sea salt on it and eat it outside after mowing the lawn. That's a much better way to describe what's going on in this cheese.

Beefy, salty, grassy and buttery with a whiff of bacon. There's also a bit of sweetness to the milk, but I couldn't think of how to add that to the hamburger description. This cheese is obscene. Another fantastic addition to a great line! Don't be jealous Echo Mountain, you're still my favorite.


sbonds said...

I'm still hoping to try Rogue's Brutal Blue sometime soon. So far the only place I know to get it is at the creamery in Central Point, OR. I don't get down there often.

Cheesewench said...

I've never had the opportunity to try it myself, but if you can't get out west you can buy it online-although not at what's up with that David?

Crow said...

A cheesy start to your day. Hope you like it!

Hugh said...

We just started carrying it in our store - the first night I had it melted on a ribeye with a malbec (jesus), then a couple nights later I tried it with the Rogue Mocha Porter. It seriously tasted like chewy bacon dipped in chocolate. Still would say the River Blue is my favorite, but it's close!

Jessica said...

Who knew there were so many varieties of cheese? I moved recently to Wisconsin and have come to love the delicious cheese curd treat that litters the grocery stores. I believe that all home economics classes (do they still teach that in high schools?) should do what our teacher did and make everyone taste a bunch of different kinds of is an enlightening experience!

Lo said...

That description has me completely drooling on my keyboard. A good blue is a glorious thing to behold!