Showing posts with label Kunik. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kunik. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Resolve to Eat More Cheese

It's a new year which usually means making a resolution, keeping it for a few weeks, breaking it and then feeling bad about yourself for not having the willpower to continue going to the gym. In the grand tradition of my family I've decided to make resolutions I know I'll be able to keep.

  1. I resolve to eat more sheep milk cheese. I have been loving on the goats for years now. It's time to bring more Baa Baa to my life.
  2. I will accept orange Cheddar (I'm already halfway there)
  3. I will cook more cheese-centric recipes.
  4. I will renew my membership to the ACS in a timely manner, not wait until I get a second reminder letter like I did last year.
  5. I will visit cheesemakers outside of Vermont. (Maybe Maine?)
  6. I will never watch Sex and the City part 2 ever again. My eyes, ears and soul are still recovering.
  7. I will convince my once cheese-loving nephew to stop being a wicked beastie and to love cheese again. He's 3 1/2 so this could be an uphill battle.
  8. Fondue.
  9. I will finally clean out the fridge.
  10. Battlestar Galactica is awesome!
Okay, so number 10 isn't really a resolution, but seriously, it's so good. Just thinking about watching another episode right now has got me thinking that maybe I should stop writing and just take 45 minutes off. So tempting. All I have to do is press "play". Fine. I'll continue with the post.

Hopefully you all had a fantastic holiday season and are having a great start to the new year! I spent the Christmas holiday with my brother, sister in-law and wicked beastie. For dessert we had a traditional-ish cheese plate.

You've just got to have a blue for Christmas and I brought back some Stichelton. A raw milk delicious blue that tastes like Stiltons' wilder, more flavorful cousin. Next up is the Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm in upstate New York. I have been pushing to get this cheese into our store for at least six months. Finally, my boss relented and agreed that this would be a fantastic cheese to bring in for the holiday season.

Kunik is a triple cream cheese made with goat milk and Jersey cow cream. It's also one of my favorite triple creams.

Founded in 1990 Nettle Meadow Farm primarily raises goats, although they have some sheep, some guard llamas (don't mess with a llama they will frack you up real good) and a rescue sanctuary filled with older goats, horses, and other farm animals.

When you first open the wrapping of the cheese you get notes of grass, herbs, pepper and mushrooms. The paste ripens from the outside in which means you get a nice creamy layer of cheese right under the rind and a more dense middle. On their website they call this cheese buttery, and while I agree I would like to add some more descriptors. This cheese is mushroomy, acidic, slightly salty, silky and is a bit like raw broccoli on the rind. A fantastic cheese good for a holiday, special occasion, or really any day that ends in the letter 'Y'.

Our final cheese on the plate is Ardrahan. Oh man, I really want to talk about this cheese with you right now. The problem is that talking about Ardrahan is more complex than just mentioning a cheese and what it tastes like. If I talk about Ardrahan I have to talk about Irish farmstead cheeses. If I talk about Irish famstead cheeses I have to tell you about how the industry had all but disappeared, and the people who helped bring it back, and how I want to go to Ireland and how washed rind cheeses are particulary delicious and it becomes it's own post all together.

For now I'm going to stop here and start working on the Irish farmstead cheeses post* in which I'll hopefully be able to do justice to lush green land, hard work, beaurocracy and deliciousness that all comes together to make some of the most delicious cheese on earth.

If you manage to see any Irish washed rind cheese at your local cheese counter or shop in the next few days, buy it, then when you read the upcoming post you'll have first-hand experience on the tastiness of Ireland.

*Truth is, I'm going to take a break just for 45 minutes to watch an episode of Battlestar Gallactica. Dang it! I just can't lie to you guys.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Booty from NYC part 4- the final chapter

I had no idea how much time I was going to have to spend eating these 9 cheeses. Day in and day out. Tasting them bit by bit, until I have nothing left but mac n' cheese fodder. Most of the cheese I got were great (Forsterkaase just didn't impress me) and most of the people I got to talk with were awesome (yes, I'm talking about you Saxelby). With this last post I realize how much fun I've had collecting my cheeses, tasting them, and then letting you guys in on the goods. I've got to take more cheese trips.

Ok, on with the show. Next up on the hit parade is Kunik. This cheese was a melt in your mouth, spreadable, salty, buttery delight. This was the first cheese to be devoured. Kunik is a triple creme cow/goat blend cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm in upstate NY. Usually I'm not a 3x creme gal. I find them to be salty, and a bit like eating a stick of butter. There are however exceptions, and this is one of them. It's the goat in it. The goat gives this cheese depth, and tang, and tastioscity.

Next up is Square. Yes, I know it's in a triangle. My brother pointed that out to me. I had to pinch him for being a turd. This cheese is from Twig Farm in Vermont. Yes, another Vermont cheese. I'm biased. I know. I don't care. Vermont rules! This is a raw goat's milk cheese that I imagine is inspired by Drap. This cheese is shaped with cheese cloth, and has an indentation from the knot of the cloth. This cheese might also be inspired by Garoxxta, but it's yummier. The rind on this cheese is out of control. They call it rustic. I agree. I found it to be a bit mineraly, like wet rocks. I like that. The nutty, tangy, surprisingly creamy paste was absolutely delicious!

The only problem I had was with the rind a few days later. The rind got a distinctive Mr. Clean/ammonia odor. If you have a cheese that has developed this odor, do not throw it away-yet. Unwrap it and let it sit out on the counter and let it think about what it wants to do. A half an hour should do it, the smell should dissipate. Most of the time it's gotten that smell because it's been wrapped up too long, or tightly, or because it's just being a cranky bitchy little cheese. In this case, the rind never lost that smell. I cut around it, and ended up shaving the paste onto salad. Tasty, and a good way to save cheese. I just hate throwing out cheese. Even if it smells like Mr. Clean.

The last cheese on our journey is the Barick. Saxelby spoke about this cheese back in 2007:

"Barick Obama:
(Lazy Lady Farm, Westfield VT)
Laini Fondiller has got to have one of the busiest brains in the cheese biz. Not only is she relentless about inventing new cheeses (I think her average is about one a week) she isn't shy about giving them some pretty hilarious names. Barick is a little paving stone shaped cheese of buttery, creamy, earthy cows' milk cheese with a beautiful washed rind kissed by patches of purplish and yellow mold."

Laini is a bit of a cheeky monkey when it comes to naming her cheeses. Have you tried the Tomme de lay? Lazy Lady Farm is one of those names I always trust. I hardly ever get to eat it anymore since I'm way out here in Chicago, but I always get some of her stuff when I'm back east. It's always pounced upon, and I rarely share. This cheese is a double creme washed rind cheese. It is buttery, beefy, a bit fruity, and made me wished that I drank more so I could have a beer with it. Perhaps an IPA or something else hoppish.

For those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter! Happy Passover! If you don't celebrate, Happy Sunday!