Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For the Love of Cheese...Ode to the Cow

     If I were to make a list of my favorite things  {all things not just food} Cheese would be very near the top of the list.  I've already professed my love of fresh mozzarella. This post is dedicated to a few of my favorite Cow Milk Cheeses, I am a big fan of both sheep & goat cheeses but today is all about my favorite animal, the Cow. {Seriously I love cows - they are the most selfless animals on the planet. Think of all they give us - Milk, Cheese, Ice Cream, Butter, Steaks, Cheeseburgers, Leather [i.e. shoes]... I love cows!} 
     I should warn you that I am not a maitre fromager, I don't know the lingo, I just know what I like.  Someday, I'll take a few lessons on the craft but until then, here's my simple analysis of the creamy goodness.
I've got a Soft Spot for Soft Cheeses
Delice de Bourgogne is a French Triple Cream made from Cow's milk. Hands down my favorite soft cheese. I love love love Delice de Bourgogne. It's so good I don't even know where to start, it's rich and buttery and oh so creamy. I think Delice de Bourgogne is The Perfect Cheese. You must try this cheese!
Saint Nectaire is a French cheese made from cow's milk raised in the volcanic Auvergne region.  If you like a little more pungent cheese, Saint Nectaire is for you. It's rich, creamy, and nutty with a slightly grassy mushroomy flavor. 
Mt Tam from Cowgirl Creamery in California. Mt Tam is a slightly firmer version of the triple cream. It's buttery and mellow.  This is a great starter cheese for the faint of heart who aren't into stronger flavors.  It's much milder than a Brie.
Something New!
Mountina When I saw Mountina at Whole Foods the first thing I noticed was the byline "An Alpine Cheese from the Mountains of...Montana" How could I not try a cheese from my home state? I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting much, Montana is known for a lot of great things but dairy isn't one of them. I was pleasantly surprised, the Mountina has some serious depth! Mountina is a semi-firm raw cow's milk cheese with a mild washed rind. It's nutty, it's sweet, it's creamy, it's fantastic! Mountina is slightly reminiscent of raclette, but milder and in my opinion better.
Something Just a Little Different
Sottocenere is one of my favorite "special" cheeses. Sottocenere is an Italian semi-soft raw cow's milk cheese with slivers of black truffle. I Love this Cheese! It's a delicate, silky, aromatic, slightly nutty cheese.  It is one of my personal favorites.
The Everyday
If you haven't noticed by now, I am really trying to each less processed foods.  This applies to snacks, meats and yes, even cheeses.  It can be hard to find small brand cheese in a lot of locals.  My favorite national brand is Tillamook. Tillamook is an Oregon Co-op, that's right, the farmers are the owners. If you visit the Oregon coast, you will see lush farms with pretty Dairy cows dotting the land. It's beautiful, the cows really do look happy & the people are so nice. I love knowing that is where my cheese comes from. If they had a Nordstrom & an Anthro, I'd move there - that's how picturesque Tillamook is. And the cheese, oh the cheese, best Cheddar ever! My favorite is the Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar. But the Medium just so happens to be the "World's Best". Don't believe me? They've got the award to prove it.
*While Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, it's important to eat full fat cheese in moderation* 

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