Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 609 : SCS Version 8.0, Dispatch #4

Washed Rind Cheeses -- Stinky, Pungent, and all around fantastic. They tend not to be for the faint of heart, that's for sure. But boy they will knock your socks off in all the right sorts of ways.

From Oregon, we have River's Edge Chevre, you might remember them from our Rosh Hashanah cheese plate with the cheese, Mayor of Nye Beach. But for our purposes today I thought I'd introduce you to Astraea -- a raw goat's milk cheese aged for four months. It has been washed with Vietnamese cinnamon, dried chipotle peppers, and white pepper giving the cheese a rustic smoky, piquant, rich smoothness on the exterior with a bright white milky lactic interior. An excellent collision of flavor profiles that functions in perfect harmony -- that's what washed rind cheeses are all about folks!

Image courtesy of http://threeringfarm.com

And what of it's Canadian counterpart?

Also a firm goat's milk cheese, Cape Vessey is crafted by Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company in Picton, Ontario. It has been washed with the local Prince Edward County cider and aged for three to four months. No spice meeting milkiness here folks! It's all about the floral, fruity sweetness of the cider mixed with that classic washed brine-y farmsteady-ness on the exterior and a round creamy lactic interior. Perfect with a glass of fruit forward light red wine like a nice Cotes du Rhone.

My favorite part about washed rind cheeses is how you tend to receive such an interesting collision of flavors between the interior and the exterior of the cheese that it really awakens the senses and gives your taste buds a jolt.

Stay tuned next week for Version 9.0 of our SCS spotlights folks!

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