Seeing as the rest of the world is paying close attention to the developments transpiring on a daily basis in Greece, why not explore the cheeses that hail from this European nation?
Did you know that according to Greek mythology, Aristaios, the son of Apollo and Cyrene, was delivered to Greek civilization bearing the gift of cheese-making to the Greeks. The Greeks viewed this gift as one of everlasting value and it sure has sustained through to the present day.
And what of our US counterpart? How about Maine? A state that many people don't view as being known for cheesemaking, but prepare to be surprised.
So let's dive right in with two fresh cheeses this week:
From Seal Cove Farm in Lamoine, Maine we have their fresh chevre brick. Seal Cove Farm has been in existence since 1976, moving locations in 1996 to accomodate their need for increased space and has thrived ever since. They make a lineup of fresh and aged goat's milk cheeses and a few mixed milk cheeses. They are highly influenced by French cheesemaking techniques but each and everyone of their cheeses is completely theirs. What of their chevre brick? Crafted with pasteurized goat's milk, this is a star of a cheese. It is chalky, citrusy, grassy, milky and lactic with a melt in your mouth feel, this chevre is infused with the rugged and ocean swept Maine air. I personally prefer the plain brick but they also make bricks infused with: walnuts or cranberries (perhaps a concept for a Thanksgiving cheese?) or blueberries.
Image courtesy of http://www.mainegoatcheese.com/
Moving across the Atlantic to Greece, Feta would have been an obvious choice but how about Manouri instead? Manouri is crafted with the drained whey from the production of feta. It can be made with sheep or goat's milk. Unlike Feta, Manouri is semi-firm with a creamier and rounder mouthfeel. The briny taste that one is accustomed to with Feta, is most certainly not present here -- it's all milky bright freshness. Great drizzled with honey or crumbled into salads or melted into eggs, this is quite the versatile cheese.
Image courtesy of http://www.murrayscheese.com/