Tasting Tuesday: Crema de Blue and Netherlands Cheeses
Each week we taste a sampling of cheeses in our Cambridge office and discuss their flavors, textures, and our general impressions of them. Yum!
Crema de Blue
Cow's Milk - New Jersey
Kate E. - I love the smell of this cheese. It's like fresh, french bread. This makes the briny taste extra surprising. The mold, which is very green, tastes like seaweed. The texture is grainy or smooth, depending where you bite in.
Lauren - I was surprised by an initial impression of toasted bread or honey-roasted nuts in my "first sniff," which gave way to an exceptionally briny, ocean character when I tasted it. A dark washed rind encloses a bone-white paste with a touch of graininess due to lots of mold, which reminded me of seaweed, oysters, and ocean breezes.
Becca - Smell pungent, of sharp mold and yeast. Tastes creamy and briny. The mold is very textural, almost like eating small pieces of seaweed. The paste melts very quickly on the tongue.
Amy - Smells like a meadow near an ocean. I'm struck by the look of the cheese, the mold is very vibrant and deep green, not at all blue or gray. The flavor is very briny and slightly meaty. The cheese is creamy, but the large amount of mold interrupts the texture and makes is a bit grainy.
Final thought by Lauren:
This cheese is not shy: pair just a bit with some salty crackers and a light, bright wine for an instant trip to the seashore!
Melkbus Baby Swiss
Cow's Milk - Netherlands
Lauren - This "baby" Swiss was no pushover; easily identifiable as a classic Swiss, but with some subtle sophistication. With a sweet, milky baby smell, a subtle nutmeg-nuttiness soon develops as a background note. A waxed rind ensures a very consistent texture and surprisingly velvety mouthfeel throughout. I'd love to use this cheese in a pasta bake or in a salad with some toasted pecans!
Amy - Smooth and not crumbly and very Swiss smelling. The taste is milky and slightly pine-y, perhaps a little minerally or chalky. There is a very long finish to the cheese with the flavor lingering for quite a while.
Kate E. - This raw milk cheese is very sweet. You can taste the creamy milk. This is something that would go perfectly in a pasta dish. The texture is springy and light, and leaves a lingering taste.
Jesi - Sweet, citrusy aroma and a springy texture. Sweet and robust with a slightly bitter taste toward the finish.
Becca - Smells lemony and sharp. Has traditional Swiss flavors, but more subtle. Very sweet. It's firm, with a springy consistency and would make a great grilling cheese.
Final thought by Amy:
I found it to be addictive: Not something I loved at first bite, but something I came back for over and over again.
Cow's Milk - Netherlands
Kate E. - The taste is something like fried butter. It's the smell of grilled cheese browning.
Becca - Smells very sweet and butter. Taste slightly yogurty, but very familiar. Would make a great cheese dip!
Amy - Smells like melted butter, which reminds me of grilled cheese or popcorn at the theater. It melts in your mouth and is very creamy. It's flavor is like a young cheddar, tangy but not sharp. It reminds me of the macaroni and cheese from my childhood.
Lauren - Easily my favorite of the day, this cheese also had a few surprises in store: a firm-but-velvety texture and first tastes of tangy yogurt and just a hint of acidic fruit (think strawberry or pineapple) led the way, but quickly shifted to a background of browned butter, toffee, and salted caramel. This dense and creamy cheese has a long-lingering finish. While I'm sure it'd be a fantastic addition in cooking, this is definitely the kind of cheese I would snack on all day long, along with some crisp apple slices. YUM!
Jesi - Super buttery and smooth. Mild, but not boring. I think of this one as kind of a reference taste; if someone tells you to imagine what cheese tastes like, you'll probably think of something pretty similar to this.
Final thought by Kate E.:
The cheese melts in your mouth; it's salty and smooth. You don't need to do anything with it, just eat it straight.