Round Two of Cheese Tasting
After several delivery schedule changes we received the latest sample of the cheese tasting.
We had plans to be away for the weekend of the arrival of our latest sample so arranged for my lovely neighbor to receive the cheese box for me. She was happy to do so and brought it across to me upon my arrival back home. She had stored the cheese properly as I had asked and we had the first tasting the following day after letting it sit at room temperature for over an hour.
Appearance: The first thing we noticed was that the rind was not tacky as before and it appeared to be slightly thicker on both cheeses than the previous samples.
Both have the same coloration with -125 slightly firmer in texture.
The size seems to be appropriate for two people to sample and taste over several days to try and notice any suttle differences, but we really do not detect much difference between the two.
Aroma: Really the aroma is about the same in each. Pleasant and mild but really don't notice or detect any differences in the two.
Each have a nice nutty character.
Texture: Upon tasting the cheese from the center it has a smooth creamy texture which I like in this style, not too crumbly. While working towards the rind the texture became a little firmer, with -125 being the firmest.
Sample -125 appearend to have more mechanical holes.
The rind is not tacky this time and quite pleasant tasting.
We liked the texture and it leaves a nice after taste on the end of tasting, bidding you for another sample.
Flavor: We felt that the flavor wasn't much different in either and not much different than the first tasting, although we really like the cheeses.
Neither is overly salty, but pleasant enough. Maybe with more age the salt flavor will come through more.
Marketability: I think it definately has a place on the market, as long as it isn't priced too high, as there is a much competition.
I think a value of $15 - $20 a pound may go well.
The Name: As far as this goes, we were completly puzzled.
We were not sure if it was Alpha Tolman or what! It did not seem to have any association with the cheese to us. Possibly if you are local to the area it may have some meaning, but do not think it would apply to a national market.
Food/Drink Pairings: Again as before, a good english style Ale or bitter style beer would go well with the cheese and mango chutney on a mild cracker.
Cooking: It would go well with some Itallian style ham as a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, pressed as a Panini.
Overall, we like the cheese but it is still a little young tasting. Maybe the next tasting will show more improvement.