A few nights ago I finally sat down with my new box of cheese, glad as ever to have free, expirimental cheese
from "The Hill". I forced my lovely fiancee to professionally analyze these 2 contestants with me for some other
reactions. We kept it simple, cheese, knife, cutting board and water.
Lets get down to the real nitty gritty!
Appearance: Not a huge differance here except the size of the eyes and the fact that 109's rind looks more like
Mars than the more uniform 125. Both rinds have rich red and brown colors, very appropriate for the style.
Aromas: This is where it got good, we got buttery notes off of both but 109 was more complex. Notes included
cashew butter, wet hay and fondue. The rind of 125 did smell chemically but the paste was great.
Texture: The texture was pretty spot on ( based on the classics ) for the age. 125 came off
kind of mealy after a few chews. Both rinds were a nice break in texture and none too gritty.
On this second round of the Birth of a Cheese tasting for Culture Magazine and the Cellars at Jasper Hill, we continued to imagine how science played a role during the transition from the first iteration of the cheeses to the two that were currently in front of us. Nerds that we are, we analyzed the cheeses’ appearance, aroma, texture, and flavor while keeping in mind the chemistry and microbiology of these Alpine-style, washed rind cheeses.
The end of this week sees the start of the Slow Food Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy. Held every two years it is a spectacular event staged in the streets of this ancient town. Small scale cheesemakers and affineurs from all over the world converge to sell cheese, talk cheese, consume cheese and generally have a good time.
As if attending this event, wasn't enough of a privilege, the trip to Europe also affords many overseas visitors such as me, the opportunity to visit cheesemakers and producers in situ. This year, I have been spending time with my friend and colleague Norbert Sieghart of Kaeskuche. Norbert is a wholesaler and exporter of cheeses from Bavaria and the Allgaü region, a mountainous and spectacularly beautiful area reaching across from southern Germany into western Austria.