The Birthday Cheese

One thing to know about Hubbs is that he loves cheese. LOVES cheese. So special days for him often involve cheese tastings. I went to Whole Foods and picked out four varieties of soft cheese and at home pulled out some dates and a bowl of candied pecans to go with.

I’ll walk you through what we tasted, starting with our winner on the right, and moving clockwise around the slate from there.

.   .   .

This Roaring 40’s blue is delish. Hubbs’ eyes lit up when he saw the label – he had seen it referenced and highly recommended by Gary Vaynerchuck on a show about Port. Of course we then had to pull out the Port and pull up the episode and do an impromptu taste-along. Although the Roarin 40s looks very “blue,” it doesn’t taste like other moldy cheeses I’ve tried. Its got a very interesting and complex flavor and texture, and is actually somewhat sweet. This will definitely make an appearance at our next cheese tasting.

.   .   .

This Cashel Irish Blue, and I’m not kidding here, smells and tastes like licking a sheep. Its not that its awful, its just that being around it overwhelmingly gives the impression of being at a petting zoo. And I’m questioning what to do with the rest of this wedge now that the tasting is over – I’m not sure what flavors will be enhanced by the straw/manure/animal quality that we’ve got going on. 

.   .   .

The Red Square was intense. It actually reminded me of going to work with my dad when I was little – he was a landscape architect, and this cheese smelled strongly of the blueprints and special (toxic) drafting markers that they used in the 80s. And then as you taste and swallow it, the air feels heavy, like you’re breathing in a deep breath full of ammonia.

.   .   .

This Teleme was the perfect finish around the cheese plate. With all the other cheeses tasting and smelling so strong, it was very pleasant to have a mild, creamy pallet cleansing cheese to enjoy. My favorite way to eat this was to split open a date, stuff a chunk of this Teleme inside, and top it with a pecan. I think I could eat those all day.

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2 responses to “The Birthday Cheese

  1. Thanks to your hubbs (our awesome son in law) our whole family loooooves cheese fantasticness…

  2. If the irish blue will melt, you might try it as a substitute cheese in broccoli-stilton soup or in gorgonzola sauce with gnocchi. Dishes like those are how I manage to cope with those sorts of cheeses (powdery mold, ew)..

    James and I get very excited when we come across a proper cheesemonger, though we tend to pair it with baguette and maybe nice oil and vinegar. I tend to favor sheepy cheese like Ossau-Iraty and Manchego 😀 You guys should come out here sometime and we’ll use it as an excuse to go on a cheese tour.

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