Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday Afternoon Cheese Plate
Sealed up and starting from the upper left:
Noble Hill Reserve--Hahn's End Creamery, Maine
Havarti in Beeswax--Swallowtail Farm, Maine
Dubliner with Irish Whiskey--Kerry Gold, Ireland
Golden Ridge--Hahn's End Creamery, Maine
Dubliner with Irish Stout--Kerry Gold, Ireland
Wonderful, 'new to me,' small farmstead cheese maker from Maine. Cream cheese like spreads were also offered. Can be found at the Portland Winter Market.
My absolute favorite creamery in Maine. Hard to find, though worth the trouble, I was absolutely in love with them from the first taste of their ACS winning Eleanor Buttercup. Their cheeses can be found @ K. Hortons and Aurora Provisions, these were purchased directly from their table @ the Winter Market.
Havarti waxed with bees raised on site @ Swallowtail.
From the top:
Dubliner with Stout: Slightly nutty, grassy and hint of oats. This one seems a bit younger than the year it's aged. Texture is much creamier than the regular Dubliner and the Dubliner w/Whiskey.
Dubliner with Whiskey: Caramel is the most prominent flavor I get off of this one. The milk is sweet and nutty. Flavor profile is definitely more up front than the last and the texture feels a bit drier.
Noble Hill Reserve: I'm not even sure what style of cheese it's meant to be but, if I were betting on it, I'd peg Gouda. Creamy, but dry enough to crumble, it was like eating a raw cow's milk version of the Vermont Sheperd. Each bite carried that wonderful raw milk 'dance' that lets you know what you're eating is still alive and evolving. This was my favorite on the plate.
Swallowtail Havarti: My best comparison to this cheese is somewhat of a baby swiss. This cheese had a very distinct sour, but not spoiled, profile that lingered throughout eating. With the unique rind of natural bees wax it, not surprisingly, paired best with the honey from Slovenia(which is worth searching out. Ours was a gift from the Mrs.' cousin).
Golden Ridge: One of the most complex cheeses I've ever had, I was completely enthralled with it. While I thought it was just your basic brie/camembert style cheese it bared a nuttiness, a Cashewieness specifically, that took me by surprise. Yet there were also profiles of mushroom and creme fraiche. I would pay a good price to get a bootlegged raw milk version of this.