Can you believe it’s already October? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to say goodbye to the summer, but good Lord! Where does the time go? Fall is officially here and the gentler weather is rapidly approaching!! The leaves on the trees have begun to change from green to gold, the southern air is suddenly not quite so humid and the nighttime winds encourage you to bring a sweater when going out for the evening. Much like the changes in the weather, expect your cheese counter to change as we cycle in some seasonal favorites! Here are just a few we’ll be featuring this month:
Brique du Nord
A firm cheese from the north of France and kissing cousin to the famous Mimolette, Brique du Nord takes on a more brick-like shape created mainly for practical reasons as the original round shape of the Mimolette wheel is difficult to cut, handle and merchandise. The name Brique du Nord is a reference to the paving stones commonly found lining the streets of northern France. Like Mimolette, Brique du Nord is made with Annatto added to the milk, coloring the paste and giving it that stark orange glow (a color we found perfect for representing autumn’s notorious harvest holiday)! We’ll be carving some ghastly, ghost-like images into the rinds of this cheese throughout the month. Come judge our artistic integrity (or lack thereof), and by all means, come and taste our cheese!
Toma by Point Reyes Farmstead, California
Although one might associate Toma with spring or summertime, it’s a 3 month aged gouda-like cheese that can (and should) be enjoyed year round! Scott Frank from Point Reyes Farmstead recently paid us a visit. He taught some cheese classes at the Cooking School, did some trainings with our cheese crews, and brought with him a bounty of Toma cheese for the good people of the Carolinas to taste. Well, the people have spoken and they love their Toma!! We decided to feature Toma for the month to help spread the word that although Point Reyes Farmstead does indeed make some of the best blue cheese found on American soil, they’ve added Toma to their line up! The tag line for this delicious cheese is “Any Time, Any Table”, and after you taste Toma, you’ll know why. Appropriate for any occasion, Toma will please any palette. The word Toma means “cheese made by the farmer himself” in Italian. This particular farmstead cheese is a semi-firm, cow’s milk table cheese with a delightful tasting, textural natural rind. Toma, Kosher-certified, gluten-free and made with a vegetarian rennet, is creamy, buttery and grassy. It’s an everyday snacking cheese with an uplifting tangy finish! Toma also makes a perfect ingredient for grilled cheese sandwiches, mac ‘n cheese, omelets, burgers, sauces, pimento cheese and casseroles. Another delicious American original by California’s Point Reyes Farmstead!
Rogue River Blue by Rogue Creamery, Central Point Oregon
This cheese is exceptional! Made from the Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice and released once a year, Rogue River Blue is easily the most artfully crafted cheese made in America. The milk used to make this cheese comes from cattle who graze seasonally upon elevated pastures alongside Oregon’s Rogue River, eating the wide variety of native grasses, hop clover, wild herbs and Himalayan blackberries found there. It’s no secret that great cheese is crafted by using great milk, and an animal’s diet deeply affects the quality and flavor of that milk. Some of the qualities found in this amazing, seasonal blue can certainly be attributed to the milk, but not all. You see, after this cheese is made, it’s wrapped with Syrah grape leaves (from a local vineyard) that have been macerated in Oregon’s own Clear Creek Pear Brandy. So many unique flavors collide and embrace in your mouth as you taste this cheese… it’s no wonder it was voted best American cheese at the World Cheese Awards last year in Birmingham, England and took best in show at the American Cheese Society judging in Montreal, 2011. So friend, if you’ve got a hankering for a hunka blue cheese, come on down! We’ve got the best blue cheese in town!