Edible Hudson Valley has a great piece on the notion of Terroir and how it pertains to cheese making in the Hudson Valley. Includes interviews with Peter Kindel from Hawthorne Valley Farm, Liz Thorpe from Murray’s, and many more:
“The Hudson Valley is a very complex, micro region for cheesemaking,” Thorpe says. “Considering how small it is, the diversity of cheese made is pretty extraordinary. You have producers that work with all three of the major milk types—cow, goat and sheep—which is unusual.”
Thorpe says the variable climate of the Hudson Valley has a direct correlation to the flavor of the cheese, and results in subtle differences throughout the year that are reflected in the terroir of the product. “We live in a four-season environment, and that’s not true for many regions of the world where cheese is made,” she explains. “There is a very definite difference in what’s growing from the ground in April versus September versus February, and the milk of animals in that environment is going to be different as a result of the change in their diet.” This means that Hudson Valley cheese is never “uniform,” but instead the flavor evolves with seasonal forage, and the cheese changes in fat and protein content, reflecting the agricultural output of the land. But admittedly, it may take somewhat of a discriminating palate to pinpoint the exact character differences season to season.
Read the full piece here.
Cottage cheese gets a bad rap: most of us know it only from the supermarket tubs, usually in some low- or non-fat version, to be eaten by suffering dieters with some pineapple or peaches from a can plopped on top.
It’s a shame, because the real thing can be delicious and more complex than the spackle-like substance most frequently encountered. This one is Ben’s Cottage Cheese, made on the Lower East Side of New York. With large, irregular curds that hold their shape but give gently in the mouth, it has a wonderfully milky, tangy flavor, with just the right balance of sweet and salty.
Purchased at Murray’s Cheese.
(Note: Brighton Beach is another great source of cottage cheese. The Russian groceries down there will often have multiple vats of cottage cheese, in different curd sizes and styles, that you can purchase by the pound.)
Tomme de Chevre Aydius, from the village of Aydius in the Béarnaise Pyrénées region of France, is a washed rind goat’s milk tomme, aged for up to 6 months, after which the aging continues in the Murray’s caves to bring them to perfection.
With a pungent, grassy aroma and a dense, eye-pocked creamy paste and melting mouthfeel, this tomme is mild but complex, sweet, nutty and herbaceous, with hints of lemon and fruit.
Purchased at Murray’s Cheese.
Nearly any cheese—if it’s tasty to begin with—can stand alone as dessert. But how do you distinguish a cheese that’s meant for dessert from one that’s better suited as an appetizer? Surprisingly, all cheese has the versatility to go from pre- to post-dinner. With these few pointers, learn how to make any cheese look downright dessert-y.
These tips will come in handy if you need something sweet to serve in a pinch, but they’re also great considerations to make when turning any cheese into a dessert course. The idea is to offset the savory quality of cheese by introducing something sweet, with an aim to create compelling pairings by matching the saltiness in cheese with the sugary quality of something else.
(Photo ©2012 TheKitchn.com)