Happy Halloween! It’s time for ghosts and goblins and other scary things. Cheese doesn’t have to be one of them. These are cheeses with big flavor and a sizable stink factor. But most importantly, they’re unarguably, whoppingly delicious. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Promise.
PS These are all available from our stars behind our cheese counter.
Torta del Casar:
From Extremadura, the rugged, “wild west” region of Spain famous for jamón ibérico
de bellota, pimentón, and from where we import our awesome gata-hurdes un-filtered
barrel olive oil (so successful here it has a cult following!), AND our Naturvie olive oils, olive jams, and salts. Named after Casar de Cáceres, the Extremaduran village where it was born. The milk of Merino and Entrefina sheep milk is curdled using the coagulant found in pistils of the purple cardoon’s blossoms, a wild thistle. An enormously flavorful cheese; fantastically creamy, funky, a bit bitter, a bit of tobacco and leather. Wrapped in burlap-like cloth in order to keep it from oozing away; bring the whole thing to the table and scoop away (with wooden spoons!).
From the southern Champagne region, Langres (named for the village and its plateau) is
dense, oozy, and creamy, perfect for poking at and scooping up with a crusty baguette. Red-orange rind, blond paste—eat every bit of it. Redolent, but not hit-you-over-the-head stinky. Washed with brine, funky, milky, and frankly, show-stopping.
From Normandy, AOC-protected since 1975, soft, wonderfully smelly washed rind cheese with a big beefy, nutty flavor. Five bright orange strips of raffia bind its edge and
help keep its form during ripening.
From the raw milk of the Feete family’s 80 Jersey cows in southwestern Virginia comes Meadow Creek Grayson. The Feete use strict ecological farming practices, and only make
cheese when the cows are on pasture—from April to October. Grayson is oniony, beefy, and big, with a beautiful golden hue and a texture like just-melting butter. Awesome with a malty brown ale.
You smell it coming. Open it up, and the whole room will notice. Britain’s smelliest, scariest, ballsiest cheese. “Like a rugby changing room.” But its bark is bigger than its bite. The remarkable smell of the cheese comes from the rind, which is washed in perry (pear cider). Cut into the leathery rind and the paste runs and oozes fabulously. The cheese is sweet, complex, and pudding-y. Made by Charles Martell in Gloucestershire, England, in small batches. Pair with a cold, crisp cider.