On the Cheese Slate | Kerrygold Irish Dubliner

“The classic flavor combination brings out the sweet, nutty, rich flavor of Dubliner and swirls and tumbles it together with the malty, caramel, bitter flavor of a perfect ping of Irish Stout.”

Yes, it does indeed do all that.

Cows roam freely on emerald pastures allowing for rich milk for cheese (and of course my house butter, Kerrygold). Like all other Kerrygold cheeses, Dubliner is made with summer milk from grass-fed cows, using traditional methods. Aging for at least a year, the cheese develops the elements of a mature Cheddar, the sweet nuttiness of a Swiss and the piquant bite of aged Parmesan. It’s a little cheddary a little smooth–all with a rounded flavor and a bit of sweetness. With a pint of your favorite microbrew or cider it is simply lovely for a plougman’s lunch on a rainy Sunday by the fire.

Region: Ireland

Milk: Cow

Age: 12 months

Pairing: Stout (beer)

Images: Kerrygold.com

Additional ideas:

Ploughman's sandwich2

PLOUGHMAN’S SANDWICH (via Kerrygold)

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On the Slate | Oriol de Montbrú

I was pleasantly surprised by this creamy buffalo milk cheese from Spain.  Pere and Imma, the cheese makers, who began making this cheese in 1989 with milk from their own herd at their farmhouse Montbrú in Moià, near Barcelona. Named after their son, Oriol, who has since taken over as cheesemaker.  This cheese is young and sweet with a medium texture that crumbles a bit.  Formed into small wheels it has a slight covering of blue-gray mold of Roquefort penicillin similar to Garrotxa, a pressed and hard goat cheese from Catalunya. Worth seeking out for its overall uniqueness and taste. Pair with a Saison or a light red or cava.

Region/Country: Catalunya/Catalonia | Spain

Milk: Water Buffalo

Pairings: Saison beer, light red wine, sparkling wine such as Spanish Cava 

On the Slate | Sir Francis Drake

Name: Sir Francis Drake

Milk: Triple-cream, pasteurized cow’s milk

Creamery: Cowgirl Creamery

Origin: Northern California

$/lb: $28.00

Today’s slate features a seasonal and somewhat hard to find triple-cream beauty from Cowgirl Creamery, Sir Francis Drake. This cheese a washed-rind is derived from Mt. Tam.

There’s a bit of lore it seems on how this cheese is created. And while all cheese is a happy accident I don’t think this cheese just shows up mistakenly. While I have a few calls to further untangle the mystery, here’s what I’ve come to understand.

While making Mt. Tam, an smooth, elegant triple cream, a culture goes astray. In turn the cheesemaker will then wash the outside in a dessert wine. In researching, friend, cheese lover and former cheese monger over at Grub Report revealed the specifics: its rind is washed in a fortified wine, Beaume de Venise. For the finish, pressed and macerated currants are sprinkled on top. This cheese carries a smooth texture. Also it is not as stinky as a Red Hawk but does have a nice funk. So in short, it’s available only a few times a year, when the culture for Mt. Tam is not cooperating. Get it when you see it.

Oddly, there is not a mention on Cowgirl Creamery’s website and they’ve been making this cheese for about six years it seems. Are we trying to climb to cult status? And to add more allure, it’s only available locally. Also, many cheese mongers around town have told me they keep an active waiting list of folks who want to be notified as soon as it shows up. Now I know why.

Beer Pairing: North Coast Brewing Acme IPA