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Your most amazing cheese moment (that was all about the cheese)

  • s

I'm looking for "kill me now" quality cheeses. I've just had some unbelievable Old Amsterdam aged gouda (the person who bought it wasn't even able to tell me what exactly it was, but I've since figured out this is it) from Zabar's, an orange beauty with a rich, swooningly full taste, something reminiscent of tropical fruit, beer, and butter all at the same time, which makes no sense but that's what I tasted. It blew me away. When I popped a green grape berry in my mouth, the whole thing changed into something even more delicious. It was *yummy*, *amazing*, and *delish*, in popular CH speak! I'm sure it would be killer with, say, a glass of Orval. (What isn't...)

So: Share the names (and origin) of cheeses that knock *your* socks off! I need to expand my horizons here. Also, feel free to suggest pairings, not with a whole meal (I'm a bit too lazy for that), but with, say, a fruit, a beverage, etc. The more original the better.

I don't want to offend anybody but let's stick to cheese and leave out the story about how you were proposed over this very special piece of camembert at an amazingly beautiful farmhouse in France 20 years ago... it's *replication* we're looking for here. So the cheese must be available in the US, somewhere.

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  1. Sir Gawain,

    I've two, but they require travel:

    1) I lived a long time in Belgium, a country which has lots of wonderful cheeses of various shapes and sizes and colours and, most importantly, flavours. The aged stuff all travels reasonably well (insofar as it travels at all, and there's always more available here in these United States). But one of the best things that is simply not available in this country is really young "Gouda" (which in the Low Countries is really just the default cheese or 'jonge kaas'). Really young 'jonge kaas' is no less (and sometimes, e.g. at breakfast, even more) sublime than the ag├Ęd stuff. Fresh 'grijs brood', a smear of butter, and a slice of really young and soft '(Goudse) kaas' cannot be trumped.

    2) I am in large measure of Italian ancestry and have close ties to many of my relatives in Italy in the north of the Provincia di Caserta, where in the surrounding coastal plains one of the last hand-made mozzarella di bufala concerns still churns out its product. I've eaten the stuff in town many times, made earlier that day, and it's unimaginably wonderful. But one day, my cousin Peppino took me down to the farm where they make it. The crew of ten or so was busy squeezing off and shaping pieces and handed us some straight away. Heaven.

    If you're paying lots of money to buy mozzarella di bufala in little baggies that are a week old, all I can say is I'm glad you're helping the southern Italian economy. The stuff doesn't travel well at all and I'd rather eat really fresh locally made fior di latte here in the States. But most of all, I'd like to eat the real deal over there. Forgive me if I repeat myself, but it's heaven.

    Forget replication; thank God, for some things that doesn't work. And in any event, travel's much, much better.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Antonius

      Yes, it all sounds wonderful, but I *do* want replication. I-want-to-eat-your-cheese.

      What I want to do (now that I've tasted that Gouda) is to put together a summer cheese-and-olives (and wine) party for some friends, and I want some new exciting flavors.

      Neither Italy nor Belgium are on my itinerary in the near future, unfortunately... wish they were.

      1. re: Sir Gawain

        I'm a fan of stinky cheeses - Epoisses is my current favorite. I only indulge occasionally, but it is always a great experience. Chardonnay is supposed to be the recommended wine with this. It's salty and strong so I wouldn't have it on anything more than some good bread.

        1. re: Brandy

          A personal favorite of mine is tete de moine. It has to be shaved to get the best flavor out of it. Cutting it into cubes doesn't do it justice.

        2. re: Sir Gawain
          Bob Martinez


          That has sort of a hypnotic ring to it.

          And in spite of your disclaimer, it also sounds like it might be associated with a special moment.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            How very perverse of you, Drug Czar.

      2. Not an epiphany, but an annual indulgence: River Rat 3-year old cheddar blocks from Gold Cup Farms in Clayton, New York. I guess you could pair it with Croghan bologna.

        It doesn't reaaly knock my socks off; just smells like it did.

        1. If you like the Old Amsterdam, you may enjoy Pradera, a 3-yr old gouda, which I posted about on the Chicago board a couple months ago.



          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. I'm frequently in love with cheeses. Maybe it's a supstitute for other, less reliably pleasurable experiences, but a great cheese experience can leave a bit of a glow too.

            The most recent was a buttermilk bleu cheese that opened new horizons. It's good in salads. It's good on a great steak. It's amazing just broken off in chunks and eaten before the guests arrive with that lovely meritage you were planning to start the evening off with them...

            1. m

              I got some incredible cheese once at the Union Square farmer's market in NYC. It's called Molto Vivace, made by Cato Corner Farm in CT. It's got a pretty strong taste, almost like stilton only it's not a blue cheese. It was so good, I ate half of what I bought just walking back to my office! I think they're only at the farmer's market on Wednesdays (and maybe Saturday?) but they have a website, too.

              Link: http://www.artisanmade-ne.com/article...

              1. One thing my father and I shared was a liking for limburger. The rest of the family would stay away while we had at it.

                This Father's Day, I'll see if I can find some, in his memory.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sharuf

                  My Mom was a big fan of Limburger. Her family, with her German grandfather, would drive out to the country for Limburger picnics, where they would sit on an open, windy hillside and feast on Limburger, liverwurst, sliced onions, pumpernickel and beer. This was back in the 30's, so you can imagine the quality of the aforementioned ingredients. I've never tried Limburger myself, but have deeply enjoyed all the other elements together, so I can only imagine the improvement made by the addition of a good, stinky cheese.

                  1. re: GG Mora

                    "...sit on an open, windy hillside and feast on Limburger..."


                2. b
                  Boris Carlitov

                  I'd second Epoisses as one of my favorite cheeses. Also Mount D'or - the cheese is wrapped in pine bark giving it a subtle piney flavor. When ripe it's super guey - slice off the top and dip bread/crackers in to eat. There are some imitators out there that aren't quite as good but passable.

                  On Buttermilk blue: I get this cheese quite often from my local cheese guy (reading terminal in philadelphia) as it 's his cheapest blue. Not a trancendental experience but a solid blue with a "fresher" taste then most.

                  I also like Pont Leveque (sp?) which is a classic orange rind (=bitter and generally not eaten) cheese. Also try Rebluchon in this style as well.

                  Since you like gouda - a hard cheese in that vein but different is Cantal from france. Had some wonderful cantal while traveling around Perigord last summer but have not tried the stuff available here.

                  I have to disagree that the imported mozerella di-buffala is not worth the time. In Philadelphia we get some in the italian market (Claudio's and indeed in the little baggies) that qualifies as a "transcendent" cheese experience. Much better then the locally made stuff (although the locally made and the smoked mozerella is pretty good).

                  You might want to get a copy of the "Cheese Primer". A great reference book on cheese.


                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Boris Carlitov

                    Agreed. The cheese lady at the Trenton Farmers Market gets bufalo in from Italy and I've never tasted anything like it. It's truly amazing, even if not as good as eating it there.

                    1. re: Ellen

                      Believe me, the travel time makes a huge difference. In the areas where they eat it habitually in Italy, after a day or so it's considered past it's prime and then it gets used in cooking rather than just being eaten all on its own. After a week or so of travel from Caserta or Salerno to the States, it's just not at all the same. You may not like that fact but mozzarella is in large measure about freshness. And it's not only the taste that changes but the texture as well.

                      The really fresh stuff is served as a secondo in Campania; just a big plate, with a beautifully fresh mozzarella glistening in the middle of it. I can't think of a better secondo.

                      1. re: Antonius
                        Boris Carlitov

                        Maybe the stuff in philadelphia is more fresh then you think. There certainly are daily flights from here to italy (there's a strong italian-american community here).

                        You're probably right that the fresh stuff (from the farm as you mentioned) is better - but I wouldn't be suprised if our mozerella is just as fresh as what one might find in Rome (actually the good stuff here is better then the ok stuff I've had in Rome).


                        1. re: Boris Carlitov

                          You are correct. We get next day delivery and I buy it right away. The poster also assumes that I am ignorant about the qualities of fresh mozarella. I find that I can get it in most major US cities made fresh every day, some are better than others of course.

                          1. re: Ellen

                            I have no idea whether or to what degree you may be ignorant about the qualities of fresh mozzarella but if you know much, then you know that the time between the production, the packaging, the shipping to the airport, the flight over, the distribution in the States and the sale to the customer -- likely to be more than a day -- makes a big difference. For people in the areas that produce mozzarella, that's not fresh. Is the stuff you get in the US good? Is it worth the price? Those are questions that each person answers for his- or herself; but one thing for certain is that according to the tastes of the people who live around the areas where the stuff is produced, more than a few hours and it ain't the same.

                            In this regard, remember too that the original post for this thread was about "amazing cheese moments". If one has had the real deal, minutes or even a couple of hours from the final step of the shaping of the individual pieces, one most likely would not be able to associate the phrase "most amazing cheese moment", the phrase used in the subject line of the original post here, with the mozzarella from the little air-mailed bags. Or do you?

                            I'm glad to hear Claudio's is still going strong; I was a regular visitor there some years back when I had the chance to spend a fair amount of time in Philly. My only complaint with that shop was that they always ran out of the good bread so early. A first rate salumeria.

                            Concerning Rome: There are lots of good restaurants in Rome and there are lots of bad restaurants in Rome. And central Lazio is not a mozzerella di bufala producing area. I'm sure that in those restaurants where they really care about serving excellent mozzarella, they get it trucked in daily. If they're getting it from the more northerly producers in the Terra di Lavoro, that could take as little as a couple of hours, depending, of course, on traffic.

                    2. re: Boris Carlitov
                      Boris Carlitov

                      A small correction to my post. When I refered to Mont D'or I meant Vacherin.


                    3. My new true love is Cabecou, a small round of soft, very ripe goats milk cheese. It's pure bliss and I'm forever indebted to the friends who introduced me to it.

                      Link: http://www.fromages.com/fiche.php?id=151

                      1. Oh goodness, I've got a huge list.

                        Roaring forties blue--cow's milk blue, great blue taste, creamy, with a lovely sweetness underneath.

                        Clochette--a chreve, bell-shaped, and if you're lucky you'll get one that's really pungent and at room temperature becomes a delicious, pungent, gooey, mess.

                        Carleson--or something like that--Roquefort. I don't usually like roqueforts very much--too salty, too bitter--but this particular one--and it's Carlson or Carleton or something like that--is fantastic.

                        Appenzeller--a really good, aged appenzeller--reminds me a bit of a parmesan, but more slice-able, raw cow's milk, great nutty taste without the bitterness that I dislike abput some Swiss cheeses. The one we picked up at Formaggio Kitchen was Max Beller's (again, something to that effect, I don't remember the exact name of the maker) aged appenzeller and it is great.

                        Humboldt Fog-an American goat cheese, made by Cypress Grove dairy in CA. A lovely goat, with a layer of ash in the middle, very runny underneath the rind, more solid in the middle. Tangy.

                        I hope some of these help. I have a very long list of favorite cheeses, so if you let me know what sorts of cheese you like, I might be able to tailor the list a bit more.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: divstudent

                          Thanks! I know some of these (Humboldt Fog, Appenzeller), not the others.

                          If you'd care to add more, here's where I stand gustatorily on the matter of cheeses...

                          I love most goats, if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be a well-aged crottin de Chavignol.

                          If there is one category I'm not crazy about, it's the Belgian semi-hard beer-washed cheeses; there is a bitterness I don't particularly enjoy.

                          I don't really care for very bland creamy cheeses like your average brie.

                          I like most other kinds of cheese when they're well done. I also really enjoy sheep's cheeses. I like stinkers and strong flavors, too.

                          1. re: Sir Gawain
                            Boris Carlitov

                            Don't eat the rind on those Belgian beer washed cheeses. That should get rid of the bitterness. If the rind isn't smooth you may have to remove little "eyes" of rind left on the outside.

                            In general eating the rind is optional. On some cheeses it's pleasant (brie, camanbert etc.) on others not (alsace muenster etc.).

                            Give them a try again. They shouldn't be bitter.


                            1. re: Sir Gawain

                              If you like aged Crottins de Chavignol as much as I do, and you haven't yet tried it accompanied only by some crusty rustic bread and a good heady Cotes-du-Rhones, you should give it a shot. If you have, then you know what I'm talkin' about.

                          2. Two from California: Humboldt Fog and Fiscalini 30 month old bandage wrapped cheddar. I like the cheddar with Sonora Winery's verdelho myself.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Tom Hall
                              RWCFoodie (Karen)

                              From the Humboldt Fog people: Bermuda Triangle. As name implies, it's triangular shaped and just seemed tastier to us than regular Humboldt Fog.

                            2. p
                              peppermint pate

                              Sitting in a friend's backyard on a warm summer's day, we snacked on toasted baguette with St. Agur cheese and fresh sliced peaches topped with a little fleur de sel. Yum to the power of 10. As far as I'm concerned, St. Agur goes with just about anything - folded into pasta, on top of an endive and apple/pear salad with toasted walnuts and a honey balsamic vinaigrette, etc.

                              My latest favourite cheese is etorki, a French sheep's milk cheese from the Pyrenees. At room temperature, on its own or with sugared pecans, it's got a lovely nutty taste.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: peppermint pate

                                Oh yeah - St. Augur.

                                And a perfectly runny ripe St. Marcellin. Totally killer.

                              2. I now have a great cheesemonger half a block away from my house -- I've been trying a lot of different cheeses recently, and here are some of my favorites:

                                Saenkanter -- if you like aged gouda, you'll love this 3-year-old version (read more about it at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
                                Robiola della Langhe -- a soft-rind cheese that's creamy and complexly flavored; the best is the three-milk (cow, goat, sheep) version.

                                Sottocenere -- a truffled Italian cheese (read more at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
                                I personally love sheep's milk cheeses, and the one that got me hooked -- and which is always a huge hit on a cheese plate -- is

                                Istara -- an aged sheep's milk cheese from the Pyrenees

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  Also a big fan of Sheep's milk. Love the sheep feta at Whole Foods. Italian.

                                  Love Manchego.

                                  Just got a Spanish cheese at Trader Joe's that's a sheep/goat/cow blend - more or less the consistency of Manchego but just slightly softer with a few small holes in it. A bit like Dofino in color and texture; but a bit harder.

                                  1. re: mrbarolo

                                    One of the things that I love about sheep's milk cheeses is the texture. The composition of sheep's milk is quite different from cow's, both the proteins and the fats, and I find that the texture of sheep's milk cheeses is less gooey/rubbery and more fluffy/granular -- a completely different mouthfeel.

                                    I was surprised to note that TJ's is carrying several sheep's milk cheeses at the moment. I like the one that's simply labelled "sheep's milk cheese aged one year product of England."

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      Totally agree about the texture. And almost always (at least in my limited tasting experience) a nutty quality that screams to me for a nice glass of sherry (though sherry is not otherwise my favorite tipple).

                                      Hadn't seent the TJ's you mentioned, but will look for it. Thanks.

                                2. My favorites that are readily available at cheese shops in Los Angeles include a french cows milk cheese called Reblochon, which has a texture like brie but is much more intense and flavorful. This is great on crusty french bread and white wine, and reminds me of afternoons in the French countryside.


                                  I also really like a sheep's milk cheese called brin d'amour, which is typically available at Say Cheese in the Silverlake area of LA in the late winter/early spring. The link below provides a good description of the flavors, and I can attest to the fact that it is swoon-inducing with a nice, chilled rose.


                                  Although you said you were not that into bries, a very satisfying California alternative is one called "breakfast cheese," produced by the Marin French Cheese Company aka "Rouge et Noir." It's a small, triple creme disc that, when perfectly ripe, resembles the better bries of France. I've found it both at Mayfair and Gelson's in the Los Angeles area. A note re. any of the Cowgirl Creamery and Marin Cheese Co. cheeses found in supermarkets: I've found they can be underripe and need aging after purchase, but when treated properly are very good.


                                  In the category of simple cheese pleasures is fresh sliced figs served with marscapone cheese on a crusty french loaf in the summertime. Although the cheese itself is not rare or hard to find, it rises to a whole different level when served with ripe figs. Can't wait 'til fig season!

                                  Last but not least, I have a related question for anyone who frequented the Mayfair in Silverlake prior to its transformation to Gelson's last year, or for anyone out there who recognizes this cheese. In previous holiday seasons, Mayfair used to carry what I think was a Scottish cheddar (it could have been Irish or Welsh, but I'm pretty sure it was Scottish) that came in a wax fruit shape -- apple or pear. It was NOT a mixed blend cheese, but a firm, nutty, winey, rich, white cheddar that was out of this world. It cost about $8 for an 8 oz "fruit". Last Christmas, Gelson's did not have it, and I've looked high and low on the internet to find something similar. Anyone know what I'm talking about? TIA!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: DanaB

                                    Speaking of figs, there were beautiful fresh purple ones at Wegmans in NJ for .99 each. Ouch!

                                  2. I've had many of those moments as I worked in a cheese shop many years ago. Here are a few cheeses that can get a "wow" response.

                                    Leyden, a semi-soft dutch cheese like a young gouda that also contains cumin seeds (it can also contain caraway--doesn't get quite the wow of cumin, though). It's a beer drinker's cheese.

                                    Gjetost, a caramel colored cow's milk cheese from Sweden or Norway (can't remember) can also illicit a wow response. But it can be either a love or hate response. Gjetost is sweet, nutty and well, caramely, so it's not quite what people expect from cheese, but I like it. Just not all the time.

                                    My most recent wow cheese moment happened last year when I had a cheese called Azeitao from Portugal. It has a blend of sour and nutty flavors that I've never quite encountered before.

                                    I've also always been a fan of dry jack cheese. If you like aged gouda, I think you might like dry jack, as it's somewhere between parmesan and aged gouda in sharpness and nutty flavors.

                                    A couple creamy mild blue cheese I like that are somewhat different are Montbriac, and another one called Montagnolo (goes by another name which escapes me now). These are infinitely more complex cheeses than, say, Cambozola or Blue Castello and worth looking for if you like these kinds of cheese.

                                    An interesting soft, peppery cheese I like is one called Gaperon, which comes in the shape of a ball, like fresh mozarella, except with a soft rind.

                                    I'm trying to remember the name of a hard cheese with whole peppercorns that I really love. It's about 3 inches high, and a whole wheel is perhaps 6 inches in diameter, and it has a blackish rind.... Tomme de something... That's a really good one too.

                                    L'Edel de Cleron is another cheese I like a lot. Once ripened, it becomes gooey and oozy, very close to Vacherin. It's a soft ripened cheese like brie, but it's packed around a strip of tree bark that imparts an earthy flavor.

                                    These are a few from teh top of my head.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Eric Eto

                                      I second Azeito, its delish, though pricey!

                                      I also really like Chaput Brique, a candaian aged goat, though it is sometimes too salty.

                                      1. re: Eric Eto

                                        Yum, Azeitao. Several years ago, I stayed at a villa in Azeitao with some friends. Every morning at breakfast, the cook put out fresh crusty bread & a wheel of the hometown cheese (!), along with freshly squeezed OJ, strong brewed coffee, and a pitcher of steamed milk. Now *that's* breakfast. I've tried to find Azeitao stateside, not successfully. Dean and De Luca carries it occasionally.

                                        1. re: GG Mora

                                          The first place I had Azeitao was at Artisanal in NYC. I've also bought some at the Murray's cheese counter at Grand Central. I'm not sure if they have it all the time, but I know it's available locally (NYC at least). It may be a seasonal and thus hard to find out of season. Just a guess.

                                          1. re: Eric Eto

                                            i've had it most anytime from murray's.........the first time i had it was at a wine tasting of all spanish and portuguese cheeses. changed my life.

                                        2. re: Eric Eto
                                          Melanie Wong

                                          Always love it when you talk cheese, Eric!

                                          Here's a picture of Gaperon, one of the oldest garlic-flavored cheeses, and the ancient ancestor to Rondele. (vbg)

                                          Besides being good with beer, the cumin-flavored Leyden is spectacular with Zinfandel.

                                          Maybe the pepper-studded cheese you're thinking of is Pecorino Pepato? Although I think those wheels might be bigger than you describe. In any event, it's a goodie too.

                                          L'Edel de Cleron is modeled after Vacherin and was created to fill a year-round need, unlike Vacherin which has a seasonal production regulation.

                                          California producers are playing around with different styles of dry jack and improving the traditional product. The half-dry Mezzo Seco is a terrific table cheese. Then there are the extra aged ones for more intensity and flavor.

                                          Image: http://www.teddingtoncheese.co.uk/aca...

                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                            Thanks Melanie. I just figured out the name of the peppercorn cheese. It's called Crottin Poivre. I remembered posting about it a while ago, and dug it up.

                                            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                        3. Not all about the cheese, but if you like Orval with your cheese, also check out De Dolle Arabier, Poperinges Hommel, Chimay Cinq Cents, Augustijn, or just about any authentic Saison. There is no better combination than tasty artisinal cheeses and Belgian beer.

                                          I once had cheese in at a cafe in Brussels that was soaked in Belgian strong ale that was out of this world.

                                          1. Definitely Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove in California. It's a goat gouda with an incredible nutty complex flavor. I preferred it raw on bread or crackers to melted on something.
                                            Also gorgonzola dolce was a revelation, either alone or with a fruity companion. (I mean, a chutney or something.)
                                            But great cheese moments can even come at a lower price than the above-mentioned pricey cheeses...the other day I bought a decent gruyere at Trader Joe's and melted it on a tortilla with a fried egg...it was as good as any crepe place in France, or at least I was very hungry.

                                            1. I second your vote for aged Gouda.. Delicious.

                                              I'd also like to nominate my favorite blue and my favorite sheep's milk cheese.

                                              There is an Irish blue cheese called Cashel Blue that is worth seeking out. It's wonderful -- fruity and peppery. Try it with port or madeira or nutty bread.

                                              Sheep's milk cheeses: I love Ossau Iraty (Brebis Pyrenees)-- I find it a lot more complex and tasty Manchego, for example. Roncal is similar (a little more waxy, I think), and good too.

                                              For stinky (washed-rind) cheeses, try an Alsation Muenster that isn't overripe (which smells like amonia and tastes bitter and awful). Good muenster is kind of beefy and super-strong.

                                              Getting hungry...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Brendan T.

                                                I second the recommendation for Cashel Blue. It's the blue that made me rethink blues.

                                              2. Must third the Epoisses. Or a wonderfully ripe Pico, stinky, semi-soft goat.

                                                Pico Pico Pico

                                                With a tough, chewy baguette, nothing else to interfere with the taste of it, I would name my kid Pico.

                                                Pico Pico Pico

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Deb Van D

                                                  Fourth for epoisses. I've threatened stewardesses on airplanes that if they did not refrigerate my cheese the stink would force the plane to land in Greenland! I do not believe that which is available in the U. S. is quite as good as what I've had in France.

                                                  Below is my post about a visit to a cheese shop in Bologna.

                                                  Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                  1. re: Joe H.

                                                    Sorry for the title change; I accidentally erased the original. My apologies.

                                                2. My most amazing cheese moment was at a one-star in Beaune, France, where they brought out a platter of perfectly ripened cheeses from Burgundy and the surrounding regions for a fourth course. There had to be thirty cheeses on the tray and I was already so full I had to limit myself to seven or so tastes, including the local stinky liquid delicious Epoisses. I never understood the cheese course until that moment.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Ellen
                                                    Melanie Wong

                                                    Ah, yes! At a luncheon hosted by the wine producers in Chablis, the most amazing array of local cheeses, perfectly ripened for this event, was the highlight for me of this meal. There was a giant wheel of Epoisses that was over a foot wide, and in years of enjoying this particular cheese, none have equalled that sample on that day.

                                                  2. Dead ripe Borseault, a French triple cream with wheatmeal biscuits and while we were home in northern New York State at Christmastime I found a NYS triple cream cheddar. It was delicious.

                                                    1. c
                                                      Caitlin McGrath

                                                      I recently discovered, and flipped for, Boerenkaas, a gouda that's brined before aging. It's a hard cheese with an orangey color and a bit of caramel/butterscotch in the flavor, which is fairly complex. The five-year-old one I tried was amazing. It had visible, pale striations spaced throughout and crystalline pockets that made little bursts of flavor in the mouth similar to the way flakes of fleur de sel can (but better). I tend to like the firm, nutty cheeses, and I'm in love with Boerenkaas. In NYC, you can find them at Murray's.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8-0

                                                        That sounds fantastic, and Murray's is my favorite cheese shop. Thanks!!!

                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          That is also one of my favorite cheeses. I love the "crunchy" texture of boerankas. I can eat that all day.

                                                          Another cheese I'm particularly enamored with is Valdeon, a creamy sharp blue-veined cheese from Spain.

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                            Caitlin McGrath

                                                            You know, I was first introduced to Boerenkaas at an event I attended, and when it was over, I went straight from the event to the cheese shop to buy some.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              It truly is wonderful -- one of my absolute favorites. I was very disappointed the other day when I discovered that my Whole Foods did not carry it. Even though I was faced with a huge selection of other delicious cheeses, I couldn't bear to buy anything else because my heart was so set on bourenkaas.

                                                        2. I don't eat a lot of cheese, but I tried English Cotswald ("pub cheese") for the first time last week and thought it was amazing. Very rich and smooth.

                                                          1. THANKS everybody! I'm making a list, this is excellent!!!

                                                            1. a
                                                              Alicia Orange

                                                              Maytag blue melted inside a grilled portobello.

                                                              1. c
                                                                Chicago Mike

                                                                There have been many, but at the end of the day I'd have to say the most amazing moment was the first time I tried Roquefort and Sauternes....

                                                                1. OK I know it sounds kinda lame....but:

                                                                  1. St Nectaire I had at Lucas Carton. First time I ever had this cheese and it rocked!

                                                                  2. Just this afternoon, had a dessert of baked Belgian cheeses with apples and tiny croutons at Comme Chez Soi here in Brussels. Makes every cheese dish I've ever had look bad.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Limster

                                                                    I don't suppose you could reverse engineer a reasonable facsimile of this dish -- it sounds wonderful!

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      'afraid not -- was too relaxed over lunch to even think about asking. Just wanted to have some Belgium cheeses before I left.

                                                                  2. The wonderful woman at the lower of the cheese shops on Rue Mouffetard in Paris, when I asked her choice, wrapped up a Rocamadour, about the size of a 3-stack of the old-style (bigger) silver dollars. Back at the hotel, with fresh bread, sausage, wine and several other cheeses, we had a mini-feast before dinner, with the Rocamadour absolutely stealing the show. Darned Feds won't let into this country, so what the heck, get thee to Paris.