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Irish Cheeses

m
mimosa Mar 14, 2007 05:21 PM

As it’s that time of year, we’ve had a lot of requests in our cheese shop for cheeses from the Emerald Isle. Here are a few of my favorites…what are some of yours?

COOLEA – Often referred to as an Irish Gouda, this is a very mild firm cheese with a long, buttery finish.

CASHEL– From County Tipperary this is a really nice blue. I find it fruity, not overly complex, but a very flavorful blue that’s hard not to like.

CROZIER- From the same producers as Cashel (restaurateurs Joel & Elizabeth Grubb) this is one of my all-time favorite blues. It’s made from ewe’s milk meaning it’s richer than most blues, but this one’s all about texture. It reminds me a bit of a mealy apple, and the flavor is really fruity. If you can find it, be sure to try it!

ARDRAHAN– One of the stinkier cheeses in our case, this is a soft, washed-rind cheese from County Cork. Pairs really well with a pint of Guinness!

  1. l
    LJS Mar 15, 2007 08:00 AM

    Ok, this is totally cheating BUT there is an English cheese called Sage Derby (prononced darby) that I always put on my cheese board on St. Pat's Day because it is green. It is also delicious, sort of mild cheddar with a strong sage flavour that does reallay well with oat biscuits or digestive-style biscuits and a nice wine jelly.

    1. c
      cheryl_h Mar 15, 2007 07:56 AM

      Cashel is one of my favorite cheeses. If I don't have it at least every other week I start to go through withdrawal pangs.

      1. m
        mimosa Mar 14, 2007 07:16 PM

        Check out their website...
        http://www.kerrygold.com/usa/dc.html

        1 Reply
        1. re: mimosa
          f
          FlavoursGal Mar 14, 2007 08:21 PM

          Yup, that's the one!

        2. f
          FlavoursGal Mar 14, 2007 06:59 PM

          I've bought a cheese called Dubliner (at Costco - hope you're not cringing!) that's really good. Can you tell me anything about it?

          2 Replies
          1. re: FlavoursGal
            s
            serveitforth Mar 14, 2007 07:18 PM

            I think that is a cheese made by Kerry Gold & the irish dairy council. Milk is collected from small dairy farms (all cows are pastured in Ireland) and brought to a large facilty where they make the famous irish butter- Kerry Gold and Dubliner cheese. An excellent cheese, but non of the complexity of an artisianl product

            1. re: serveitforth
              f
              FlavoursGal Mar 14, 2007 08:18 PM

              Thanks for the information, serveitforth. It is a good, everyday cheese - great with my morning toast.

              For exceptional, artisanal cheeses I tend not to shop at Costco. ;-)

          2. Veggo Mar 14, 2007 06:46 PM

            It had a yellow wax rind, for certain, and would have been cut from a wheel about 10 cm in thickness and perhaps 30 cm diameter. I dare say a cheddary- type flavor, apart from the smokiness and saltiness, if a comparison is valid at all. I will inquire of my cheese monger about the smoked Gubeen- many thanks. He sells some of the unpastuerized europeans which are periodically washed, e.g. Epoisses, so I'll keep sleuthing!

            1. m
              mimosa Mar 14, 2007 06:06 PM

              Could it be smoked Gubeen? Here's a write up on it...

              Gubbeen is made from the milk of Fresian, Guernsey, Simmenthal and the local but rare black Kerry cattle. The milk used was at one time unpasteurised but now they have converted to pasteurising the milk as have the majority of Irish cheese-makers. During maturation the cheeses are regularly washed to prevent the growth a B.linens (a bacteria encouraged in many cheeses since it produces lively flavours and aromas) with a substance known as 'goo'. The cheeses are also regularly turned. The whole cheese-making process is so time consuming that Giana has to employ a team of ten to help her (a high number for such a small operation but with employment scarce in that part of Ireland Giana considers her social role as important as the potential financial gain).

              Some of the cheeses made are sent to the smoke-house. They are oak-smoked for a short time giving them a light smoky flavour through which the original flavour of the cheese is able to penetrate. The cheeses are then coated with a thin yellow wax and allowed to mature for three months.

              1. Veggo Mar 14, 2007 05:30 PM

                Mimosa, you hit me in the wheelhouse on this one. Last summer I stumbled on wedge of smoked irish blarney cheese that was wonderfully salty, crumbly, and smokey in nice proportions. My cheese shop in Sarasota says it is seasonal, but what season? Tourist season? Any advice?

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