Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Mar 16, 2013 10:16 AM

Cheese of the Month Nominations (April to September 2013)

"We need to start a nomination thread this month to identify specific cheeses that will be ChOTM in future months. We should have similar threads every six to 12 months." ~ cheesemaestro

This thread will collect the cheeses that y'all are interested in discussing and tasting for the cheese of the month over the next six months. Let's try this and see how it works, we can tweak as needed as this evolves.

Some have suggested that we have more than one cheese per month. Sounds good to me, let's try that too.

Please state your nomination in CAPS as the first word in your post. Others can second that choice by clicking on the "recommend" button. You can make more than one nomination but please do so in a new post to try to keep this orderly.

Please feel free to continue nominating up until the end of August 2013. At that point, someone should start a new thread for the next time period if we like how this works.

Edited to add: As a corollary to this post, here's the topic for signing up to be coordinator for one month.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I live in the Midwest; the cost of HF, including shipping is $47/lb. It's a great cheese, but how many people outside of the Bay Area will participate at a price like this?

      1. re: pikawicca

        I agree. I would discourage people from choosing a specific cheese made by a single producer that may be too hard for people to get. Maybe developing a category that Humboldt fog would be part of ...

          1. re: pikawicca

            Humbolt Fog is not a blue -- some people mistake the layer of ash in the middle as blue-veining, but it's not. But there are other ashed goat cheeses, or even broaden it to other soft-ripened goat cheeses.

            1. re: pikawicca

              Here's an interesting fresh blue goat cheese and from what I've read first prize winner at the 1999 American Cheese Society's Annual Judging.

              Their Classic Blue just showed up in my mailbox. Very interesting...

            2. re: Ruth Lafler

              I disagree. If we are having more than one cheese a month, I think that there is room for a specific cheese and not a cheese category.

              Humboldt Fog is a cheese that is widely distributed. Not everywhere, but in many major cities. I had it in Kansas City MO in October. I recognize that not everyone will be able to afford it or find it in their market, but if we make every Cheese of the Month so generic, where do you have room for education and discernment?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I found a location 15 mins from my place that sells this cheese "occasionally" as replied by the cheese cave owner by phone a few minutes ago. $42/lb.

                Does education and discernment begin at that price?

                Because it would be more educational if we collectively agreed to a cheese category, purchased at our own comfortable price point and shared our tasting experiences on the Cheese of the Month threads. More CH's could be included, anyone wishing to participate wouldn't be priced out (afterall, how much $$$ are you willing to add to your monthly food budget to discuss cheese online?) and we'd learn and compare with one another through the process.

                If we are beginning (example only) at the $42/lb price level....CHoM is going to be a pricey endeavor.

                1. re: HillJ

                  As I said, I anticipate that there will be more than one cheese of the month selected each month due to the number of requests for that. This is but one cheese that I have nominated and have I not suggested others that cost quite a bit less? It's up to the coordinator to pick the cheese(s) each month and I posted before that price and availability could be part of the criteria. I hope that these will balance out over the time periods.

                  One of the values of selecting a single specific cheese is also to invite the comparisons. If people are tasting many different cheeses of varying ages, source, milks, etc. in a cheese category, that's a much different shared experience than having the as close to identical thing in 100 different mouths. I hope that there's room for both.

                  One path to education is to taste examples to learn the difference between bad, good, better, and best. Passion for any subject or in this case type of food is more likely to be inspired by tasting something that is toe-curlingly wonderful compared to anything else you've tasted before versus a good, but every day thing. Since Humboldt Fog is a very popular cheese despite the very high price, I felt it might be a reasonable bet for this type of experience for those that choose to participate. And I'll continue to suggest cheeses that are known to create that kind of nirvana for those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone.

                  I'll also mention that I've paid as little as $5 per pound for Humboldt Fog . . . keep your eyes open at the cheese counter.

                  The selection process will be a dynamic tension among many issues and I think that's a good thing. Since I seem to be quoting cheesemaestro today, let me add another that states my own feelings better than I could:

                  "...We are not a monolithic group. It's true that there are some people who don't know a lot about cheese, but are interested in learning more. They, however, are not everyone here. There are other people participating who have worked with cheese professionally, as well as aficionados who have, through their own interests, acquired familiarity over time with a wide variety of cheeses. Beyond this, we have people who:

                  - Live in "cheese heaven" cities like New York and San Francisco and who have access to multiple cheese shops and hundreds of different cheeses.

                  - Live in "cheese deserts" and have to travel far to find good cheeses or resort to mail ordering.

                  - Can afford to buy the most expensive cheeses (and do) and people whose means are more modest.

                  - Have had the good fortune (or have it now) to live in other countries and experience cheeses that we don't get in North America. On the flip side, US and Canadian cheeses are mostly unavailable outside of their countries of origin, which leaves Europeans, Asians, Australians, etc. out of the loop if we discuss these cheeses.

                  - Are interested in the technical details of particular cheeses, cheesemaking, etc. and people who are not.

                  - Don't like whole categories of cheeses (like blues or goat cheeses) and people with eclectic tastes.

                  Given all this, it is unreasonable to expect everyone to find every thread and every post on the Cheese Board of equal interest and utility. The hope is that each person will find at least some topics here of interest, and often enough to keep them coming back. If the level of discussion hews always to the esoteric, to be sure, some people will lose interest, but the reverse is also true. If we never get beyond the basics, other people will be dissatisfied."

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Who's the coordinator for April? So far, I see a volunteer for May on that thread.

                    Of course, I wasn't picking on just one popular, expensive cheese, merely using it as an example since price came up during the nomination process already. I paid $3.00 for 3 palm size pieces of Tallegio recently. I try to keep my eye out for specials.

                    And you're right not every month or cheese is going to appeal to everyone.

                    I hope there's patience for the basics by those with far more experience. A newbie shouldn't ever feel hesitant to ask a dumb question or even to question the comments of an experienced cheese lover.


                  2. re: HillJ

                    Hill J
                    Whole Foods had HF for $25.99/lb earlier this week - not cheap, but better that $42!

                    1. re: EM23

                      Thanks for the heads up about WF, EM23.

                      I just opened an account with a local cheese cave so I can call in with orders and ask what's coming in easily. Whole Foods cheese dept and one of the local green markets with a large cheese dept that turns over quickly are going to be my backups.

                      I know many CH's enjoy ordering online (& I've seen a number of deals per piece/per lbs through online shops) but I really want to taste each cheese before buying and count on the cheese owners to get familiar with my likes & curiosity.

              2. re: pikawicca

                If u go to website-

                u will be able to find a store with zipcode-

                do u live near a large city?
                Whole Foods or regional equivalent should have the cheese.

                Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolisshould have stores that carry this cheese

                1. re: jpr54_1

                  Is that the purpose of the links below some of the cheese suggestions posted; to buy from that specific producer for that specific cheese? I was hoping it was just to give a bit of background to that category of cheese.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    the purpose is not to buy from specific producer.

                    1. re: jpr54_1

                      "the purpose is not to buy from specific producer."

                      I am confused...So how would we buy Humbolt Fog if not from that specific producer (Cypress Grove)? I thought they were the only producer?

                      1. re: Fowler

                        from whole foods or similar shps

                        1. re: Fowler

                          Yes, Humboldt Fog is a proprietary cheese made by just one producer. You can purchase it from a variety of retailers, as jpr54_1 points out.

                          I've been providing links because I'm a believer in more info rather than less. My intent was to give some background and to show a photo of the cheese. I thought this would help future ChOTM coordinators decide which to choose and provide some extra info to those reading along.

                    2. re: jpr54_1

                      Yes, I could drive 130 miles round-trip to buy a piece of this cheese.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        Pika, I can buy HF in a Kroger store in Dallas, as well as my cheese shops there and here in Sarasota, about $23/lb. It's around.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Veg, Bloomington is not Dallas, or even Sarasota. We have a world-class, award-winning cheese maker (Capriole) in the nabe, but other great American cheeses are hard to come by in these parts. (BTW, Capriole makes a remarkable washed-rind stinky cheese.)

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Just found HF at our local Co-op: $21.99/pound. (They've just started carrying it, and it's selling well.)

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              Excellent. I think you will enjoy it, let us know.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                I've actually eaten HF in SF. Mine is a bit under-ripe and chalky in the middle. Had a slice last night, and while the texture wasn't perfect, the flavor was. (I don't know what it is about this cheese, but to me, it tastes like a blue.)

                              2. re: pikawicca

                                That's less than in San Francisco. Saw Humboldt Fog for $28/lb yesterday in the City.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Are those separate categories or all element of a specific cheese?

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I think a dialog about gouda could easily cover all the varieties I mentioned, as well as deli-sliced gouda. IMO, it's a verastile cheese.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Thanks for the clarification. I agree.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Yes, I think gouda would be a good one, for all its types and uses.
                            As much as I enjoy Humboldt Fog, I'm not sure it is worth talking about for a month.

                        2. BLUES (but not stiltons)

                            1. re: Fowler

                              Unfortunately Fowler, 100% of US limburger comes from a single creamery to the north of Monroe, Wisconsin. Which means we will be reviewing the type of shipping, storage, and age of the cheese. Not a bad thing in itself.

                              I like mine old and runny, with chopped onions and hard rye bread.

                              The creamery is on my 400 mile plus run through cheesy Wisconsin prior to returning to Florida for the ultimate of wine and cheese parties.

                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                Hi IndianRiverFL,

                                Here is a story about one of my very first experiences with Limburger...when I was a little kid, my friend's Dad took us on the train down to the Museum of Science and Industry during summer break. To tide us over during the trip he brought along rye bread sandwiches consisting of raw beef, raw onions and a ton of Limburger just to make it all the more "tasty".

                                This was in August and there was no air conditioning on the train. It was insanely hot and you know how that amplifies the scent of something. We were probably no more than a minute into eating our sandwiches when the woman across from us started gagging. She told us she was pregnant and begged us to eat our sandwiches somewhere else so she would not become violently ill.

                                Of course as a little kid I did not understand the issue, but now as an adult i can see how that stench in that heat would affect anyone especially a woman that was pregnant. I wish I could find her now and express my most sincere apology!

                                1. re: Fowler

                                  Oh my gosh, what a story. Poor woman!

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  Thank you Melanie! I will ask you in that thread about the Liederkranz you mentioned below because I think they may be quite similar.

                                  1. re: Fowler

                                    Or better yet, please start a new thread for Liederkranz and I'll join u there.

                              2. ANY BLUE....

                                Mountain Gorgonzola
                                Saint Agur
                                Regina Blu
                                Bleu d'Auvergne
                                Gorgonzola Dolce