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May, 2014 COTM: cheese with herbs or spices

There's a huge range of cheeses that are flavored with herbs and spices, everything from Havarti with dill to Truffle Tremor.

To keep this discussion from going too far afield, smoked cheeses and cheeses soaked or flavored with liquids (like wine or beer) are NOT included. I'd also like to stay away from creamy cheeses with stuff blended into it, like Alouette.

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  1. One interesting flavored cheese that I have not had in ages is Sage derby. This cheese can vary in quality depending on the producer. The last time I tried it was at least 3 or 4 years ago when I got some from the Cheeseboard in Berkeley.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sage_D...

    http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/Sage-D...

    1. When l used to sell, this category of product was generally laughed at by my partners. Considered purists we felt things like Cahill's Irish porter cheese, various White Stiltons( whatever the F that is), and even Huntsman were British abominations one very small grade up from things like cheese whiz and Havarti. These are products that are VERY highly pasteurized to allow for late spoilage of the non cheese parts.
      there area few very good products l am fond of even with my very snobbish nature like Cumin Gouda, Muenster with Cumin, and one called Gaperon. Gaperon is the only true lowfat cheese made, with skim milk, garlic and black pepper it can be wonderful if left to get a bit gooey.
      US product of Purple Haze by Cypress Grove with lavender and fennel pollen is super as well.
      That's enough of a rant for a while.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        How lavender-y is Purple Haze? I enjoy lavender in very limited quantities and think it can easily overwhelm which is why I have always hesitated to buy this cheese.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          GAPERON - I've only had this once, and I remember it quite distinctly though it was at least 10 years ago. A British friend carried it to the States from a London shop (and a wondrous slab of Reblochon too, his favorite cheese). I recall him saying that Gaperon was the first flavored cheese.

          When I saw the topic that Ruth picked for this month, I thought of it again. I had spotted some boules on Thursday afternoon when a friend and I escaped into the French cheese cave to escape San Francisco's heat wave. The same cheesemonger also had Puits d'Astier, so perhaps the Gaperon is also made by Garmy. I will check.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            I usually eschew (not what it sounds like!) cheese with all sorts of glop in it, but recently my cheese shop didn't have any other new cheeses, so I reluctantly tried Purple Haze. I was surprised to find that like Mikey, I not only liked it, I loved it! I should have known that if it came from Cypress Grove it was worth trying. Keep it in fridge, but serve at room temp.

            I'll also grudgingly tolerate white stilton with mango and ginger as a dessert cheese.

          2. I like Havarti with dill. I was disappointed by Truffle Tremor, probably the most expensive cheese I have ever bought. I thought it had a bit of a harsh aftertaste.
            I like the Cabot cheddar with horseradish, I think it would go well on a roast beef sandwich, but most of my local markets don't carry it. I sampled it at the Cabot tasting room in Vermont. The Cabot cheddar with habanero is interesting, as are some soft ripened cheeses with flecks of mushrooms.

            1. I just picked up a piece of fleur verte - one of my favorite summer cheeses. Fresh goat cheese coated with thyme, tarragon and pink peppercorns. Goes with warm spring evenings and rose.

              http://www.sfgate.com/food/cheesecour...

              1. thanx for choosing these cheeses-