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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's here - What is in your fridge?

Most people vow to run off those extra pounds found floating around at Christmas time. Some attempt to join a gym and engage in a totally new and healthier lifestyle, and some even go to the extreme of giving up the 'drink' as they say around here or try to stay away from the 'sweets' for a while if they feel like they have over indulged.

That does not happen here in the Wise household. This year, the decision was made that there was just not enough cheese in our life (or diet) therefore the quest began.

I am declaring that Cheese will be made in our kitchen this year! This is on his behalf of my handsome Chef of course, because he is still convinced that the internet is a 'passing phase' and soon enough y'all will return to writing letters or heaven forbid using the phone to actually 'talk' to someone -

Last year, if you recall  he was hell bent on building a Cob bread/pizza oven and by August we were dining al fresco (in the rain) with our yummy scrummy pizza. Methinks the cheese may take a little longer, depending on the style of cheese he chooses to make. But hey, only time will tell!

So with such an ambitious husband to wrangle with, where does a girl start? Lucky me - right here at home!

Although baking his heart out every day at Morton's of Galway ( Ron occasionally slinks off downstairs to do a little perusing around the store. Think a tiny 'Dean and DeLucas' style shop. Small amounts of everything fabulous that you can consume including some amazing wines!

Ron had oodles of time off over Christmas and as he was working up to his Cheese promise he consulted his cheese bible The Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins

In order to know what kind of cheese a Chef wants to make, then a Chef must eat more cheese! So after a little bit of reading and almost no arm twisting from his boss he arrived home with a few cuts of cheese to tease the tastebuds.

The first (pictured above) is called Langres. A French cow's milk, washed rind (means you can eat it) cheese. It is made in the Champagne region of France and near the end of the cheese making process they actually pour some Champagne over the top of it allowing it to puddle in the center. Needless to say it would pair well with a little bubbly - but there are few words to describe this one. TO DIE FOR. Allow it to rest for a while coming to room temperature. Do not be scared by the orange rind or goopy middle. When you see the lovely white moist cheese inside, you will know what fantastic cheese is all about!  Look for it, buy it, lick your fingers clean DELICIOUS!

Next on the chopping block was one of my old favourites. The semi soft Talleggio from northern Italy, also with a washed rind.  This can give an unfriendly pong when unwrapped but like its French friend above, leave and allow to breathe for a few hours and once it comes to room temperature it really 'tastes like buttah'. For real. This will be one of your favourites for the rest of your life once you try it.


Next up, a little Irish Goat Button. and that is about the long and short of it. Ron's boss (Eric Morton) sent this one home with him and told him it was great. It was, and we still have no idea where it came from! It was almost crumbly chalky dry to look at and as moist and mysterious as it gets when consumed. We had a wee bit of cranberry sauce left over from Christmas that we topped ontop of this one and it kind of was 'dessert'!

Wrapping things up and serving with a nice big Ravenswood Zin we dove right into the old reliable Cashel Blue. I know this is not to a lot of peoples taste and 'whatever' - your loss. Made in Tipperary, Ireland (only since the early 1980's) this BLUE is fairly new in the worlds of great cheese. Allowing it to sit around for a while (and not consuming it cold right from the fridge) makes this cheese more amazing every time I try it.

So there you have it folks, The Wise New Year Resoloution 'of sort'. More cheese later this week as we get together with my baby brother and his bride for some nibbles and honeymoon stories on Friday!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today!



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