I encountered a cheese tour in rue Montorgueil the other day. While it is certainly nice that some visitors take an interest in unfamiliar cheeses, glancing at the samples they were about to be given, I can only regret that after being shown some of the 80 or more unusual and tasty cheese that are available, the sampling is clearly oriented to the most consensual, mildest and least shocking cheeses and probably the same ones that they buy at Whole Foods at home. "But it tastes so much better in Paris!"
On a cheese tour promoting French products, obviously not, but a cheese shop like that sells 80-150 different cheeses, so you can be sure to find things like Stilton and Cheddar at least. Nevertheless, there would be 5 times more Italian cheeses than British cheeses besides the local stuff.
Maybe someone knows the name of the cheese I got yesterday at a street market in Leiden. It is a sheep milk cheese from Corsica, soft but not at all runny -- it doesn't even collapse on the sides -- and complete covered with herbs. I bought it without tasting, but once I got home it took enormous will power not to gobble it all down at once. It is a really, really delicious and interesting cheese.
I have never heard that name before because almost all Corsican cheeses sold in metropolitan France have Corsican names rather than French ones. However, just about every region makes cheeses that sell very well in certain international markets for some reason or another. I would suspect that the reason that this cheese is available in the Netherlands is because it incorporates juniper berries.
Meanwhile I have a very ripe and wonderful camembert in my refrigerator, and it is really stinking it up, even though I hope to finish it soon, maybe even tomorrow. With cheeses like that, I am always torn between confining them into a hermetic box or letting them live their life. Why would one buy it if one wanted to punish it for acting normal?
I guess what one does depends on how indulgent one is about the true nature of cheese.
I must gloat over something I got today. As some of you may know, I've been in deepest mourning over having to leave the zillions of fabulous cheeses in Amsterdam. But miracles do happen. Just under a week ago on a local facebook group I belong to, a Dutch woman who lives here posted that she was taking orders for Delicious Dutch organic cheese, made in Morelos by Rens the Dutch cheese man. Okay! I put in my order for two of them -- each was supposed to be @800 grams. They were delivered around noon today. In fact, I was in the process of making a sandwich for lunch when the woman told me she was on her way. I put the sandwich on hold and jumped up and down until she got here. Then I immediately left the house to deliver one of the cheeses to a friend in order to make one other person in this world as happy as I was. Scampered back to my house via the market, where I picked up some tostadas, so perfect with good cheese. Finally, unable to bear the anticipation any longer, I tried some of the cheese. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.
Oh lucky you! There is a Greek supermarket I like that gets odd orders of interesting cheeses and other foodstuffs - this week they had some 500 day old Dutch cheese. Delicious, and after that much ageing, lactose-free.
Well, LaGatta, you became the cause of utter delight and simultaneously deepest despair for me when you told me about oude kaas. The delight was that I sought it out while in Amsterdam and was bowled over by its sheer deliciousness and fantastically interesting texture. The despair, of course, is that now I am without it.
When the woman posted on fb about the Dutch cheese, I asked her "Does he have or make oude kaas?". Her response was: "Nee, half belegen alleen". Well, certainly a great boon to be able to get that at least.
I didn't know that about very aged cheeses being lactose free.
Yes, they tend to be, for example aged Gruyère, Parmigiano, and Gouda, even the cow milk variety. There is also goat's milk gouda - I have to learn these things, being a cheese-lover who had a very severe dairy allergy as a child - it is no longer life-threatening but left me with lactose intolerance and soft teef.
Of course those aged cheeses tend to be more expensive, but I found some quite reasonably-priced ones at Amsterdam street markets.
A festival of cheesy puns. Well, there is nothing wrong with pronouncing gouda at is is pronounced in English when speaking English. It takes time to get used to the throaty Dutch g sound when expecting a hard g as in German or English (at least sometimes in English)!
I look at the Dutch word of the day mostly to commit the sounds to memory; usually the sentences are easy to understand. It is a shitty site; developed in the US and always referring to US holidays, sport, etc instead of Dutch ones. Would have been the same if it referred only to UK, Canadian, Oz ones. It should refer more to Dutch and Belgian cultures. And cheeses!
The French and the English pronounce gouda that same way -- as it is written. I had an American friend who went to the Netherlands and returned home proudly pronouncing the cheese "howda" except that nobody ever knew what she was talking about.
I merged two other cheese threads into this one, so there is quite a bit of fully ripened discussion in the previous pages.
And, after due consultation, I have merged the "cheese on hand" thread into this one. In doing so, I deleted the last three posts referring to "on hand" because they no longer made sense. So apologies, to Kerouac, LaGatta, & Mich for that, but I think you'll understand.
There is SO MUCH excellent discussion about so many different topics across this whole forum, that it's a shame when threads that started out quite lively devolve into strings of terse, non-interactive statements, often with no reference to what went before. *exits podium*
Cheese question: if ricotta cheese is kneaded and formed, would it be an acceptable substitute for paneer?