Friday, May 27, 2011

Mossfield organic

It's always fatal to go anywhere near a good cheese shop, even if you only go in to taste as I did this week during the course of my researches for a feature for Culture cheese magazine. (Well worth subscribing to if you're a cheese nut)

I've ended up with 8 different cheeses in the fridge mostly from La Fromagerie but couldn't resist this Gouda-style cheese from Paxton & Whitfield. It's made in County Offaly in southern Ireland and has an incredible depth of flavour without the dryness or saltiness that sometimes goes along with that. Not unlike the Prima Donna I wrote about a year or so ago but better. And its organic.

Get the mature one though (Paxton's told me the one I bought (above) was nine months old) rather than the younger cheese which is curiously bland by comparison.

They also have a Facebook page - as all self-respecting cheeses seem to do these days . . .

Friday, May 20, 2011

Comté cheese country

I've spent the last two days in the Jura mountains finding out all about Comté cheese. The feature will appear in Decanter but I just thought I'd post some pictures of the area which is absolutely stunning.

As you can see (above) the cows look ridiculously happy as well they might with this kind of pasture.

Which translates into this fragrant hay which feeds the animals during the winter

This is a typical dairy or fruitière which is co-owned by the farmers

The cheesemaker testing the consistency of the curds - still done by hand

Cheeses after a couple of weeks of maturation

And after a couple of years . . .

Et voila! Comté cheese.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Max Allen and Will Studd's Cheese & Wine App

I'm a big fan of both Australian* wine writer Max Allen and cheese expert Will Studd so immediately downloaded their Cheese & Wine app on my iPad. It's a great idea from two people who really know their stuff and are great presenters but it doesn't quite come off.

The app is divided into four sections: Match Cheese which talks about cheese styles, Wine List (wine styles), some useful articles that have been published in Gourmet Traveller and some more videos. Or at least they seemed to be extra videos but one or two appear to be the same ones that you get directed to download through the previous sections.

The odd thing was that it took over 10 minutes to download the first one (though admittedly my broadband isn't the fastest) and only a couple of minutes to do it through the video section. Can't fathom that. The videos aren't that long either - a minute and a half, if that.

This has the feel of an app that's been rushed out to establish the pair's undoubted authority on the subject rather than creating something that would be really useful to the consumer. There's some great advice and some interesting suggestions for wine pairings I hadn't thought of such as cloth-bound cheddar with a mature sparkling red and Gorgonzola and red Lambrusco - just not quite enough of it.

No reason to complain when it only costs £1.19 but I hope subsequent versions will have more content.

*Actually he was born in England but you'd never know it from the accent!