Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mac and No Cheese, Week 20

I bought a new computer and saw Star Trek today! Woo hoo!

No cheese today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Colby, Week 19

Happy Mother's Day!

Before I begin with this week's posting, I want to take a moment and grieve over Snofrisk.  I brought a croissant and Snofrisk in to work for breakfast, and it was just delicious.  When I returned home, I was caught up playing with my favorite dog and quickly forgot about my precious cargo.  The next day, I went to pack my breakfast again, but there was no Snofrisk in my fridge!  Where did it go?  My handbag!  You know it's been excellent week of cheese when it upsets you days later that your cheese spoiled.  Dear Snofrisk: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Today, however, another letdown.  My computer does not particularly feel like recognizing my photo card.  I have Googled my way to "reset your computer and try again," but no luck.  Perhaps my PC knows I've been looking for another...and browsing the Apple Store.  I am finally free of some stress for awhile, and it goes and stages revolt.

When my PC decides I'm worthy, I will post photos of the cheese of the week, Colby.  It was rather rainy and gloomy last week, and I just had a craving for macaroni and cheese.  Yes, there was an entry about Cheddar Mac & Cheese all the way back during Week 8, but this is different, I swear.  

I took the basic Baked Macaroni and Cheese I recipe from and traded the Chedda' for something betta'--- Colby.  I also doubled the bacon, which was seasoned with red pepper while it was frying.  There is definitely a trick to making the cheese sauce.  Between melting the butter just so and intense stirring with heat resistant spatulas for the flour and milk, it's much more of an art than it seems.  I've learned the hard way about thickening creamy sauces and soups with too much flour at a time (endless straining and Cuisinarting is just no fun).

I wish I could show you my Colby photos.  That macaroni and cheese was the best I've made in years.

Verdict: Colby just happened to be a cheesier and more delicious alternative to Cheddar than I thought possible. It was so soft and melted wonderfully. I'm rating it higher than Vermont Cheddar because of this, but lower than Irish Cheddar because it wasn't as distinctive.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Colby > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Snofrisk> Oaxaca/Asadero > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Snofrisk, Week 18

Readers, I have returned!  A most happy May to you and yours.  This past month was an exceptionally busy one for me, and I do apologize for the sometimes erratic postings.  Now, on with the show!

My mother recently sent me the most divine croissants from Williams-Sonoma.  We first got them years ago when her mother sent them to our family, and seeing that box of frozen goodness in the mail this week just made my stomach jump for joy merely in anticipation of enjoying them this weekend.  These things are amazing.  I've been to the bakeries in Paris and Nice...and these croissants are the closest you'll find on this side of the pond.  Gushing for croissants aside, I knew I had to somehow incorporate my cheese of the week with them.  Even though they are just perfect with butter fresh out of the oven.  I figured a spreadable goat cheese might fit the bill and perhaps be more blog-worthy than Laughing Cow cheese.  In high school, I once dressed up as the laughing cow for a "commercial" in our French food "television show."  I didn't especially feel like reliving the days of wearing a red sweatsuit and a paper plate plastered with a cow face rubber-banded to my head, so I settled for a similarly curious sounding cheese name: Snofrisk.  

Snofrisk? Really.  Apparently, Snofrisk = Snow Fresh in Norwegian.  There's a cute goat on the label, too.

Price: $21.78/lb
Smell: Like cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese, but super creamy and authentic.  None of that 'whipped' business.  Snofrisk is serious cheese. (Say that out loud.)
Bonus: Trying to read inside packaging is good fun.  
Step One: Set out croissants before bed so they can thaw and rise.
Step Two: Marvel at how big they got.  Get excited.  Bake 15-20 at 350 degrees.
Step Three: Spread Snofrisk on biggest, flakiest, best-looking croissants.  Spread real butter on croissants for heaven in puffed pastry form.  Side note:  I got a new tablecloth!  Last month, I went to the Textile Museum and was wowed by their Recent Acquisitions collection.  This tablecloth is a Suzani pattern that was made in India.  
Verdict:  Snofrisk is good.  Really good.  It's the best plain cream cheese I can recall.  It's 80% goat cheese, 20% cream of cow's milk.  If you want to indulge in cream cheese or just be able to offer something called Snofrisk to guests, I highly recommend it.  Like I mentioned in my last post, ranking great cheese is really hard.  When I update my spreadsheet of cheese this month, I'll have the sections of super cheese, good cheese, and cheese I'd rather pass on clearly marked.  Snofrisk is better on its own than Oaxaca, but not as versatile as Brie.  

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Snofrisk > Oaxaca/Asadero > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Appreciation for Cheese, Week 17

This past month has been a busy one for me, and I've not been able to keep up with the blog as I would have liked.  I think things should be calming down soon, and I am enthusiastic about continuing to try more cheeses!  Some people have asked about last week's cheese-- if I liked it so much, why was it rated so low?  The simple answer is this: I have been eating really, really good cheese this year.  There are just a couple of cheeses I probably wouldn't get again.  For example, my last ranked cheese, Monterey Jack, can be a great cheese on its own.  In comparison to the other cheeses I've had, it was just a little on the boring side.  Perhaps another brand would have changed my mind.  I certainly hope I'm not offending too many Monterey Jack aficionados out there.  :)

This week I had a craving for plain old grilled cheese with my pre-blog favorite, Muenster.  After buttering my sunflower bread, placing some pre-sliced Muenster inside, and grilling, I just knew it would be delicious.  I was shocked!  Something just didn't taste...right.  Had I become a cheese snob? Would I never be able to eat deli cheese without remembering my delights with Comte and the Lamb Chopper?  Thinking my grilled cheese could have been subpar because of 'butter' spread, I tried Muenster plain...but to no avail!  Come back favorite cheese, come back!

While I didn't try a new cheese this week and I still have Irish cheese in the fridge, I increased my appreciation for cheese.  

I'm off to do more work and have a Muenster grilled cheese for dinner.

Have a great week, readers! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oaxaca/Asadero, Week 16

Plans with Cassie didn't work out this week, but when we do get around to making use of the Gubbeen, we can provide the back story of foreign cheese shopping and trying to guess what will survive the flight across the pond.

This week, a friend reminded me of the HowChow blog and tipped me off to Lilly's Mexican Market.  Once I figured out where it was and read the review that included homemade corn tortillas, Lilly's was my go-to spot.  Of course, cheese was on my mind when I was parking there, but the bakery case definitely caught my attention when I first stepped into the store.  The dozens of fresh rolls and pastries made on location made me wonder how I'd managed to do without Lilly's!  There's a butcher shop and take out tacos, too, but this week the blog went for simple: Flaming Cheese (Queso Flameado).  Side note- how awesome of a dish does it sound already?

Unfortunately, I only realized I was taking photos directly onto my camera's internal memory when I was just about to put the cheese in the oven.  So, the standard wrapper photos will have to wait until another time. (That is, when I walk all the way over to the drawer I keep the cable in.)

Price: $9.32/lb
Smell: Like string cheese but less processed.

Step One: Rip 12 ounces of Oaxaca into a few large hunks. (Note: This cheese is called Oaxaca when it's shaped like a ball, and Asadero when shaped like a brick. I got the ball of Oaxaca because it was at eye-level.) Add about 4 tablespoons of chopped chorizo (sausage)  or more if you'd like. 

Step Two: Watch and wait. Don't wait too long or it will just be Burnt Cheese. Nobody wants to eat that.  

Step Three: Quick! Spoon (or fork) into tortillas or chips for a quick dip!  I served the Flaming Cheese (while much more authentic when actually flaming, warm cheese is still delicious) with green corn tamales (beyond amazing corn goodness steamed in the microwave), some black beans and onions, Lilly's bread rolls, and some fruit juice drinks that looked fun.  

Step Four: Don't forget dessert! For a taste of fried ice cream without the hours of prep and challenge of actually frying dairy...I just put honey and cinnamon sugar on top of vanilla custard.

Verdict: Oaxaca cheese was way better than normal string cheese on its own, but tasted just amazing when melted.  It was sweet and creamy. The oil from the chorizo probably helped its consistency smooth out, too.  I will definitely be craving this dish in the future, and I can't wait to go back to Lilly's for just-made tortillas and bread!  

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Oaxaca/Asadero > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, all!

It seems I will take another week off from the cheese blog. This week has been rather busy and I'm a bit drained.  Next week, however promises to be exciting.  My friend Cassie recently returned from Ireland and brought me a wheel of Oak Smoked Gubbeen cheese!  I don't know quite how we're going to use it, but it'd be nice to do something special with it.  Here's the description from the Gubbeen Farmhouse web site-- if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!

Gubbeen Cheese has been produced since 1979 by Giana Ferguson, with Rosie and the Gubbeen dairy team. It has been enjoyed across Ireland, Europe and America, and has won some of the key cheese awards both in Ireland and England. Gubbeen Cheese is a surface ripened, semi-soft cheese with a delicate pink and white rind that is developed in our curing rooms by daily washing and a lot of skilled care. The flavours are creamy with lots of mushroom and nutty aftertastes. We also produce a Smoked Gubbeen-smoked by Fingal at the Gubbeen Smoke House where he adds his skills to the cheeses' flavour by the addition of oak smoke.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Port Salut, Week 14

About the April Fools' cheese-- I really did want to try vegan 'cheese,' but when I went to the Teeter on Wednesday, I just didn't have the heart to purchase "Cheddar Veggie Shreds" or "American Veggie Slices."  After weeks of fantastic cheese, I couldn't bear to buy a large quantity of 'cheese' that most books and countries don't recognize as such.  Thus, the cheese blog tragically went a week without cheese.

Yet, this is the part where happiness and cheesiness come in.   Port Salut (POOR sah-LEW) was plentiful and on sale.  Per usual, I had not the faintest idea what to do with this cheese.  Laura Werlin's book, Cheese Essentials, describes Port Salut as "very popular among Americans" because of "its lack of assertive flavors" and recommends using it when cooking rather than eating it plain.  With that in mind, I went for a breakfast sandwich-- easy, homey, and hard not be delicious.  

Port Salut
Smell: Kind of like a strong deli Muenster
Cost: $9.99/lb

Step One:  Basil butter the pan.  I've been finding the neatest things in the freezer aisle lately.  See those green cubes? Two tablespoons of chopped basil!

Step Two:  Add eggs (4) and generously season bacon with cayenne pepper.  Bacon is one of the reasons I'm a vegetarian wannabe.  Right now, I love Pederson's uncured applewood smoked bacon with lots of cayenne-- the bacon becomes sweeter with the heat.

Step Three: Add some cheese!  Once the eggs are cooked, remove from heat and add cheese. I used a bit less than half of the wedge I got.  When I make this again, I would use even less.  The cheese was so soft, no shredding was required- it melted nicely into the eggs.  (For my longtime readers-- I got new heat-proof spatulas! Huzzah!)

Step Four: Enjoy!  Happy breakfast, happy belly!

Verdict: Port Salut tasted great in the eggs with basil, but it was just so-so on its own (mild cheese with funny aftertaste).  More of a supporting actor kind of cheese, Port Salut is no Denzel.  

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, March 29, 2009

April Fools' Cheese, Week 13

No entry today, but be on the look out for a post with faux cheese later this week.

I did update the world map and spreadsheet of cheese this weekend.  There's even some new stats on the spreadsheet- you can view by rank and by price per pound.  I've now spent over a hundred dollars on cheese (major yikes), and have bought 6.79 pounds of cheese.  That works out to an average of $14.37/lb of cheese.

Go quantitative or go home!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brie, Week 12

This was another fun week for the cheese blog.  On Friday, Madeline of the Rachael Ray (fan) Blog, listed my post about her Cheddar Beer Soup recipe in a weekly round-up of all things Rachael Ray in the blogosphere.  If that wasn't exciting enough (I know, I know), I had a fun mystery cheese event that evening, too.  Fun because I went to my good friend Kate's place with friends; mystery because I had zero knowledge about the primary purpose of the event-- watching the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.  Not only had I never seen an episode of 'BSG', I never watch the SciFi channel.  In fact, I can only be counted on to watch two shows a week- The Office and Chuck.

Nevertheless, I was thrilled to be invited to the BSG showdown and offered to bring the cheese.  It was then I learned that not a whole lot of the BSG world was that cheesy. Casey remembered something about a toaster, and the closest thing I found was BSG toast with jokes I didn't get:
Clearly, this inspiring toast gave way to Brie toasties. 


Smell: Pleasant and mild
Cost: $5.49/lb and $7.99/lb

Step One: Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and prep Brie wedge. For the baked Brie, we put some golden raisins and chopped pecans.  Just when the cheese looked especially soft around the edges, we took it out and added some green onions as flare. This picture was taken just before the great Brie bake.

Step Two: While one Brie bit is baking, make lots of toast!  I thought using the whole French loaf would be too much, but we ended up running out of toast before cheese.

Step Three: Let other Brie wedge come to room temperature and top with store-bought mango chutney and green onions.  I was a little hesitant to put the two together on the cheese, but the flavors complimented each other so wonderfully, I will certainly use this combination in the future.  Serve SciFi-style with doilie and dried apricots.  Enjoy!

Verdict: The Brie was nice on its own- both the Trader Joe brand and the (tad bit nicer) French Belletoile.  The price of Brie is just great compared to the other cheeses mentioned on the blog and normal deli cheeses.  The toppings on the baked and softened Brie were really what made it so tasty, though. It reminded me of Bucheron, except less adventurous.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Red Square > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

P.S.- I'm a little behind updating the Google Map and Spreadsheet of Cheese.  Hopefully, I'll get to them next week.  Thanks for reading and commenting, Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Irish Cheddar, Week 11

In preemptive celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Irish Cheddar and Irish beer were combined for a deliciously easy Cheddar Beer Soup.  I don't think Rachel Ray or her recipe are Irish, but it was still fun to make and save for lunch later this week.

I present the divine black wrapper, imported from Ireland, reserve...

Irish Cheddar

Smell: Robust, a bit salty, Cheddar Gone Wild
Price: $17.12/lb

Step One: Butter, leeks, and carrots.  You know how I feel about leeks...this smelled wonderfully.

Step Two: Add the milk and beer (I used Guinness), and shred the cheese.  This took almost one and a half packages of cheese, but rationalizing things, this is going to make a lot of meals, right? 

Step Three: Enjoy!  Not very many interesting pictures are in this post.  Someone else made Rachel Ray's recipe with an orange cheddar, and although I'm guessing this chedda' might have been betta', she definitely took more interesting photos

Verdict: The Irish cheddar was fantastic-- so flavorful.  Edges out Vermont cheddar by a slice.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Red Square > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Emmentaler, Week 10

Mmm...ten whole weeks of cheese!  So far, I've enjoyed reading, writing, cooking, and thinking about cheese all year.  The 'cheese diet' has most definitely been treating me well.

This week's cheese was picked out by my cheese guy, Casey, after a delicious lunch at Great Sage with him and my veggie friend, Cassie.  While Cassie and I frolicked in the aisles of Roots finding new and fun foods to try, Casey had the tough task of choosing the cheese.  He made a great choice in Emmentaler, a kind of Swiss, and dreamed up Emmentaler and Herb Crisps.  I thought of pairing them with BLTs, and we were all set.

Smell: Buttery Swiss, Holier-than-thou mmmmm
Price: $8.99/lb

Step One: Ready the ingredients for quick cooking! (Okay, the ice cream went back in the freezer...the everything else, brownies included needed to be ready to go!)

Step Two:  Shred all of the cheese, add a heaping tablespoon of thyme and a tablespoon and a half of chives.  Season with ground black pepper to taste.

Step Three: Griddler time!  We divided the griddler to half grill, half griddle.  Take a nice-sized tablespoon of the cheese/herb mix and dump on the griddle, leaving plenty of room for the crisps to spread out.  We seasoned the applewood smoked bacon with some crushed red pepper, and it turned out wonderfully.

Step Four:  Don't touch the cheese!  Wait until it looks like a snowflake before you even think about taking it off the griddle.  We tried flipping them, which was fine, but not necessary.

Step Five: Eat.  They may look like doily potato chips, but trust me, they are way better than potato chips.  Way.
Verdict:  Emmentaler was a great cheese by itself and as crisps.  It's a buttery smooth Swiss that I will certainly come back to in the future.  Also, unlike some of my other top cheeses, Emmentaler is generally easy to find at local grocery stores.  I ranked it just a teeny bit below Vermont Cheddar (a smidge betta').  

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Red Square > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

P.S.- Don't forget dessert :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bucheron, Lamb Chopper, and Red Square, Week 9

This was an exciting weekend for the blog!  The blog now has visitors from 18 countries! From Chile to New Zealand to India to Sweden.  It's so fun to see where you're all from, especially since the average time spent on the site is 2 minutes and 38 seconds. (A whole 2 minutes and 22 seconds more than 15 seconds of fame!)

I'm going to keep the intro quick because I tried three new cheeses this week!  For a birthday party on Saturday, the blog took another trip to the wonderful Cheesetique for a tri-animal, tri-country cheese plate.  That's right, cheese from a cow, goat, and sheep!

Platter Prep

Ready, Set, Cheese!
Clockwise: Bucheron (French Goat), Lamb Chopper (California Sheep), and Red Square (Tasmanian Cow)
I kind of feel badly for having no recipe, again, but who knows?  With the snow tonight, maybe tomorrow will bring a nice snow day cheese soup.  

1) Bucheron: This cheese was a big hit- spreadable, mild, and deliciously creamy.  I would absolutely recommend this cheese with any kind of crusty cracker.
Price:  $15.99/lb
Smell: Soft.

2) Lamb Chopper: What a cool cheese name!  I just learned today that the Lamb Chopper is a cousin (Cyprus Grove Chevre) of ranking premier cheese- Midnight Moon.  It was buttery and so rich.  It was wonderful on its own, and I bet it would melt nicely, too. Fantastic. 
Price: $26.95/lb
Smell: Nutty, lamby, happy.

3) Red Square:  Now this is the smelly cheese the blog has been waiting for!  It had four of four smelly noses on the ID card at Cheesetique, and rightfully so.  I don't know quite how to describe the smell- a cross between dirty socks and dirt. Surprisingly, the smell was way stronger than the taste, which was creamy (think gooey Brie) and hearty. Added bonus: saying you ate Tasmanian Cow Cheese!
Price: $20.95/lb
Smell: Dirty Socks or Dirt, give or take a sock.

For Christmas, I received an Alpaca Pop Mold.  The host with the most, Errol, received the first 'paca pops:
CheeseKate <3 Alpacas
Verdict: Lamb Choppa' was amazing, but it didn't take me to the stars like Midnight Moon did.  The Bucheron was a delight, and I had a difficult time placing it in the tally.  I preferred it over the Delice, but wasn't positive it was betta' than the chedda'.  Lastly, the Tasmanian cow cheese was fun and adventurous, but I liked Delice a bit more.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Vermont Cheddar > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Red Square > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vermont Cheddar, Week 8

I'm betta', so here's my post about chedda'!

Thank you for your well wishes, I am feeling a lot better now and happy to be back to blogging.  Last week, I tried out a new shop for cheese, Roots.  I had been to Roots before, but only because I had tried out the neighboring yummy organic restaurant, Great Sage.  After the cheese blog was mentioned in another Maryland blog, HowChow (all food Howard County), I decided to give it a go for cheese.

I was craving comfort food, and nothing says comfy cheese like Mac & Cheese.  Especially when a new recipe is involved AND there are amazing root beer and sarsaparilla floats for desserts. (Especially then!)

That being said, there really wasn't that much Chedda' at Roots.  I will definitely be back for local Maryland cheese and arguably the best root beer on Earth, but I was glad to snag some Vermont Cheddar for my Mac.

Vermont Cheddar
Price: $13.98/lb
Smell: Waxy, like a red chedda' wrappa'.  (Or, nice and sharp)
Step One: Surprise! Cheddar cheese is not all orange and Kraft-like.

Step Two: Back to the shredda'!
Step Three: Badda' bing, badda' boom!  I tried using De Cello's Orecchiette (pasta by number=91), and it was delicious.  I would definitely use it again in any dish in need of sauce-grabbing noodles.
Step Four: Bake it! I used double the garlic (like any respectable member of the Cheesekate clan) and bought bread crumbs.  The idea of crumbing my perfectly good bread in my food processor seemed a little ridiculous to me.  However, The Martha's idea to use egg, rather than flour to thicken the cheese sauce was great!

Step Five: Enjoy!

Last week's blog mentioned a salad with pears.  It was so tasty- d'anjou pears, red onion, and slivered almonds covering baby spinach with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Mmmm happy dance in my stomach.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Vermont Cheddar > Delice d'Argental > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

The Vermont Cheddar was tasty, but it wasn't as exceptional as the Comte.  I rated it higher than last week's Delice only because the Delice tasted oddly like a strong blue cheese when I had it later in the week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Delice d'Argental and Midnight Moon, Week 7

Hello cheese fiends! This week, the blog went on location to the fabulous Cheesetique in Alexandria, VA. I had come across this shop in Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials and in other cheese blogs, like Cheese & Champagne. Laura Werlin is apparently known as the "human encylopedia of cheese," and her book, a gift from my Mom, inspired me to explore new cheeses. That, and I was kind of getting bored at Harris Teeter (or at least, people there really thought I needed a lot of help each week).

Cheesetique was very busy, but the helpful woman behind the counter wearing a "Cheese Monger" shirt made us feel like the only ones there. The sign said, "Feel the Love," and trust me, oh how the cheese love was felt. Like just about every week, I had no idea what kind of cheese I was looking for. The Cheese Monger started giving samples of her favorites, and this is why I ended up with a full bag-- and TWO! cheeses of the week.

The Loot
Mmmm cheese...and chocolate...and more chocolate. This could be a very bad place to be for the cheese blog budget.

Delice d'Argental
Smell: Smoky and creamy. If I cheat and describe a cheese smell with another cheese smell-- then, smoked brie.

I didn't put this cheese in a recipe because it stood up all on its own. I tried it with Cracklebread (17 calories per piece!) and with Water Wheel Provencale Minis-- heaven in cracker form. I would show you the place setting for the cheese, but you know what? It went straight from the wrapper to the cracker. And into my mouth. Yum! This cheese is triple cream and "enriched with crème fraiche"...oh la la! I also tried it with some smoked salmon, and I bet it would have been lovely with chives, too.

Next up,
Midnight Moon
Price: $25.95/lb
Smell: Valentine's Bouquet of Moon Cheese. Sweet and Fragrant.

I have no other pictures of this cheese except for it just out of the wrapper. Like Delice d'Argental, it didn't make it very far, either. This cheese was out of this world! Stellar! I mentioned it was moon cheese, right? Another recommendation from the Cheese Monger, Midnight Moon was fantastic on its own. It had a buttery caramel taste, and I bet it would have paired well with a bacon grilled cheese or on a salad with butter lettuce, dried cherries, spiced pecans, and a simple vinagrette. Mmm my stomach is doing a happy dance just imagining the possibilities! Also, this cheese is American! Finally, a patriotic cheese in the upper tier of the blog!

We have a winner! Midnight Moon jumps ahead in the tally! The Delice was delicious, but the cheeses ranked in front of it just happen to be outstanding.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Delice d'Argental > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack