Things that have names that start with “Saint” have always had an inexplicable appeal to me. Also, the cake like appearance of this cheese made it a random must on my to-taste list.

In short, if the idea of eating straight butter excites you, try this cheese. If not, you may feel apprehension and guilt about eating this cheese unaccompanied.

In texture, it resembles a chilled margarine with even more tendency to melt in your mouth. It is extremely creamy.

On first tasting, there is a slight tartness, the flavor resembling a very mild and buttery sour cream. The flavor develops nicely, the buttery taste increasing in intensity and a hint of mushrooms pops up- similar to a camembert. The tartness is more intense than most bries, but it is unaccompanied by the spiciness of more familiar soft cheeses.

All in all, as comforting as the texture and flavor are in this cheese, it feels simply too indulgent to eat a slice of it without accompaniment. My sweetheart agrees with me, this cheese is better suited on a piece of toast or a cracker than as a solo act.

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For my 26th birthday, my sweetheart drove me to Portland, OR, where I had the occasion to visit Steve’s Cheese on 23rd street. What a birthday treat! I got to try the Colston-Basset version of Shropshire Blue.

Most blue cheeses are not dyed with annatto- the lovely colorant in such cheeses as cheddar and mimolette. The bright orange of shropshire gives it visual distinction from the other blues, and in general I find it an attractive cheese.

The aroma is slightly tangy and very pleasant for a blue cheese. The texture of shropshire really sets it apart- it’s powerfully rich and creamy, the closest resemblance I can summon is a double gloucester.

Frequently compared to Stilton, I found the flavor of shropshire to be sharper and more sourt, but in some ways more complex and less spicy. The flavor develops extremely well while eating, going from the initial “blue” punch to a well rounded cheese that is easy to pick out the subtleties of.

If you are a fan of blue cheeses, this cheese is a must!

Buttery yellow, with a decorative rind (don’t eat it!) clearly made to resemble a Spanish Manchego, this cheese has a very pleasant appearance. It is a newish cheese (1997) from France, made with pasteurized sheep milk.

The aroma is distinctly nutty. It resembles a young Manchego- in fact, the cheese resembles a young manchego in all regards, p’tit basque being the ultra-rich comfort food younger cousin. The texture is incredibly buttery and rich. Though unsubtle in this regard, it is incredibly inviting to eat more and more.

The flavor is every bit as rich as the texture. Whereas manchegos are described as having nutty undertones, the buttery and nutty flavors in p’tit basque are incredibly bold. It’s overwhelming, in the best possible way.

All in all, this cheese is absolutely worth trying, particularly if you are in the mood for a warm, thoroughly comforting experience.

This is another cheese with a high profile in the cheese case at the deli. Fluffy and white with blue bands of ash, it looks like a cake. It’s appearance is more than half the reason I wanted to try this one. One cheese book I read classified it as a “domestic chevre-style cheese.” Definitely a goat cheese, it still doesn’t have that sulfur-ish after taste of many of the domestic crottins I’ve tried.

The smell is very inviting and subtle. From the first taste, the slightly tangy “goatiness” of the cheese is the dominant flavor. The taste becomes more complex as one eats, and there is a surprising sweetness to the after taste. The after taste has good sustain and is very pleasant.

The texture is what really makes this cheese a treat. It’s light and fluffy, but not dry. It melts and becomes very creamy while tasting.While being creamy, it never becomes too rich.

In short, this is my current favorite domestic goat cheese!

I’ve wanted to try this French cheese for a very long time, entirely because of its novel appearance: it looks like a cantaloupe. It has a streaky bright red-orange inside and pitted, greenish ashen rind. 

From the initial smell of it, I prepared myself to taste something akin to Parmigiano-Reggiano. Indeed, the first impression was similar to the more familiar Parmesan. The over-all experience of tasting this cheese is much less aggressive though. Granted, the version I sampled is likely relatively young. It has a good al dente feel, but is neither too dry nor too gummy. It’s salty enough to make it an unquestionably bold cheese, but is somewhat less salty than many hard cheeses. I found it easy to pick out the rich and buttery flavors and notice the complexities of the cheese, the initial saltiness thankfully being not too intense.

Of any hard cheese I’ve had for a while, I would rather sit down and eat this plain than any other. It’s unique appearance could really give life to a cheese course arrangement. I can’t imagine it matching the versatility of the pecorinos and parmesans in an everyday kitchen context. For savoring on its own though, I’d highly recommend this.
mimolette

I am not an afficianado, fromagier, gourmet, etc. I work in art supplies retail and have no official “foodie” experience. I really like cheese though, and a little over a year ago I found out that I have pretty bad hypoglycemia that limits my diet severely. Thank God I can still eat cheese!

Discovering new cheeses and manners of appreciating cheese- cheese being one of the limited things I can actually eat- has become a pass-time and a small yet expansive luxury. I like to share what I think about the cheeses I encounter in a straightforward fashion, and I hope you find my blog entertaining and accessible if nothing else.

Bon apetit!