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Archive for November, 2008

I am often asked about my favorite cheeses, and until recently, I often left one out because there were no domestic producers. As far as I knew, Bucheron cheese was only made in France or Spain (where it is called Cana de Cabra), but a company in Wisconsin has been quietly producing quality bucheron for several years and recently started selling it to the public.

Bucheron cheese is an aged goat cheese made in a log. The aging process gives the outside edge a soft brie-like texture while the inside is a tangy slightly dry chevre. The bucheron made by Montchevre Cheese in Belmont, WI is a wonderful example of this cheese. It is a mostly mild cheese, with a noticable tang that mixes with the creaminess. This is a party favorite, and is especially delicious warmed in the oven until the edges soften, much the same way brie is often heated.

Thank you, Montchevre Cheese.

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11.24.08 An update, from Steve Ehlers of Larry’s Market (a great cheese and specialty food store in Milwaukee)

“Montchevré is the first American company licensed to use the name Bucheron. The cheese’s name refers to a “lumberjack” in French, with the root word meaning “log.” ”

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Via the Fromagination newsletter, one of our vital lifelines to the exciting stuff happening in the world of Wisconsin cheese:

In the last two weeks Sartori has released a new line of flavored BellaVitanos.

First, the BellaVitano rubbed with Black Pepper is a great complimentary cheese on any holiday cheese platter.  It adds an interesting look, plus a hint of pepper spiciness to any cheee course.

Another BellaVitano is soaked in a fine Merlot wine before aging.  This is reminiscent of the “Ubriaco” or “drunk” cheeses traditional in northern Italy.  In the old days, Italian farmers would immerse their cheese in grape must — the grape skins and leftover juice from wine making — as a way to preserve their cheese.  The Merlot BellaVitano pairs well with a light & fruity red wine such as the red Bordeaux, Chateau Barrail Chevrol Fronsac (2005), available at Fromagination now and through the holidays.

Finally, the BellaVitano soaked in New Glarus Brewery’s Raspberry Tart beer is a great synergism of local Wisconsin producers.  The beer adds a sweet and tart flavor to the already delicious BellaVitano cheese.  This cheese is best enjoyed with a glass of any New Glarus or other fine craft beer, including their Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red beer which are available at Fromagination.

Next time we get a chance to lay our greedy paws on this stuff… particularly the Raspberry Tart incarnation of Bellavitano… we’re on it. And we’ll report the results to you.

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