Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: The Black Sheep of the Family

There are plenty of cheese-lovers out there who still don't care much for blues. Some people can do all manner of funky, beefy, salty and tangy cheeses, but choose to skip the last tasting on our plate. We're not the type to be pushy about it--what is recreational diary consumption about if not freedom?--so we typically don't shout about it from the rooftops/our blog.

This week, though, we're featuring the exceptional Old Chatham Ewe's Blue, which is not only a blue, but also a sheep's milk cheese. Neither of those characteristics is a tour headliner, but neither was Van Gogh until it was too late. Sheep milk has been a part of other cultures around the world for some 12,000 years, but we still don't see it much here in America. Sheep are extremely hardy, but those kind of survival skills aren't really necessary in our climate, so sissy cows work just fine for us.

Of course, sheep's milk is richer in fat than cow's milk, so the acidic sweetness that comes with blue veining provides a wonderful balance to the luxurious creaminess. The Ewe's Blue is really one-of-a-kind and so we hope that this week you'll be encouraged to give it a try, even if you usually don't.

Also on the plate are the Marieke Gouda with cumin, Texas Gold Cheddar, Bonne Bouche and Appalachian.

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Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX