Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: Yee-haw!

We are all about Texas here at the Houston Dairymaids, as you well know. We've even proclaimed our love with our version of the state song, "Cheese in the Heart of Texas." In light of this unbridled passion, we have four fantastic Texas cheeses on the plate this week.

First, there's the smooth Hoja Santa from the Mozzarella Co. in Dallas, which is a mild goat cheese wrapped in leaves of the cheese's namesake.  From Flower Mound, Texas,  the Latte Da Gouda showcases a crumbly hard goat cheese loaded with nutty goodness.

We also have two of my favorites for the more adventurous. St. David's Raclette, a new venture from the Eagle Mountain cheese makers, is delicious with its creamy, salty, and slightly pungent taste. Rounding out the Texas lineup is our famous Redneck Cheddar. Lovingly made with St. Arnold beer, this cheese has a delightful yeasty, malty flavor that nicely balances with the sharpness of the cheddar.

If you're lucky, you may even convince a Dairymaid to join you in an a capella rendition of our cheesy tune!

Photo credit: Eliza Kinkz on the occasion of her visit to Houston Dairymaids

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: Aged to Maturity Edition

A Dairymaid had her 26th birthday this past weekend and no longer in her early 20s, you could say she aged to maturity--much like a fine cheese. As a human, she did most of her aging in apartments and houses in the suburbs, but the Red Rock cheddar from Wisconsin did its aging in a cave.

Along with being able to pay for his own car insurance and cook at least three different meals for himself, this cheese has developed a deep, rich orange-red color and slight blue veining close to the rind after 3-6 months. It's the younger sibling to Roelli's Dunbarton Blue and a bit softer and creamier.

Also on the cheese plate at the shop this week, you can expect subtle, buttery Landaff, CKC Farm Baby Caprino and Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert. All aged to perfection, naturally.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Amidst all the recent competitive swimming, the fact that the cheese Olympics were recently held in Raleigh may have gotten lost in all the Lochte-sanity. The American Cheese Society Conference & Competition took place a few weeks ago and our own Lindsey was a judge. She ate hundreds of types of cheese and may have even worn an official visor.

Never one to keep the fun to herself, this week's tasting plate is full of ACS winning cheeses. It's almost overwhelming how many accomplished dairy products we keep in one room. 

First, we will have the Vermont Coupole, a soft-ripened goat cheese with a dense and creamy paste and slightly sweet rind with a mild yeast flavor. The Coupole, in fact, won first place in its category and did not need to bite the gold medal to see if it was real. That move is so played out. 

The Blue Paradise is a mild double cream that placed 2nd in cow's milk blues thanks to its long, balanced finish. Also on the plate are regular Dairymaid favorites Marieke Gouda, Red Hawk and Teahive--all winners. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: New Faces Edition

As we sit in front of the computer with a plain iced tea no lemon no sugar, contemplating ordering the same fried noodles from our go-to Thai place, it occurs to us that maybe we should try something new. Something a little more exciting.

You see, there are always news things going on at the shop. Our latest addition is a new Dairymaid, Haley, and Kerrisa is *this close* to having a new baby. We have new treats from Brown Paper Chocolates. It's pretty much nonstop at 2201 Airline Drive.

So, inspired by the thrilling and unpredictable nature of the cheese industry, we're ordering red curry today. And if you want to join us in our risky endeavors, we say, you go on with your bad self! If you're normally a Pure Luck chevre fan, maybe this week try the Bonne Bouche. The hand-ladeled and ash-ripened goat cheese recently won first place in its category at the American Cheese Society Conference and we have it on the tasting plate this week.

If you normally don't like blue cheese, maybe this week try the Rogue Creamery Caveman. If you like Italian Pecorino, try the sheeps milk San Andreas we have from California. As the saying goes, "Why not?"

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX