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Old 12-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #51
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The thing I like best about cheeses are that they make wine taste so darn good!
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:23 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Don't sell the U.S. short on great cheeses. But you have to look past the supermarkets to find them.Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I am not selling them short. I just wish there were more small cheese shops near me. My supermarket compared to others doesn't recognize that cheeses are so versatile. We do have Purity Cheese company in the North End of Boston. They are more into meeting the needs of the very large Italian community. They supply the daily needs of the local supermarkets requirements for fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese. They tend to have a small amount of other nationality cheeses. Too bad. In this city if you are not Italian or Irish, you tend to get left behind. And now it is the Latino community that is letting it culinary voice be heard. And I am glad. It is exposing today's young people to foods of other nations. Hopefully this will bring in cheeses from Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. Here in East Boston, the Spanish community is constantly opening new Mom and Pop shops. Here's hoping that one of them will be a cheese shop.

Down in the southern part of Massachusetts we have a huge Portuguese population. (That is where Emeril is from.) They have their own cheese shops with a plethera of imported cheeses from their native country. Most of their foods are derived from the sea. And they provide us with all our beautiful large sea scallops. We can find some of their cheeses here in the Boston area. But not many. The mentality here is 'if it is not imported, then it is not worth the time.' Too bad.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:02 PM   #53
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Just returned from France and this time I brought home more cheese than chocolate!

from the fromagier Laurent DuBois in Paris, I brought a fresh goat cheese coated in ash, a medium-sized Camembert, and a large chunk of 3-year-aged Comte (French Gruyere -- and my favorite hard cheese).

My most favorite cheese ever, though, cannot be found in US. it's the St. Marcellin of affineur Mme Renee Richard in Lyon. When I was there, I had it for dessert at every meal!

Although you can sometimes find St. Marcellin in US cheese shops, it doesn't travel well. I've even found it spoiled (ammonia odor) upon opening.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:30 PM   #54
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just as a contrary pov, you strike out sometimes going artisnal.
That suggests a point worth remembering. While "artisan" means means one who produces in limited quantities using traditional methods, "artisanal" has no legal definition. Anyone can use the word. Dominos offered "artisanal" pizza. Wendy's "artisan" sandwich. Lays. It's like grocery stores climbing on board the "local" train. They all want to talk about their "local" products, but their definition of "local" may take you three states away.

Artisanal legitimately means it's not mass produced, and it implies it's made with the plain basic ingredients. Artisanal bread is made with flour, water, yeast, and salt. Doesn't mean it can't have anything else in it, but nothing that's not REQUIRED to make the essential product. It's real hard to pin down where the line is, but it's safe to say that an artisanal maker doesn't need a vast warehouse. Being so large that you NEED a warehouse is largely the reason mass producers use non-traditional ingredients.

There's a cheese stocked in my grocery with "Artisan" prominent on the label and priced up with the "good" cheeases. Most dreary, tasteless excuse for cheese in the place. Kraft is genuinely better. So, all that we can legitimately use to qualify a cheesemaker as artisanal is what they put into the cheese. Whether they're any good at it is another matter. Most cheeses aren't technically complicated. We have to cast around until we find one we like. You don't have to wonder much about mass producers. By necessity, they all shoot for mediocrity, so as to have some tolerable appeal to the most people. And that's why we care about artisanal cheeses. We're not so worried about the single mold inhibitor that Kraft uses in additional to traditional ingredients. We're concerned with taste. And that absolutely means that not every person will like cheese by every maker. There's a lot more variation than with bread. Most any attempt at artisanal bread will be pretty good. Even the failures won't be so bad.

And we have to remember that "artisanal" implies no preservatives and no alteration of methods to sacrifice taste for longevity. They have to be consumed and stored with that in mind. Artisanal breads won't survive a week in storage like Wonder What's In It Bread. Cheeses need correct storage, too, and a reasonable limit on how long.

The best I've found for hard cheeses is wrapped closely in parchment and then in foil. I have a large sealed bin dedicated to cheese in the refrigerator, and the wrapped cheese goes in there. Most other types don't do well under any storage conditions once opened and just need to be eaten.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #55
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We really like a brand of French bleu called Papillon. Particularly the black label. I brought back a little over 2 kilos when I was in Marseille for a client. Customs didn't say anything, even though I was over the 2 kilo limit.

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