Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cheese from the Winter Fancy Food Show 2014

There is a lot of cheese at the Fancy Food Show! I wait until the last day to indulge and I try to focus on the cheeses that are new or new to me. Here are some of note: 

I always make a point of checking out the cheeses at Fresca Italia. The standout this year was Fiore de Bufala from Bergamo. It is the lightest fluffiest cheese I’ve ever tasted and yet unbelievably rich at the same time. Despite my ability to read Italian, the information on the website doesn’t tell me much about the cheese except that it’s new and made from 100% buffalo milk 

Miette from Baetje Farms in Missouri is a bloomy rind sheep and goat’s milk cheese that melts in your mouth. It’s mild and sweet and very creamy and a little bit oozy near the rind. A really luscious cheese. All Baetje cheese is Certified Humane. 

Milton Creamery makes outstanding clothbound cheeses. The Flory’s Truckle is made in Iowa from milk that comes from Missouri, and is an old fashioned style cheddar. It’s aged over a year so the flavors really develop yet the texture stays creamy. It has hints of caramel and a grassy finish. 

Red Barn Heritage Weis Reserve is a three year old cheddar that manages to retain all a creamy texture while deepening in flavor. It’s another cloth wrapped cheddar from an award-winning family farm. They also make an excellent New Zealand style cheddar called Edun. 

LaClare Farm is known for their award winning goat’s milk cheeses. Cheesemaker Katie Hedrich Fuhrmann is now making a cow and goat’s milk cheese called Martone, in honor of her great grandfather. It’s covered in ash and very fresh, aged just a week. The result is a fresh and creamy buttery cheese with a slight lemony tang, milder than most chevre. 

I’m sure you know that feta the comes from different places. What I learned from Mani Imports was that there are different regions within Greece for Greek feta. In fact in Greece there are seven different DOP or protected designations of origin for regions of feta--the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the mainland of Greece and Lesbos.  I tasted Dodonis and Hotos feta side by side and was amazed at how different they were. One was drier, the other creamier, one seemed saltier the other sweeter. I am not going to say I liked one better, but rather just share that there is a whole lot more to learn about feta than just which country it comes from.