Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Franklin's Teleme - Shootin' the Bries' 100th Post!!!

Hello everyone!

It excites me to tell you all that this official is the 100th post of Shootin' the Bries. What a ride it has been! Looking over the past posts, I'm very proud to see how much information I was able to provide regarding many of your favorite cheeses. Please feel free to email me at shootinthebries@gmail.com if you ever have a specific request and I'll look into blogging about that particular cheese!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to quickly tell you about a new venture I am pursuing. As a side project, I have started a small cheese catering/consulting company called, you guessed it, Shootin' the Bries, LLC. I can build cheese platters, do beverage parties and even be a guest speaker/hostess at your next cheese party. If you'd like to check out the services I have to offer, please check out www.shootinthebries.com. I'm super excited about the opportunity to share my love of cheese with even more people!

For my 100th post, I thought it would be fun to feature a local cheese that many hold near and dear to their heart - Franklin's Teleme.


 
Cheese: Franklin's Teleme (original and washed)
Producer: Franklin Peluso at Mid Coast Cheese Company
Location: Los Banos, CA
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Microbial (vegetarian)
 

The Teleme was discovered accidentally in the 1900s when a Greek cheesemaker in Pleasanton was trying to make Feta. Instead of the firm, crumbly feta, the cheesemaker was left with the soft, oozy goodness of the Teleme that is all so familiar.

Rice flour is used to dust the outside of the original Teleme and then the cheese is allowed to age for about two weeks. During this time, the rind firms up leaving the interior slightly spongy. Over time the interior becomes softer and softer... I left the cheese out for about 20 minutes before serving and if you look above, the original Teleme was oozing off of the plate. Delightful!

The flavor of the original Teleme is very mild with a little lemon-like acidity. Very similar to a Taleggio without the washed rind. You really can taste the quality of the milk used in this cheese as it is not aged for very long and the flavors you are getting are mostly from the milk itself. Many people like to use the Teleme on polenta, risotto or even pizza! It's a fantastic, versatile cheese that almost everyone will enjoy.


Now, Mid Coast Cheese Company recently (within the last year or so) introduced a washed rind version of the Teleme. My oh my, what a delectable experience. This is even closer to a Taleggio than the original is. The aroma is pungent but the flavor is still pretty mild, just with a bit more character. When the cheese is first made, it spends a few hours in a salt brine and then is aged for about a month while being continuously washed with a brine solution.

The end result is incredible. I really couldn't get enough of this cheese. Doing a side by side tasting was especially interesting because you could see the flavors of the milk in the original Teleme develop into really interesting nuanced flavors in the washed rind version. Personally I prefer the washed rind Teleme, but I'm a sucker for stinky cheeses....

As for pairings, I would have a nice Viognier with the original Teleme or a crisp Belgian Pale with the washed rind version. Both are FANTASTIC cooking cheeses that melt almost instantly and add a creamy deliciousness to any dish you are serving.

That's all for now, thank you for being such loyal readers! Cheers to 100 posts and many more to come. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

p.s. Photo cred goes to my girlfriend Lynn who stepped in a took some nice pictures before the cheeses oozed completely off of the plate! Thank you honey!