Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bonde du Poitou

Good morning everyone,

One of the best things about Spring is that goats start producing milk again, allowing for more delicious goat's milk cheeses to be made. The best thing about right now? Is that most of these goat's milk cheeses are in their prime! One of the goat cheeses we are featuring this month is the Bonde du Poitou. It's only 7oz, but this little round packs a lot of great goaty flavor!

Cheese: Bonde du Poitou
Affineur: HervĂ© Mons
Location: Produced by a small dairy in Poitou Charentes in Western France
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

When I first picked up this cheese, I expected it to be relatively soft and squishy. I was surprised that it was actually a bit on the firm side. After bringing it home, I opened up the container and was met by a pleasantly goaty, tangy aroma. The smell was quite enticing. I then took the cheese and cut it in half. The result was the picture above. A firm middle that was crumbly and similar to a fresh chevre in flavor. As I tasted closer to the rind, the flavor of the goat's milk became more pronounced, along with some grass and light acidity. I would say the flavoring is along the lines of Crottin. As you let it age, the Bonde du Poitou will get even firmer to where you might want to shave off some pieces.

For those of you that love goat cheese, this is a fun cheese that is a little different than the other goat cheese offerings available right now. I would serve the Bonde du Poitou with a Sancerre and some fresh grapes... yum!

Most Whole Foods Market cheese counters in the Northern California region should have this cheese available. Be sure to swing by and ask for a sample. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Point Reyes Bay Blue

Hello everyone!

At the office today I brought out one of my favorite blue cheeses, the Bay Blue from Point Reyes Creamery. I first tried this cheese at the 2012 American Cheese Society Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. I remember tasting other blues at the "blue" table during the Festival of Cheese, but when I tried the Bay Blue, I was blown away.

I recently was given the opportunity to tour Point Reyes Creamery and they were kind enough to send me home with a wedge of this delectable cheese...

Cheese: Bay Blue
Producers: The Giacomini family at Point Reyes Creamery\
Cheesemaker: Kuba Hemmerling
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

Quite a sexy blue isn't it? When opening up the cheese, you definitely smell the tang of the blue mold along with a dusty earthiness. It's no where near as pungent and some of the other blues I've worked with, but still have a bit of a bite.

The flavor and texture to me is very similar to Stilton. The folks at Point Reyes use the term "fudgy" to describe the texture and I think that hits the nail right on the head. The flavor is incredibly earthy and creamy with hints of caramel while being accented with a fruity acidity from the blue-green mold running through the paste.

If you've never been a fan of blue cheese and are willing to try again, this is one that I would recommend. It is a fantastic cheese that I always want to have in my refrigerator. The only issue is that the cheese is made in very limited amounts, so not every Whole Foods in the Northern California region is able to get it. No matter the cheese counter, if you see a piece of the Bay Blue, be sure to grab a wedge! You will not be disappointed...

As promised, here are some pictures from the tour at Point Reyes Creamery...


If only I was sitting on that deck now! I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday and that you have a great weekend. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!!!