I hope your week is going well so far. Today I wanted to talk about a fun cheese we are featuring this month - the Gorwydd Caerphilly.
Cheese: Gorwydd Caerphilly (pronounced GOR-with CARE-fully)
Producer: Todd, Maugan and Kim Trethowan
Location: Llanddewi Brefi, Ceredigion in Wales
Milk: Raw cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)
Todd Terthowan had originally studied archaeology before working for a stint at Neal's Yard Dairy. This is where he was bitten by the proverbial "cheese bug" and wanted to learn how to make cheese. He chose to learn to make Caerphilly as he had a Welsh Grandmother who had grown up right outside the town of Caerphilly and had made the cheese herself at one time. Todd learned how to make the Caerphilly from third generation Caerphilly maker, Chris Duckett, who was one of the few cheesemakers producing Caerphilly in the traditional manner on a farm. After spending 6 months with Chris, Todd returned to his parents' farm to start making the cheese himself.
In the making of the Caerphilly, the Terthowans get their milk from one supplier which gives them great control in the quality of the milk. They also just recently started using animal rennet to add to the complexity of the flavor. All I have to say is - good job! The cheese is beautiful and complex. I love the way the flavors are described in the DiBruno Brothers blog: (http://www.dibruno.com/blog/2010/11/10/gorwydd-caerphilly-the-turducken-of-cheese/)
"Bite #1: Begin by tasting the center; it’s all lemon sponge. This is the whitest part of the cheese and also the mildest. The texture is cakey, and the flavor calls to mind yogurt or crème fraiche — bright and milky.
Bite #2: Moving outward, you’ve got your gooey layer below the rind. It bulges a bit at room temperature and appears darker in color, with the same golden cast as a ripe Camembert. Take a nibble, and you’ll taste warm tones – sautéed mushrooms, roasted cauliflower.
Bite #3: On to the rind – which is edible. Here, you’ll taste earth, mushrooms, cave. Okay, it can be a little bitter, but that’s a good excuse to crack open some beer (try a citrusy ale or a dry cider).
Bite #4: Finally, eat all three layers together, and you’ll taste what makes cheese connoisseurs go crazy – a fracas of flavors and textures. It’s what makes this Caerphilly so special. A combination of light and dark, mild and wild, heavenly and earthly."
I couldn't have described it better myself!!
For the month of May, all NorCal/Reno Whole Foods Markets have the Gorwydd Caerphilly on promotion - so get some while you can! Be sure to ask for a sample, you won't be disappointed.
Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!