Explore some of the world’s lesser-known and more remote cheesemaking regions with these four cheeses, all superb examples of regional traditions and expertise. From the Italian Dolomites to the Bavarian Alps—oh, the places you’ll go!
Crucolo: This raw cow’s milk cheese is produced by the Purin family in the rugged Italian Dolomites. The family have had an inn, or refugio, in this mountainous area since 1782, rebuilding it after it was destroyed in World War I. The classic mountain cheese they make here resembles Asiago; it is moist and mild, with a seductive buttery aroma, and it melts beautifully. You will be thrilled to have some leftover for grilled cheese sandwiches or for melting on polenta.
Bethmale Chèvre: The illustrious Fromagerie Jean Faup produces this pure goat’s milk wheel in the remote French valley of Bethmale (say bett-mahl), near the Spanish border. The wheels have a natural rind and a semi-firm, smooth interior with many small openings. The fragrance is nutty and the flavor gentle and sweet, not remotely chalky or "goaty." It’s hard to imagine anyone not loving this mellow cheese.
Baldauf Alpcheese: This beauty comes from the scenic and serene Allgäu region of southern Germany, in the Bavarian Alps. Made at a 150-year-old creamery with raw cow’s milk from the rare and prized Braunvieh breed, which some believe is the oldest purebred dairy cow on earth, the hefty wheels are matured for 4 months. They become wonderfully concentrated in flavor, with aromas of roasted onion, peanuts and meat broth, and a silky texture punctuated with crunchy protein crystals. Divine!
Crozier Blue: Experience a sheep’s milk version of Ireland’s famous Cashel Blue. Launched in 1993, Crozier Blue won the Food Writers Guild Guaranteed Irish Good Food Award in 2005, an honor given to outstanding Irish food products with a record of excellence. It has also received numerous medals at the British Cheese Awards and World Cheese Awards. Crozier Blue is matured for at least three months and develops nutty and smoky aromas and a gentle, mellow sweetness.
Cheese O’Clock is a four-week Zoom cheese and wine tasting series led by cheese authorities Laura Werlin and Janet Fletcher. Different themes, cheeses and wines every time.
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