They Say Double Gloucester is Twicest as Nice

I had a bit of time to spare whilst running errands and the Cheese, Cheese, Cheese shop happened to be on the same side of the road and we haven’t done a Hard Cheeses post for a while so I thought this was one of those karmic events.

You want to know who got smacked with karma? My wallet! I put a 2 liter bottle cap at the lower left corner of the cheese plate so you can get an idea of how “big” our cheese selection is. From upper left just above the bottle cap is a slice of Grassfields Goulda, a locally made cheese. It was the cheapest of the bunch at $17/pound. That slice is about $6.50 worth of cheese and it’s about half the height of the bottle cap. Moving clockwise is a $7 lump of Crottin de Chavignol which is an incredibly tasty cheese but daaaaaaaaang. $7! Then just to the right of that is a $6.50 block of Boerenkaas Noord Holland (5 yrs) ($25/lb) and then finally, my just shy of $10 chunk of Roncal ($29/lb). Not that I was looking at every cheese but the $17/lb local Goulda was the cheapest cheese in the whole shop. My poor pocketbook had a meltdown when we left the place.

Also? Morgan & York (the real name of the Cheese, Cheese, Cheese shop) are stingy bastards when it comes to cheese sampling. You go to any Whole Foods and ask for a sample and the cheese meister will lop off a decent taste of cheese. I’m not asking for a slice for a sandwich, but something that’s about the size of a smaller crouton seems reasonable. M&Y? They took painstaking care to shave off the ittiest bittiest bit of cheese for me to taste. I could see through the damned slice of cheese. Instead of whackity hack, here’s your small sample they are all *shavyshavyshavy* here’s your taste and be careful it doesn’t catch a stray breeze and fly away.

I hate to say it, but Morgan & York make Whole Foods seem downright reasonable.

Anyway, cheeses (enjoyed with Banrock Station Shiraz and Lelanaw Winter White):

Grassfield’s Goulda
This is a locally made cow cheese. It was super soft and awesomely creamy (about one step short of spreadable cheese but not as soft as Brie). It has a tad of fungally flavor (we called it a bit if Swiss bite) and was quite overwhelmed by the flavor of a Ritz cracker. We also had these sunflower doodads, which I got to be blander than a Ritz, and the Goulda sat the bland cracker better. It also went better with the white wine than the red (it brought the sweet out in the white). I voted this cheese as the loser of the night but TheMan picked another for that honor.

Crottin de Chavignol
This was a mighty tasty goat cheese and hails from France. Apparently, according to Godzilla and some other sources, it’s a pretty famous cheese so yay cheese! Crottin was a sort of hardish cheese much like cream cheese left out to dry. I know that doesn’t sound appetizing but that’s about the consistency of this cheese. It was also a very fragrantly pungent cheese reminiscent of Bleu Cheese in taste with a bit of a saltiness going on. This of course, made Crottin TheMan’s least favorite of the cheeses while I loved it. Sadly, we did not have the right wine mix for the cheese overwhelmed the Shiraz while the white was just too sweet for it. As for the crackers, TheMan quipped, “Everything sits on a Ritz. I found something that tries to stand up.” Hee. And yeah. This cheese had flavor ‘tude.

Boerenkaas Noord Holland (5yr)
Huh! I just Googled this cheese and apparently this is also a Goulda. And cow, but man, what a world of difference between the first goulda and this cheese. This was indeed a hard cheese with delicious cheesy crystals (I love that). It was a little salty and tasted a lot like a dark Asiago and has a nice sharp bite. There was a disagreement as to which wine the Boerenkaas went better with so perhaps it went well with both or like the Crottin it went well with neither. The Ritz was the better cracker for this cheese. Boerenkaas was the cheese winner of the night, but not by much because…

Was mighty tasty. This was a sheep cheese which was hard-ish but not as much as the Boerenkaas. Roncal tastes like a mix between Parmesan and Cheddar and went decently with both wines, although the white was slightly the better wine for this cheese. Sadly, the Ritz overpowered the flavor so we ate it on the bland crackers. Which weren’t really all that good anyway. The cheese sure was though. Yum!

2008: When I go about killing a dish, I do it in high style.

2007: JSFR: Katayaki Pretz

2006: Cheese, Cheese, Cheese shop too expensive for an update.

2005: $17 a pound? The farm it’s from is selling it for $9!

2004: I don’t think I’ll be shopping at the Cheese, Cheese, Cheese shop unless I win some spectacular lotto.

2003: Besides, it smells funny in there. Whole Foods does not have that stinky miasma.

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