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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stinky cheeses: How brave are you?

My sweets, a couple weeks ago, we figured out how to make the perfect cheese plate. But what about really those change-your-life strong cheeses? Well, Murray's Cheese helped us put together a cheese plate for brave souls that will blow your mind (and stink up your living room). The only question is: Can you handle it? :)

Murray's head cheesemonger Sydney Willcox showed us how to create a truly adventurous cheese plate, and the wonderful Jamie Beck took photos. Here goes...
Overall rule of thumb: Typically it's OK to eat the rind of any cheese, as long as you can handle the stronger flavor (exceptions, of course, are cloth-bound or wax rinds).

Monte Enebro. This quirky Spanish goat cheese is covered in ash and mold. The flavor is creamy and salty on the inside, and then gets spicy, damp and acidic as you get toward the rind. Its overall funny appearance is said to resemble the leg of a mule!

Quadrello di Bufala. This gamey cheese is made in northern Italy with water buffalo milk. Two SUPER cool brothers took over their father's farm (their dad had started the farm in 1968 and tragically died the same year). They wanted to do more than just make mozzarella, so they created a bunch of different funky cheeses. This cheese is very barnyard-y; you can taste wet straw, a bit of stink and sweetness at the same time. Tangy, meaty, very rich. Washed in brine.

Epoisses. There are two ways to serve this runny cow's milk cheese--cut it like a pizza or cut the top off and scoop it out with a spoon (or dip your bread in!). After four weeks of aging in France, this cheese is rinsed in French brandy--and once it crosses the pond, Murray's washes it in brandy again in their cheese cave to kick up the intensity. Very strong, gooey, stinky. (In fact, it's so stinky that there's a rumor that it's banned from French public transportation.) Like a salty pudding. Fun fact: Napoleon Bonaparte was a huge fan!

Pecorino Foglie de Noce. This raw sheep's milk cheese is buried in barrels full of walnut leaves while it ages. You can taste the walnut flavor in the cheese, and the rind is grassy and herbaceous. Milky, nutty, sharp and very salty. Great with fresh grapes, since it's so salty that you need that refreshing palate cleanser. (Fun fact: Did you know that the word "pecorino" doesn't actually connote a specific cheese, but simply refers to any Italian sheep's milk cheese?)

Caveman Blue. This blue cheese is made with raw cow's milk in Oregon. (The Pacific Northwest is a big blue hotspot.) Really fruity and spicy, the flavor is right up front. Has nuances of beef and bacon and grass. Not for people who are timid about blue cheeses! The name "Caveman Blue" is a nod to the nearby town of Grant's Pass, which is overlooked by a huge hulking statue of a caveman.

Yum! Thank you so much, Sydney and Murray's! What do you think, my lovelies? Do you dare? How bold are you when it comes to cheeses? (I would love to serve this tray at a dinner party!)

P.S. Remember Toby's stinker shirt? :) And more cheese-y posts!

(Photos by the amazing Jamie Beck for Cup of Jo)

103 comments:

From Me To You said...

THE BLACK BACKGROUND LOOKS SO GOOD!!!! I'm dying, and I love the name of the two cheese stories on the top. Such a thrill!! Thank you for letting me photograph your cheese adventures!

An Invitation said...

If it's cheese I'll try it :)
(not the same with meats however)

I'm not a big fan of trying the rind though.

I think you may just have inspired me to host a cheese party of my own. Thanks for all the info!

Nancy said...

Very interesting! Though I love a funky blue, I haven't really branched out to other pungent cheeses. I want to try epoisses but I'm scared :) Love that last photo with the fluttering skirt!

Belle on Heels said...

i'm a very recent new follower. and i am LOVING your cheese posts because i am a fellow stinky cheese lover. great post, i would be all about trying these! my fiance, on the other hand, not so much...

Jesse said...

oh i'd love to try that mozzarella. and what a sweet story of the brothers behind the cheese. there is always room for more cheese in my life.

Alex said...

Great post! I love all cheeses. Thanks for the pecorino fun fact! I think the walnut flavor sounds great...

Steffys Pros and Cons said...

i am definitley not adventurous enough, the cheesy smells would scare me off!


<3 steffy
http://steffysprosandcons.blogspot.com

Sara Szatmary said...

Those all sound amazing! I love me some cheese- the stinkier the better!

Becca said...

I am daring on all of these EXCEPT the blue cheese (for some reason it's the one food I've never been able to get into)- I'm taking your advice with how to make the perfect plate this weekend though! And, I am going to give Cambazola a shot (the description made it too good to pass up!)

Becca

Diana Mieczan said...

I totally dare! I love stinky cheese so much and I cant wait to try this selection. Im getting some of the Caveman Blue tomorrow:) Thanks for this great post, Joanna:)

Dancing Branflake said...

Wonderful photos! I love how these photographers are taking photos just for your readers. We feel so special!

And that swooshing skirt is amazing. Makes me feel like I am eating fresh cheese on the farm!

em said...

finally someone cleared up the rind question! I was never quite sure of the etiqutte on that! Thanks Jo!

L E A H said...

I recently tried some extremely stinky fancy cheeses at a french restaurant in vegas.. they were very different, but overall very nice!

Hollie said...

I just tried zamorano over the weekend. It's like manchego meets pecorino. SO delicious. It's my new favorite.

marion said...

I would eat them all! I'm living in Central America right now and have limited access to really good food. Your cheese posts are killing me! I would do anything for some of that cheese right now.

chelsea said...

Very bold! I will try any cheese! Love this Joanna!

Chloé said...

Mmmmh !!! Miam ! Epoisses is quite good on a slice of gingerbread with a thin layer of blackcurrant mustard (these are specialties of the Côte d'Or in the east of France)

Amanda said...

EPOISSES

sarah said...

ooh! i'm up for it. love these! still mourning the stinky cheeses + hard sausage that got confiscated from my husband and i on our flight home from amsterdam last fall. love jamie's photos too!

Hannah Q. Parris said...

Yum! My husband and I love sampling cheeses, although I usually prefer savory and he likes the sweet ones. Thanks for sharing these!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just tried Epoisses last night. Sooo stinky but so good!

molliee said...

well I have never met a cheese I didn't like!

Joanna Goddard said...

no, way, sarah! that is awesome of you to try to smuggle it back here :)

girluntitled said...

my husband lived in belgium for a few years and always rants and raves about how delicious the cheeses were...so i plan to throw him a cheese party for his next birthday, as stinky as it may be!

abby said...

i love these cheese posts, joanna! every time i go to the store i've been trying a new one, thanks to your inspiration.

Kelsi said...

I would love to try pecorino but can never seem to find it around here. This is Wisconsin! Aren't we supposed to have cheeses of all kinds? I even went to the Mars Cheese Castle and they didn't have it. Sigh...

heemmaa said...

We french people do not fear any kind af stinky cheeses. We love them so much that we use them to our babies :)

Anyway, that story about epoisses forbidden in trains is so cute, that I would like it to be true. It is not.
But what is true is that an epoisses, even tightly stored in a plastic box like a Tupperware keeps perfuming a whole autobus....

Joanna Goddard said...

haha, heemmaa, good to know! so funny...xo

Joanna Goddard said...

kelsi, you should order some from murray's! :)

heemmaa said...

sorry , there is a word missing : we use them to feed our babies

LV said...

I love cheese! I once made a strawberry pasta with pecorino and it was very interesting...

http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

Ashlae said...

Have you ever had mont d'or? When I visited Paris last fall, we brought some back to the states and it stunk up our fridge for days. Although, the people who ate it absolutely loved it - the stinkier, the better!

Ashlae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
In Good Taste said...

Obsessed with good quality cheeses and these images are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! xx

Mandy said...

YUMMY!!! MONTE ENEBROOO!!! LOVE IT! :-) Thanks for sharing Jo!

XX

Lotta said...

Thanks for sharing these lovely cheeses! It really makes it easier to plan a cheese plate. I live in Italy for the moment, and I love most of the pecorino's..right now I'm obsessed with pecorino toscano, from Tuscany. It's a bit milder, but really tasty.
I dare everything but blue cheese :)

Trina said...

Oh, how I looooooove stinky cheese. Give me a blue or a triple-crème any day. My fave is probably still either La Tur or Brillat-Savarin.

The House Mouse said...

Love all these cheeses. I'm a bit of a funky fromage fan. Stay Cheesy!

Eliana said...

I am loving these cheese posts! I don't think I've ever met a cheese I didn't like. Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

These sound DELICIOUS!!!!! Another stinky, but yummy cheese is St. Albray. You have to hold your nose and then take a wonderful bite!

Anonymous said...

Love putting nuts out with the cheese! Also, love the brown polka dot dress. Is that you?

Arielle Wren said...

Yummy I love cheese!
I tried the spiciest most melt in your mouth buffalo jalapeno cheddar this morning and it brought tears to my eyes it was so spicy!

mariana said...

hey Joanna, I was force to try the Stinking Bishop when I went to Englando for the first time and it was quite an experience! http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/may/28/smelliest-cheese-world-stinking-bishop

I live in Argentina withmy british husband and he always say how much he misses a good cheese plate!

mariana said...

sorry. I meant England!

jean goddard said...

I can't wait to try some of these!

CARLEY FAY said...

Pecorino Foglie de Noce... Delicious!

Thank you for sharing such wonderful posts about cheese.

From a fellow lover of cheese.

Susan said...

Bring on the stink. Yep. Nice pictures...

Nisrine M. said...

First, I love the pic of the wind blowing in your dress.

Second, I'm very very brave when it comes to stinky cheese. The stinkier the better.

Larry said...

Definitely gonna try a few of those. Thanks for the list!

Carmen Eva said...

que onda esa falda que se mueve!!!

iheartkiwi said...

I'm up for the challenge! The smellier the better :)

When we were in Paris for our honeymoon we went to a cheese shop and the smell almost knocked my socks off!

13bees said...

just waiting for my invitation...xx

Cath said...

My only response to this post:
YES!

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for these lovely comments -- can't wait to try these other cheeses, too.

Joanna Goddard said...

and yes, the brown polka-dot dress is me! :)
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2009/09/stowaway.html

Marissa said...

Now THIS is my kind of cheese plate! The stronger the better! Yum yum yum.

dawn said...

sounds intriguing! i'd love to put a cheese tray out for easter brunch this year so thank you for the suggestions. if you do a future post can you share what specific beverages would compliment the certain types of cheese?

Girly Notes said...

ohhh, that moving picture is so sweet

http://girlynote.blogspot.com

Isabelle R. said...

Drool.

the lil bee said...

I love the breezy animations Jamie's been doing lately. That girl, I tell ya... ;)

And, to answer your question, no--I probably would not be brave enough to get past the stink for some of these cheeses. But I can definitely appreciate the art of a good cheese plate!

red ticking said...

i love stinking cheese... i have la tur in my refrigerator now and although i know it will be worth the wait, every time the door opens i cringe...xx

anamanzana said...

we have a saying in our family - the stinkier the cheese, the better it is going to taste. i have "starred" your post, so i can look these cheeses up. thanks!

princess hajjar said...

so I love how your dress is moving behind the cheese tray! such a neat effect! thats all i've got:)

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! Love the presentation too - where's that cheese board from?

Jill said...

I'm a huge fan of stinky cheese and this platter looks right up my alley! That said, I prefer it served with the option of something sweet like dried apricots or a sweet and tart cranberry relish to balance some of the stink.

Melissa Stevens said...

THat looks so good!!! Thanks for this post, I'll be working on my cheese plates!!

Charmaine said...

I fell in love with a french man, and then I fell in love with stinky cheese.

Judi said...

I'm loving these posts/tutorials you've been doing, way to keep it fresh!

Katty said...

Love it ♥

Kelly said...

yum, yum, yum!! amazing photo with the moving skirt!
xo-kelly

http://beinglovely.blogspot.com

sirius said...

I'm french so I'm dare ! I also love your obsession about cheese, dear Joanna. Next time try Munster; also Corsican cheese, those which have a nice worm working its way inside - that very one that explodes in one of Asterix's comic, the one where they are in Corsica...

Lady Grey said...

What a fantastic post! I'm a fairly brave cheese eater, I think. But I have lots of new things to try out now. Thanks!

saarah said...

thanks for sharing! that looks so good.
i´ve been reading your blog for a long time, but maybe never commented before.
greetings from helsinki!

Holly said...

Another terrific cheese post, Joanna! Long live stinky cheeses! I absolutely LOVE stinky cheese, and always make a point to order Epoisses when dining at a restaurant that I trust to serve it "a point." If you don't get it at the right time, the flavors and textures just don't come together.

To anyone who hasn't tried it, I highly recommend Grayson, a Virginia-made stinker in the style of Italian Taleggio. Buttery, slightly grassy, rich and delicious! Just perfect smeared over a crusty baguette!

giulia said...

Quite interesting! I'm italian and I must confess I only know italian cheeses and many french, too. But I never heard about Quadrello di bufala, I must do some research about it!
Love

Barbara said...

Cheese is my favorite food. I particularly love taleggio, but epoisse is really good, too.

La Franglaise said...

Well, I grew up in France so I can't not like smelly cheese. In fact, I love it! My favourite is blue cheese: Roquefort when in France and Blue Stilton when in England. Hmm, that with a glass of red wine is bliss!
ps: Jamie Beck is an AMAZING photographer. I am intrigued to know how she manages the movement. Is it a type of gif? Bravo to her anyway for all the stunning shots she's been doing for your blog.

Pistachio said...

I want a nice glass of red and some cheese right now! Great info and photos!

Lilly said...

Mmmm! Now I want to eat cheese!! I like some stinky cheeses but stay away from the moldy looking ones;) Thanks for sharing, will attempt a real cheese platter soon:)

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, the slate board is from murray's. you can buy them in the store, and i bet if you called them, they could mail you one. it was awesome!!

Allison Egan said...

Amazing tips! I love a beautiful cheese plate! perfect with friend + wine! thanks for sharing!
xo Allison

www.spicerandbank.blogspot.com

Joanna Goddard said...

franglaise, jamie is a genius at creating those moving images -- they're different from regular animated gifts, since they're not just animated images, but a moment in a photograph. she has tons more on her blog, they are amazing!! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

and thanks for these incredible recommendations, i can't wait to try more cheeses!!!! :) xoxo

S. said...

I'm sorry but those are weak sauce stinky cheeses... No Alsatian Munster? Stinking Bishop? Tomme de berger? If you can get past the noses on those guys, then you truly love stinky cheese.

On A Day In November said...

Great photos!

Also, my mouth starts watering when I read this, haha! I LOVE cheese and I'm not afraid of the stinky ones either. I found a new cheese shop, so I'm planning on trying out loads of different ones soon. Great post, thanks for sharing :)

Grandma Kathleen said...

i'm a mild cheddar, white bread girl

Karin said...

I love cheese, so I'd be willing to try this stinky cheese plate! :) I have to say, the moving photo reminds me of two things: 1)the photo in the movie "The Ring" or 2)the moving photos in the wizarding world of Harry Potter! :) It's kinda freaky.

Erin*Sparkle&Hay said...

yum!! the stinkier the better!!!

Tess said...

I am an Oregonian, and my faveorite blue is Rogue River Creamery's Rogue River Blue
http://www.roguecreamery.com/pilot.asp?pg=RogueRiverBlue

It's delicious!

Murmels mamma said...

If you ever get the chance to visit this restaurant; http://www.st-patrick.it/ , I highly recommend it! :) Me and my husband live in Norway, but every year we visit the tiny city of Terracina, south of Rome. This restaurant is amazing, and amongst other delicious dishes, they make a perfect cheese plate with matching wines. You can order it both as a starter and as a main course, we had it as a main course, and it was a laaaarge platter with many, many different cheeses, everything from local freshly made mozzarella to stilton and more.

AJ said...

Liz lemon would be so proud!

JessLynn said...

Oh! I love cheese. :) Thanks for sharing!

Lucy said...

love the photo with the moving skirt!!! xoxo

Alix said...

I can smell it from here + I am on a break with cheese, just to get some space. This makes me want to get back together right now.

Joanna Goddard said...

S., haha, i love stinky bishop! good call. and alix, you guys have to get back together, you were so good together :)

steaky diane said...

Stinky cheeses are my favorite!
My husband and I lived on Epoisses when traveling around France in 2009. We would dip torn pieces of baguette into it...it cost about 5 Euros at truck stops...so yummy!
Do u ever experience strange dreams after eating cheese? especially after eating 'stinky cheese'.
I call them cheesy-mares!

Kathleen Frances said...

Oh dear, you're probably not reading this anymore but I have the BESTEST suggestion. Cambozola. I always keep a little on hand when I have a hankering for something savory. None of my friends have liked it. But my 3 and 6 year old daughters can't get enough. I refer to it as 'stinky cheese' and they know what I mean.

Tara said...

I wish I lived close to a good cheesemonger who could supply me with a weekly cheese fix!

Brooklyn Slate said...

Looks like you guys also made use of some Brooklyn Slate!? Great work - a solid helping of cheese.

Ronald Vaughn said...

Thanks a lot for your post, i 've got a bit different outlook at generic Levitra
Bernard

Comptabilité en Chine said...

That looks so good!!! Thanks for this post.

photographer calgary said...

Oh that looks soooo yummy!! :)

Epicurealgirl said...

Thanks for sharing!
An interesting resource to learn about and buy cheeses is www.fromages.com If I recall right it was the subject of either a New York Times article or Wall Street Journal when it appeared on the Internet...

Enjoy!

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