Another Les Petits Morceaux de Fromage (note to The Man: it means “Small Bites of Cheese”) that The Lady bought at the Hollywood Whole Foods was a small “brick” of Widmer Cheese Cellars Aged Brick.
The Lady and I, your humble feline foodie, had yet to encounter true Brick cheese on our cheese journey and were pleased to discover it is a washed-rind, stinky cheese…well, maybe pungent is a better description.
The Lady rubbed a bit of the rind between her fingers, smelled the aroma and swooned with delight. It was yeasty and earthy, similar to Taleggio in smell. The texture was not as creamy as Tallegio, you can still see the curds; tiny but they are there, they almost look like a weave. The outside of the cheese had a brown hue and the interior was more a rosy beige.
Joe Widmer, a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker, is a third generation cheesemaker making Brick cheese in the tradition of his grandfather. He still uses the same bricks from back in the day when his grandfather introduced America to his Brick cheese. Yes, the name comes from both the shape of the cheese and the bricks that lay on top of the cheese to help separate the curd from the whey.
After being soaked in brine, the cheese is washed with B. linens whey which creates the pungent smell and ages the cheese to perfection, making it a real washed-rind cheese. The cheese is then wrapped in parchment paper (to allow the aging to continue) and then wrapped in foil for the market.
This cheese is creamy on the tongue and the taste is nutty and earthy with a slight after bite. The Lady and I were both sad that she only bought a Petit Morceau; but she does know where to buy more. My plan is to coax her into using this to make a special grilled cheese for The Man and me to enjoy by the fireplace… or if the Pacific Northwest rain ever goes away, out on the deck.
I give Widmer Cheese Cellars Aged Brick 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Alone with crackers or with a nice liverwurst from Boar’s Head. As mentioned, I think this would make a very special grilled cheese. It would work in a Mac n cheese… well there’s a news flash… another cheese that I think would go well in Mac n cheese… this feline foodie has never met a cheese that would not go well in a Mac n cheese…
Wine Pairing Suggestions: Either Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc
Beer Pairing Suggestions: Bock or Porter
Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk
Awards: Widmer’s website lists this cheese as an award-winner but not specifics. But based on my “first date” with Widmer’s Aged Brick, this is definitely an award-winner.