Made with Raw Milk
Last month when The Lady was at Beecher’s Handmade Cheeses assisting (think: doing stuff that can’t mess up the cheese) in making a batch of Flagship, she was also busy tasting some of their cheeses she had never enjoyed previously. The Flagsheep and Four-Year Flagship she brought home and shared with her favorite Feline Foodie (that would be me). However, there were two she didn’t bring home and although I love her dearly, I’d like to remind The Lady that I hold a grudge and I hold it for a long time… you have been advised…
The two she didn’t bring home were both made using raw milk: Flagship and Flagship Reserve, as you know, the pasteurized versions of these two excellent cheddars are favorites around the manse and often used in our favorite mac n cheese.
The Raw Milk Flagship has all of the characteristics of the pasteurized version: nutty, sweet and full-flavored; with the added earthiness that you get when using raw milk. I imagine this one changes with the season as the cows’ diet changes. For raw milk enthusiasts, you really own it to yourself to buy a triangle wedge and sit back and enjoy. For those who prefer the consistency that comes with pasteurized milk, you’ll still love this cheese… hello… it’s Beecher’s… it can’t be bad… that isn’t going to happen… just saying…
Because I didn’t have the honor of tasting this cheese, under protest, I loan my Paws to The Lady who…gives Raw Flagship 3 out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got to loan, under protest).
Serving Suggestions: On a platter with pears, apples, nuts and jams; a perfect cheese for grilled sandwiches and as the primary cheese in the World’s Best Mac n Cheese.
Wine Pairing: 2007 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon
Beer Pairing: Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing Company’s American Pale Ale
Source: Raw Cow Milk
Raw Milk Flagship Reserve
The Lady actually enjoyed tasting this cheese twice the week of the 2010 ACS Conference; the first time was at Beecher’s at Pike Place and the last day of the conference she attended a seminar that explored the complexities of clothbound cheddars. One of the nine cheeses they tasted and discussed was the Raw Milk version of Flagship Reserve.
Once again, as I didn’t personally taste this cheese I can only tell you once more how wonderful the pasteurized version is. We actually had it earlier this week on a cheese plate with bell peppers and Vintner’s Kitchen Strawberry and Pinot Noir Jam. (What The Lady doesn’t know that I know is there is a small cube of this cheese in the fridge that she brought home for The Man to try when she re-creates the Clothbound Cheddar Seminar… The Man has promised to share… that’s why he’s The Man…) Clothbound Cheddars already have an earthy taste and according to The Lady, she picked the raw milk version of Flagship Reserve when tasted beside the pasteurized version – the differences were subtle but they were there: a little earthier; a little more complex; a little more depth.
The Lady loves this cheese and… sheesh… again she borrows my paws to give the Raw Milk Flagship Reserve 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got to share with her…)
Serving Suggestion: A cheese this special should be served in simple ways; it needs no extra fanfare; it brings its own band… on a platter with fruits, nuts and jams… how can you go wrong?
Wine Pairing: The Lady thought a change of pace would be Covey Run Dry Riesling; the honey and peach of the wine would complement the butter and nutty flavors of the cheese.