Today while binge watching Season One of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime (well-worth the $99 a year subscription) and searching for a cheese to use to make Quiche, I found a couple of wedges that had been “lost in the cheese fridge”. One was a small block (at $29.99 a pound, a small block is all I could afford) of Montgomery Cheddar and the other a small wedge of Cascadia Creamery‘s Cloud Cap. For the Quiche I chose a larger wedge of Elderflower Tomme and cut off a small piece for The Man and me to sample along with the other two.
You’ll notice from the photo that the cheese in the middle is a small cube (the other small cube is Elderberry Tomme). It is the Cloud Cap. What I am writing is not meant to embarrass the Cheesemaker nor the retailer, but as a cautionary tale for my readers and… well… me…
This cheese was cut and wrapped in cheese paper on December 10th with a “use by” date of January 9th. A”Use by” date is chosen by a retailer to indicate a realistic window in which the cheese will be at its optimum for quality and taste. Today is January 11th; two days past that date. I would expect the cheese to still be fine, but when I opened the package, it was heavily covered in mold. I had to do a severe trim on the quarter pound piece and ended up with just one edible cube. (The Montgomery Cheddar, cut and wrapped three days later, from the same retailer was fine; no mold.) This is a perfect example of why you should eat cheese within a few days of purchase; better to not let it sit around or you may end up trimming a quarter pound down to a less-than-one-ounce cube… that cube became a $5.00 cube…
Montgomery Cheddar is a traditional, farmstead English Cheddar made with raw milk from the farm’s Friesian herd. This mature cheddar is aged a minimum of twelve months on wooden boards; boards used safely throughout the world to age cheese.
Montgomery Cheddar is widely regarded as one of the top English cheddars made with great care.
According to the Neal’s Yard Dairy website:
“James Montgomery is ever attentive to the nuances of flavour as this is the fruit of his planning and work with the farming. He thoroughly researches the herd’s feed in order to get the right levels of fat and protein in the milk. It’s a careful balance between grass, solid food like silage or hay and starches or sugars (potatoes grown by his brother Archie for instance).”
The Man and I both loved this cheese; mellow, nutty and while crumbly it’s melty on the palate with a lingering citrus note. Due to the quality of this cheese, we ate it naked; it doesn’t need any pairing to enhance its flavor; it’s perfect alone.
I give Montgomery Cheddar 4 Paws… how could I possibly consider less?
Considering the condition of the Cloud Cap, it’s hard to comment on its appearance. The natural rind was white and furry, like a cloud… the paste, once all the mold was removed, reminded me of one of Cascadia Creamery’s other cheeses, Sleeping Beauty, which is a favorite here at the Manse. The paste is pale yellow with a few scattered holes, not exactly eyes like you find in some Alpine cheeses; more craggy similar to a milled cheese. This cheese has a semi-soft paste which tastes lemony and mild with a pleasant, lingering bitter note. Cloud Cap is made with raw, certified organic milk as are all of the creamery’s cheeses.
Again, due to its condition, it’s not fair to rate this cheese. I’ll rate it later after trying another, fresher wedge.
The third cheese on the plate is the Alsatian Elderflower Tomme, made by the Haxaire Family, which also makes Munster Gerome, an AOC-Protected Cheese. La Cigogne, which means The Stork (note the stork on the label), is washed with Elderflower liqueur. This washing creates the bright salmon-colored and tacky rind from the b. Linens that grow on the surface. However, unlike its family member, Munster Gerome, Elderflower Tomme’s smell is mild and sweet rather than earthy and pungent. The paste is creamy and pale with flecks of elderflower. The taste is also mild, floral and sweet, as you might expect. This cheese is imported by The Peterson Company in Seattle.
In addition to snacking on it, I used the Elderflower to make a Quiche for lunch. The recipe is below.
I give Elderflower Tomme 3 Paws; an excellent cheese but not as outstanding as the Montgomery Cheddar.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I research many recipes before settling on the combination I want to use to make a dish. Today, The Man asked for Quiche, which proves once and for all that Real Men do eat Quiche…
1 Deep Dish Pie Crust – probably a made-from-scratch is better, but I have tried, in the past, and discovered that baking is not my strongest suit. I bought my pie shell in the frozen aisle at Safeway.
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Onion – sliced thin
5 Eggs – whisked
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup chopped Canadian Bacon
1 Large Button Mushroom – Chopped
1 Cup Arugula – Chopped
6 Ounces Elderflower Tomme – Freshly Shredded
Heat oven to 325° F.
Melt Butter in Saucepan. Caramelize the onions. Set aside.
Whisk eggs. Add salt and pepper to eggs.
Add all other ingredients to eggs.
Pour into pie shell and bake for 1 hour or until inserted knife comes out clean. (I start checking at 45 minutes.)
Let stand for a few minutes and serve.
Clean-up after yourself.