Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Last week for a client, one of their courses was a cheese platter. I felt this was a great opportunity to try out some new cheese. I went down to the St Lawrence Market - to one of my favourite cheese shop Olympic Cheese Mart. I asked the owner George for some good recommendations of a few new delicious cheeses to taste. Here were my top three picks:

1. Pecorino Affinato: Is a small cheese made from sheep's milk with a white and crumbly texture. This was one of my favourite cheeses to snack on when I worked at BUCA. I loved having this one on the cheese board. The cheese is aged for 2-3 months in terracotta jars under layers of scented hay and honey. The two flavours lend a unique flavour to the cheese - and also is visually stunning on a cheese platter.

2. New Glarus Raspberry Ale Washed: This one of Glarus the best cheeses I have tried in a while. Made in Wisconsin, the cheese is soaked in Wisconsin-brewed New Raspberry Tart Ale, a fruit, pungent ale that is brewed with fresh raspberries which lends a slight sweetness to the final product. A combination of aged cheddar & parmesan - a perfect combination of crumbly but smooth. The flavours are strong and complex. The first bite the cheddar hits you, but then the saltiness and nuttiness of the parmesan cuts through that. Perfect to enjoy with onion jam, roasted hazelnuts and a nice glass of Guinness stout or a dry Riesling. This cheese won "Best New Cheese" & "Best AMerican Cheese" during the 2008 World Cheese Awards in Ireland.

3. Applewood Smoked Cheddar: This is a cheddar that is naturally smoked with applewood embers and then finished with a light dusting of paprika - hence the reddy orange outer layer to the cheese. The cheese is a semi-hard cheese that has a wonderful smoky flavour due to the natural smoking. This is a favourite in the UK and goes extremely well with sweeter apples, raisins and also a pork chop. This smoked cheddar also could lend a really nice smoky flavour to a homemade quesadilla!

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