We have some real festive treats for you currently at our shop in Wellington.
Here our some of our favourites this month. We have so many delicious new arrivals, we found it very hard to limit this list to five, so watch out for the bonus addition at the end!
1. MORO’S MOULD
An extraordinary cheese for blue cheese lovers! It has a fascinating and highly-flavoured taste which comes from the various scents of the plants and herbs used in its maturation process.
A natural mould is produced and carefully fostered so as to allow the cheese to absorb its sweet but spicy taste. It is then left to mature for a few weeks on wooden planks made from fir trees in an ambient microclimate which is both cold and wet. The rind is covered with aromatic plants such as marjoram, mint, thyme and verbena, which all transmit that unique herbaceous taste to the cheese.
It is produced with cow’s milk and calf rennet seasoned for 3-4 months, with wheels weighing 6-7Kgs. It is most enchanting when enjoyed with fruit jams.
2. HAY FEVER
This whole cow's milk cheese is produced with milk obtained from the Natisone valleys in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Italian region, where the Italian and Austro-Hungarian cultures meet.
Its rind, originally covered with hay, from which it takes its herbaceous scent, it is hand coated with a sponge washing treatment during the ripening process to prevent the inception of moulds.
It is seasoned for 3 months, with wheels weighing 3-4Kgs.
The herbaceous theme extends to its flavour and it features a soft and creamy taste, delicious for enjoying with polenta.
3. CACIOTTONA WRAPPED IN WALNUT LEAVES
The Perenzin family have been making traditional cheeses for the past four generations in the region of Treviso, North East Italy and this is a superb example of one of Italy's few goat's milk cheeses, An organic pasteurized Caciottona finished according to the ancient farm tradition using aromatic walnut leaves on the surface.
Walnut leaves are rich in perfumed essential oils and tannin, a natural preservative that prevents the whole wheel from developing mould.
This is a tart and zesty cheese, it is aged in five-pound wheels where it develops a dry texture and sharp character before it is wrapped. It then begins to take on an earthy, woodsy flavour to contrast against the sharpening flavor of the goat cheese.
Shave this cheese thinly to savour its intensely developed flavour.
It pairs well with cured meats, sweet fruits, and mixed into beet or endive salads.
4. SMOKEY BLACK
Another blue cheese, this time smoked and flavoured with the black tea Lapsang Souchong. The pure cow's milk cheeses are initially refined with the tea and then smoked over cedar and pine. Next, they are placed under vacuum for 3 months to create their distinctive aroma. The process takes around 4 months in all.
Smokey Black has an elegant flavour with the unmistakable scent of toasted sugar, dried fruit, wood, and flowers.
Try it with a chestnut honey!
This is a blue cheese that’s been lathered in chocolate liqueur then topped with cocoa powder and chocolate chips - and it’s definitely one to taste to decide what you think!
The flavour pairing has also been used by French chef Michele Bras and Heston Blumenthal to create a Coulant.
Sweet and slightly spicy at the end; the chocolate liqueur balances the taste perfectly. The two tastes are quite distinct rather than infused. If you’re one of those people who can’t decide whether to go for dessert or cheese at the end of your meal, then this one is just for you!
AND ONE MORE! - LO STRACCHINO
This is a cow's milk soft cheese, ours is from Rosa' in the Veneto. It is eaten very young, has no rind, a very soft, creamy texture and normally a mild and delicate flavour, the original cream cheese!
The name derives from the Lombard stracco, which means "tired". They say that the milk produced by tired cows coming down from the alpine pastures in the autumn is richer in fats and more acidic, qualities which give the cheese its characteristic flavours.
Stracchino can be eaten on its own or with bread. But is on pizza or warm canapes that it shows its best. A delicious cream that can satisfy the most sophisticated Brie connoisseur.
Come in and see us to sample any of these and more, we are privileged to have creative, artisan wheels in abundance, so many in fact that we have recently had to create a new display cabinet!
Please send us a message to enquire about ordering any of these cheeses online.
Photo credit for Caciottona - Perenzin family