In honor of the March Madness Tournament, I have created an equally exciting but significantly tastier tournament of cheese. Tournament tasters will sample sixteen cheeses from the world's top cheese regions in the ultimate battle for supremacy of the palate.
Campo de Montalban vs. Urgelia
Wensleydale vs. Lincolnshire Poacher
Campo de Montalban is a semi-firm to firm Spanish cheese made from a blend of cows', sheeps' and goats' milk in La Mancha. This cheese resembles manchego in texture and appearance, and until 1985 it was in fact considered a manchego. Campo de Montalban is distinguished by its three milk blend, while manchego contains only sheep's milk. The flavor is also similar to manchego. However, the characters of all three milks are noticeable in Campo de Montalban.
The cheese form l'Alt Urgell y la Cerdanya (also known as Urgelia) is a soft cheese cured for a short time, that is produced in the mountainous townships of the northwest Catalonia, from pasteurized cow's milk.
Yorkshire Wensleydale is creamy, crumbly and full of flavour. Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese is lovingly handcrafted to a time-honoured recipe, using Wensleydale milk from local family farms.
Lincolnshire Poacher is our most widely available cheese which is usually matured for about 14 to 16 months and has quite a lot upfront with a rich full flavour.
Region: Vermont & Massachusetts
Tarentaise vs. Prescott
Winnimere vs. Cremont
Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise is an aged, raw milk, farmstead organic cheese which is handmade by John and Janine Putnam on their family farm in North Pomfret, Vermont from the certified organic milk of their grass fed Jersey cows.
Tarentaise is unique to Pomfret, Vermont - its soil, geography climate and flora combine to give Tarentaise its characteristic smooth, subtle nut flavor and complex finish. Following the traditions of the Savoie region of the French Alps, Tarentaise is made in a copper vat, which is essential to the development of the proper flavor.
Prescott - Robinson Farm. A dense, complex, Alpine style cheese with a mosaic of nutty notes and a slight saline finish. Aged 9-12 months.
This exciting cheese was developed by Mateo Kehler to harness the rich, high-fat, high-protein winter's milk of the Ayrshire cows at Jasper Hill Farm. Wrapped in cambium cut from the spruce trees on the farm, Winnimere shows remarkable variation from batch-to-batch - sometimes smoky, sometimes fruity, sometimes mustardy, sometimes meaty. For serving, we encourage you to peel away the top rind and let the bark form a bowl for the spoonable paste within.
Cremont named for the “Cream of Vermont” is a mixed-milk cheese combining local fresh cows’ milk, goats’ milk and a hint of Vermont cream. This cheese is a true celebration of Vermont Creamery’s terroir. An American original crafted in the bucolic Green Mountains of Vermont that combines the nutty taste from of our crème fraîche, the creamy texture of our Bonne Bouche, and the wrinkled geotrichum rind of our Bijou.
Gran Mugello Riserva vs. Moliterno al Tartufo
Gran Mugello Riserva is the flagship cheese of Pa;agiaccio Farmstead, just outside Florence.
Moliterno al Tartufo is a moderately sharp, beautifully aged cheese with intense truffle flavor. Made of sheep and goat's milk in Sardinia, this cheese is aged and then injected with black truffles for more aging. The result is irresistible flavor and texture
Crucolo vs. Gorgonzola Piccante
Crucolo is an artisanal cow's milk cheese made by a single producer at the Rifugio Crucolo, situated at the mouth of the Val Campelle in Trentino, northern Italy. The cheeses, which are matured for at least two months.
Gorgonzola Piccante, a formidable cow's milk blue cheese from the region north of Milan, is Italy's answer to Roquefort. Its rough, reddish rind protects a tender, light yellow, blue-flecked paste that is firm, moist, and buttery. The flavor is sharp and sweet.
Region – France
Fourme d’Ambert vs. Brie Fermier Affine
Fourme d’Ambert - This cheese is in rare Fourme. Made from pasteurized cow's milk in Auvergne, each wheel of this little Frenchie is formed from unpressed curds inoculated with a less spicy blue mold than that of its cousin, Roquefort.
Brie Fermier Affine - Made at the ''Farm of rejuvenation'' in Northern France, this brie is the best we've found yet. Mushroomy and fungal, gooey and creamy, you'll get hints of fresh shucked oysters and a tiny bit of iron. We think we're in love.
Chebris vs. Comte
Chebris – is a nutty-sweet blend of sheep and goat combines the best of both worlds in a harmonious duet. Sheep's milk indulges in the first few lines with its rich, nutty personality; soon after, goat's milk chimes in with a gentle tartness that raises in volume until it's singing a clear, round note. Chebris' capricious nature stays in check against a lovely wash of sweetness in the end, with a lingering grassy layer.
Comté takes time to acquire its taste. Once the milk has been skimmed and pressed, it is stored in a maturing cellar for at least 4 to 18 months, or more to gain its full spectrum of delicious flavours. Nutty, creamy, fruity, peppery and toasty are just some of the notes you will come to love. After 4 months each round is tested and marked on its taste and shape.