Dairymaid Diary

February Cheese Feature: Reading Raclette

Reading Raclette
 
Being a Dairymaid goes way beyond simply selecting the best cheeses. The cheese and the people that make them, have some pretty incredible stories. We want to share everything we know and give each one of these beauties the spotlight. 

This month we're featuring Reading Raclette (pronounced "Redding"), from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. This small, family owned farm produces just three cheeses to support their non-profit program, Farms for City Kids Foundation. Students in the program have the opportunity to learn where food comes from and are encouraged to work on the farm. It's easy to stand behind their cause, but the cheese is just as easy to love.   

Reading Raclette is a washed rind, semi-soft cow's milk cheese. It has a delicate funkiness and a nutty, buttery finish. To stay true to it's style, serve melted and marvel at it's velvety paste. When Reading is on the tasting plate, I often tell people raclette is the new fondue. 

Raclette is derived from the French verb, meaning ''to scrape.'' Historically, the Swiss would lunch on potatoes and pickles, covered with melted cheese that they scraped from a camp fire. Nowadays, there are a variety of tools used to melt raclette, ranging from simple to complex and costly. 

I took advantage of a Texas "Winter" evening and enjoyed a small wedge of Reading on the patio with my family. You could easily melt Reading on the grill or place on a fire pit in a Cheese Barbeclette. We used a chef torch and served the melted perfection with roasted vegetables, cornichons and some crusty bread. It's pure bliss. 

If you're still not sure how to party 'Swiss Alps' style, just check out this video. Comical, yet informative.


This Week's Tasting: February 13th, 2017

 

This week's tasting plate 

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. We stock over 150 cheeses, so if these 6 don’t please you, we will find you the cheeses that do.

This week's cheese are:

A small, bloomy-rinded cheese from Vermont, Weybridge is light and tangy with an earthy note at the finish. The Scholtens make Weybridge with the organic milk from their Dutch Belted cows, a heritage breed. From their dairy, Weybridge travels to nearby Jasper Hill Cellars for ripening.

Castelrosso is an ancient style of cheese is made by lactic fermentation. Similar to Castelmagno, it ripens from the outside in producing a smooth cream layer beneath its natural rind. The Rosso family has been making it in Piemonte since 1894. The unique, flaky texture is thanks in part from the acidic Red Cow's milk they use.

Hook's Creamery's 5 Year Cheddar is colored a deep orange with annatto. Sharp and tangy, it's a perfect melter.

On their sustainable farm in Georgia, the folks at Sweet Grass Dairy pasture feed their Jersey cows to get the milk which makes this unpasteurized Thomasville Tomme.  A semi-soft cheese it has a smooth, buttery texture and a mild, even flavor.

Patterned after the traditional Swiss melting cheese, St. David's Raclette from Eagle Mountain Cheese in Lipan, Texas is perfect both for melting or for eating out of hand. Made with high quality raw cow's milk, St. David's tastes of sweet cream inflected with a hint of pungency and nuttiness.

Bellamy Blue is a fudgy raw milk blue from northern Tennessee. The rind is hand-rubbed with Alderwood smoked sea salt and dipped in black wax that keeps the paste smooth and creamy. The smoke flavor is subtle; it gives the cheese a savory profile.

Our wine of the week is a Tempranillo from Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow, Texas. This bold Tempranillo is smoky with notes of wild raspberry and strawberry. 

Our pairing this week is a Red Haven Peach Preserve from American Spoon in Michigan. 



This Week's Tasting: February 6th, 2017

 This week's tasting plate

 

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. We stock over 150 cheeses, so if these 6 don’t please you, we will find you the cheeses that do.

This week's cheese are:

The folks at Sweet Grass Dairy believe great cheese comes from fresh grass and happy cows. On their sustainable farm in Thomasville, Georgia they pasture feed their Jersey cows to get the milk which makes Green Hill, an incomparably smooth brie-style cheese. The rind is thin and the paste is creamy and rich. Arguably America's best Camembert.

Chocolate Chevre is a fresh goat cheese, from Westfield Farm in Massachusetts. The goat cheese is blended with chocolate to make a creamy, decadent paste - the perfect Valentine's Day treat!

Barely Buzzed is a cheddar rubbed with a mix of ground coffee beans and French lavender. Sounds bizarre, we know, but it works! The coffee and lavender rub brings out rich nutty, caramel-like flavors in the cheese. The edible rind makes Barely Buzzed a standout on the cheese plate.

Anne Jones of Latte Da Dairy is making excellent aged goat cheeses from the milk of her small goat herd. Her Caerphilly is adapted from a traditional Welsh recipe. Firm and flinty, Latte Da Caerphilly is slightly sweet with delicate goat's milk flavor.

Estive is a special version of Ossau-Iraty made only when the sheep are grazing at high altitudes in the Bearnaise mountains from June to August. Estive production is very small, comprising only 2% of overall Ossau-Iraty production. The mountain forage includes summer grasses like the Gentian (used to make Angostura bitters) and Sweet Vernal grasses (a vanilla-scented wild grass), flowers and stems and roots of licorice, thyme and blue thistle. This unusual feed combined with rich, late-cylce sheep's milk makes for a uniquely delicious cheese. 

"From the domain of the Caveman," also known as the caves at Rogue Creamery, comes this delicious naturally-rinded, aged blue. With a recipe used by Rogue since the 40s, Caveman Blue is deep yellow in color with blue bite balanced by a smooth, vanilla-like flavor.

 Our wine of the week is the new Sparkling White from McPherson Cellars in Lubbock, Texas. Made with Chenin Blanc grapes, it has a bright acidity with a touch of sweetness and notes of melon and tropical fruit.

Our pairing this week is a Strawberry Balsamic Preserve from Garden Dreams, right here in Houston. 



Recipes for the Big Game

Super Bowl LI Dairymaids Recipes
 Our great city is vibrating with Super Bowl excitement. I must admit, I'm in it for the snacks. Check out these super tasty and not so healthy recipes, perfect for the big game! Stop by the shop tomorrow and ask us how to construct a snack stadium. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


This Week's Tasting: January 30th, 2017

 

This week's tasting plate 

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. We stock over 150 cheeses, so if these 6 don’t please you, we will find you the cheeses that do.

This week's cheese are:

The folks at Sweet Grass Dairy believe great cheese comes from fresh grass and happy cows. On their sustainable farm in Thomasville, Georgia they pasture feed their Jersey cows to get the milk which makes an incomparably smooth brie-style cheese called Green Hill. The rind is thin and the paste is creamy and rich. Arguably America's best Camembert.

Dallas cheesemaker Paula Lambert wraps fresh goat's cheese with Hoja Santa leaves, which give his cheese its name. Hoja Santa grows wild in Texas and Mexico and is used often in Mexican cuisine. The leaf imparts subtle lemony, herbaceous flavors in the creamy cheese.

Richly colored with annatto and cave aged to maturity, Red Rock has a mild flavor and firm texture.  It is an American-style cheddar with a fuzzy natural rind and slight blue veining, made in Wisconsin by Roelli Cheese.

Made with rich Jersey cows' milk, Reading Raclette has a perfectly pliable texture that just begs to be melted. The flavor is mild with contrasting sweet cream and savory, salty notes. A forward thinking enterprise, Spring Brook Farm in Vermont is a non-profit operation that teaches city kids about farming.

Lincolnshire Poacher is a unique, raw, cow's milk cheese from Lincolnshire in the UK. It has characteristics of a classic English cheddar and a rich, nutty Alpine style.

The cheesemakers at Roth Kase in Wisconsin age Buttermilk Blue over six months to enhance its complexity and intensity.  Creamy yet crumbly, it's versatile: great in salad, great on a cheese board.

 Our wine of the week is a Chardonnay from Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow, Texas. It is rich and refrestng, leaner rather than buttery, and has notes of lemon curd and crisp green apple. 

Our pairing this week is a Pumpkin Seed Salsa from American Spoon in Michigan. 



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