Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cheeses from Near and Afar: Cotswold, Havarti and Bergenost

Cotswold... Havarti... Bergenost. Not in your vocabulary?

If you love a good cheddar cheese, you will fall head over heels for the Clawson Cotswold Double Gloucester with Onion & Chives. Not only outstanding on its own, or as part of a Ploughman's Lunch, but absolutely extraordinary on boiled or steamed cauliflower as well. Cotswold makes for a lovely contrast to a good strong ale. Enjoy these luxurious flavors on a slow Saturday afternoon... well, how about ANY afternoon, what the heck? 5 stars.

You'll want to eat the Havarti from Denmark's Finest if you want to taste a high quality, pure version of a lovely, delicate cheese with subtle in flavor and charm. Havarti is a cow's milk creamy semi-soft cheese that works nicely in omelettes! Other versions of Havarti may leave you wanting for flavor or substance, or something-- so make sure you try an authentic version. A little cheese trivia: Havarti is not originally from Denmark, but came from Eastern Prussia.

Yancy's Fancy Bergenost Cheese
Creamy and decadent, Bergenost by Yancey's Fancy
Most recently I've tried Yancy's Fancy Bergenost, a "buttery triple cream Norwegian style cheese, made with imported cultures". This one I found to be a nice snacking cheese with a long, buttery mouth-feel. Hailing from New York state, this cheese won the 1999 Gold Medal in the New York State Fair competition. A crisp, fragrant Reisling would make a nice complement to this Bergenost cheese.

Though cheese may be a foreign concept in China, not so in the Western world. Hundreds of varieties are now available, so knock yourself out, and git yourself something a little out of the ordinary.