Bob's Cheese and Wine Blog

My world of cheese and wine

Archive for December, 2009

Cazelle de St. Affrique Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Posted by fromagebob on December 14, 2009

I found a new cheese at our local Whole Foods this past weekend. It’s called Cazelle de St. Affrique. It’s a delicious sheep’s milk cheese from Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. The cheese is a traditional “cabecous” style (small-format) soft-ripened cheese; it’s very similar in shape to Crottin de Chavignol. The term “cazelle” refers to the stone shepherds huts found throughout the countryside. The cheese is a cylindrical shape with a wrinkly rind reminiscent of the huts – quite a pretty sight.

The cheese itself has a herbal aroma, with a very slight hint of sheepy-ness, and a touch of freshly-laid straw. The taste is very nice; it’s a little tangy, but has a herbal, creamy, earthy taste that I really enjoyed. The finish is medium, evolving to a slight “fatty acid burn” that was pleasant, with some floral and straw notes on the tongue.

The texture was interesting; cutting a slice and popping it into my mouth, the sensation was almost like a cheese puff – kind of gelatinous, airy, and slightly chewy that melted into a pleasant, cheesy experience after just a few moments.

I was drinking a 2006 Cesari Mara Ripasso that went rather well with the cheese.

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Posted in Artisanal Cheese, French Cheese, Sheep Cheese | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

The Cheese Course – Miami’s newest entry on the cheese scene

Posted by fromagebob on December 8, 2009

The Cheese Course, Miami’s newest entry on the cheese scene, is open in Midtown Miami. I visited the establishment today for lunch, and found a very spacious, brightly lit space that was pleasant, comfortable, with a nice menu of sandwiches, salads, and – best of all – cheese plates. There’s also a very good selection of wines, by the glass and by the bottle.

I’ve been to their Weston Town Center location several times for lunch, and to explore their cheese offerings; this location seems to have a wider variety of cheeses and cheese accoutrements. They also have a really nice selection of books on cheese and cheese making.

The food: tasty, freshly made. The ordering process was a little confused; I suspect it is just getting the rhythm down, and “training” the customers as to the process (an “Order Here” sign would help).

Nice touch: when I was looking at the wines to have with my sandwich, the server asked if I wanted to taste first (I had a glass of Eadmeades Zinfandel).

The menu: 19 sandwiches, ranging from a delicious Italian Caprese (tried in Weston) to a sopressata salami, to a herb omlette – and a LOT in between. All are offered with one of their cheeses. My choice today was a Taleggio Cheese Steak, with Taleggio Cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, on one of their fresh-baked baguettes. The have a nice selection of salads, quiches, and beverages. Their wine-by-the glass are available at reasonable prices $5.95/$7.45/$9.45.

Their bread: delicious. I’ve purchased the baguettes several times. Nicely crafted and better that a French bakery near my office!

Their cheeses: This is where they shine. I am not sure what their total offerings are – they will vary with season and availability – but they cover the gamut of cheese from soft to stinky and beyond. I spotted a number of personal favorites, including gres de Vosges, delice de cremiers, morbier, and many others. The prices are reasonable, and in looking at the quality, seemed to be well maintained. I only spotted one cheese that was close to or a little over its peak.

One of the great options on the menu are their cheese plates, organized by country (USA, France, Italy, Spain), or by category (Mild, Medium, Bold). Turophiles or adventurous eaters can create their own tasting plate from the cheese in the shop.

The store is located at 3451 NE 1st Avenue, in Miami – on the corner with ample street parking. They’re open for lunch and in the evenings for locals looking for a great place to hang.

You can visit their website for more information, or call them at 786.220.6681

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