The Cheese Course by fdh56iuoui


									                         The Cheese Course
                         Volume 1 Issue 9                                                    September 24, 2008

                         Falling in Love with Roquefort
                                                          The blue cheese was firm,
                         By: Stacey Adams-Zier
                                                          yet delicate and creamy
                                                          with a pleasing tang that
                                                          was both sweet and salty.
                         I   think I love Roquefort       News spread fast about his
                                                          discovery and soon the en-
                         now more than ever. It’s
                         not just any blue cheese;        tire valley was entranced
                         it’s blue cheese for the soul.   by the cheese.

                         Internationally famous and       Its cult status forever
                                                          changed the way cheese       Carles Roquefort: Sweet, creamy
                         one of the world’s oldest                                     blue-veined cheese from France
                                                          was to be viewed and
                         known cheeses, Roquefort,                                     made from raw sheep’s milk.
                         [rohk-FOR], might not exist      eaten. No longer was it just
                                                          nourishment for the body,
                         had it not been for wonder-
                                                          it was to be enjoyed and
                         ing eyes. Its claim as the
                                                          savored.                      They have a thick, burnt
                         oldest name protected
 Our Store Hours         cheese in France assures                                       crust that keeps the inside
                         me I’m not alone in my pas-      Laws were written to spec- moist. Stacked on shelves
                                                          ify every step of the pro-    in the damp caves, the
M—F 10am—7pm             sion.
                                                          duction process; from the     loaves are rotated 45 de-
Sat 10am—6pm             Long, long ago in the valley
                                                          type of sheep to the size of  grees every week, and after
Sun 11am—5pm             of Soulzan, a young shep-        the loaf of rye bread. Any-   ten weeks you can pick off
                                                          one who deviated from the the crust and find inside a
                         herd boy was keeping his
                         sheep and wandered into a        process was punished.         powdery green mass of
                         nearby cave to nosh on his                                     penicillium spores.
 Tel 410.263.1324                                         These methods are still
                         rustic lunch of rye bread
                         and cheese curds. Noticing       protected today and only      The spores are collected,
1410 Forest Drive        a beautiful shepherdess          cheeses produced and aged dried, and pounded into a
Clock Tower Place        passing outside the entry,       in the caves of Cambalou in powder and ready to be
                                                          Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may added to the raw sheep’s
  Annapolis, MD          he dropped everything and
                         chased after her.                bear the A.O.C. name.         milk to begin the cheese-
      21403                                                                             making process. Once the
                         Weeks later, he returned to      The magic begins by grow- milk is heated, rennet is
 Adjacent to Wine        the cave to discover his
                                                          ing the mold (Penicillium     added to help make the
Cellars of Annapolis                                      roquefortii) which makes      milk curdle. The soft curds
                         crusty bread and curds un-
                                                          the characteristic blue-      are drained and ladled into
                         disturbed and covered in a
                         blue-green mold. In a mo-        green veined cheese. Large cylinder molds that will
TastingsGourmetMarket.   ment of hunger, he tasted        loaves of rye bread, weigh- give them their shape.
                         the speckled cheese and to       ing close to 20 pounds, are
                         his surprise, it was incredi-    baked at very high tem-       When the cheese is firm, it
                                                          peratures over wood fires.    is removed from the mold
                         bly good.
Page 2                                                                                      The Cheese Course

Did you know?            Casanova proclaimed without hesitation that Roquefort "had the power to
                         restore love and bring to maturity a budding love".
Over the centuries,
this cheese has
captivated the           and salted on the outside       to build such a cave today.     A well-made Roquefort
hearts of the            to help draw out more                                           will be balanced in flavor,
                         moisture.                       Each wheel is wrapped in        texture and evenly veined.
greatest men:                                            foil to “put the cheese
Charlemagne,             After a week of daily salt-     asleep” or slow down the        The cheese should be
François I, Louis        ing, the wheels are             development of mold. This       smooth, moist and only
XIV all relished it,     brushed clean and pierced       meticulous work is done
                         several times with a long       only by women as it is be-      slightly crumbly. It will
while famous             thin needle to allow car-       lieved that only a woman’s      always be bold, but should
artists and writers      bon dioxide to escape from      hands are delicate enough       never be harsh, bitter, or
continuously             the fermentation process.       to wrap cheese.                 excessively salty.
                         Each wheel is then placed
praised its qualities.
                         on a shelf in the cave to let   Today there are twelve          Always keep it wrapped in
Diderot stated that      Mother Nature take over.        producers of authentic          foil, never in plastic wrap
"Roquefort cheese                                        Roquefort. Each producer        and store in the vegetable
is indisputably the      The aging process, affi-        is required to print a logo
                                                                                         drawer of the refrigerator
                         nage, requires at least 3       of a sheep in red on the foil
finest cheese in         months and as many as 9.        wrapper to indicate its         where the humidity is
Europe". Brillat-        During this time small eyes     authenticity.                   higher.
Savarin, a famous        or holes develop in the
politician and           paste and green veins be-       Société is the oldest and
                         gin to appear where the         largest and probably the
gourmand, was            cheese was pierced.             most recognized in the
overheard stating                                        United States. Le Papillon,
that a "dinner           The natural design of the       Le Vieux Berger and
without Roquefort        caves provides an ideal         Gabriel Coulet all make
                         environment for the aging       notable Roquefort.
is like a beautiful      of the cheese. Small crev-
woman missing an         ices in the walls allow a       My favorite is Carles – in-
eye".                    gentle breeze which helps       credibly smooth and not as
                         to maintain perfect tem-        salty as the others.
                         perature and humidity.
                         You simply couldn’t afford

                              What to Drink with it?                        What to Eat with it?
                            Roquefort’s sophisticated pi-              Choose a crisp, juicy pear as a base
                            quancy requires a rich dessert             for a chunk of Roquefort.
                         wine because the sweetness of the
                         wine balances the saltiness of the            A drizzle of honey can balance the
                         cheese.                                       saltiness in the cheese.
                         Sauternes is the classic pairing but,
                         Banyuls, or even a late-harvest               Toasted or caramelized Walnuts
                         Sauvignon Blanc can work well.                add crunch and earthiness.

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