Monday, December 7, 2009

Best of the Best

Yes, a Canadian cheese won the 1st Prize at the 2009 World Cheese Awards. But most of us won't be able to taste this cheese unless you travel to Quebec. The demand for Le Cendrillion has sky-rocketed since winning the top prize this year in the Canary Islands. Still, unless you are terribly lucky is actually impossible to find this cheese due to the very small production by La Maison Alexis de Portneuf.

So, what is the point to awarding an obscure cheese such a great prize. This is the nature of the business, rarity comes attached to artisanal / farmstead cheeses. That, however, does not mean that the famous available cheeses are not worth our attention.

Taste is subjective. I say this not because I don't think that the 13 cheeses chosen by the supreme judge panel (myself included) are not amazing. But because you may love something that I detest like cucumbers or you may find impossible to eat/drink something that I have everyday, like beer.

In today's class at Murray's, the participants got to hear my stories about tasting cheese and "judged" with me six amazing cheeses. I chose these six cheese based on the final thirteen ones of the WCA. However, I had to substitute two cheeses that we cannot get here in the US yet.

The cheese plate tonight had: Sainte-Maure (replacing Le Cendrillion), Camembert, Taraintese (instead of Saint Giles), Manchego, Ossau-Iraty, and Stilton.

The winners tonigth were: Manchego and Ossau-Iraty.

People loved the sheep milk cheeses because they are more wholesome (fatty) and sweet.

I was surprised that at the bottom was Camembert, which is one of my favourite cheeses. I guess the smelliness of it really puts people off.

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