Monday, December 7, 2009

Cheese of the Week: Meadow Creek Grayson

So the holiday parties are in full force. What a great excuse to eat more cheese. My idea for this year is to bring cheese for my hosts, rather than wine.

I am recommending Grayson because everyone always love it. It's creamy, stinky, meaty flavour goes great with any type of bread and with most red wines. It's square form reminds me of an Italian taleggio, but the flavor is unique. The only problem of this cheese is it's smelly nature. It is a washed rind cheese from Galax, Virginia. Last time I bought it people kept looking at me in the subway, so make sure to not buy it much in advance of you getting to your house.

The politics of this cheese are straight forward. The story is a common one of American artisanal cheeses and it is rapidly becoming a very sucessful and famous cheese. It won't take long before it becomes an export cheese.

It is made with raw milk and the family that makes it is using environmentally sustainable techniques to make their cheese. They also respect their animals and only produce cheese with milk from the normal periods of lactation, instead of injecting their cows with growth hormones to produce more milk. And only when the cows are on grass and not on silage, which makes the cheese more flavorful and there is less risk of infection from the unpasteurized milk.

Last year it won the 1st in it category at the American Cheese Society awards and it is set to become a staple of the new wave of American cheeses. When Virginia was red (Republican), I feature it in my American Cheese Politics: Blue state vs Red state class. Next year when I'm teaching again that class, I will be using it as a sample of blue state (Democratic).

On Wednesday (Dec. 9. 2009), I will be teaching a class at Murray's Cheese. I will be presenting six cheeses that made it to the supreme panel of the World Cheese Awards. The class will be about the politics of judging cheese and about the unique opportunity that we have to taste so many cheeses from such diverse traditions.

If you are interesting on what it entitles to be a cheese expert and didn't get a seat for my class, watch this video from the 2009 Caseus competition in France. (At Youtube:
This competition is known as the cheese Olympics. I have trained for it for many years, but I'm still looking for another Mexican national to go with me. If you know of anyone, please let me know.

Hope you enjoy Grayson and come back on Tuesday to find out on the cheeses that I will be teaching for my class.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone.

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