Cheese Plate of the Week April 16th, 2008

Ardrahan: Cow Milk, County Cork, Ireland
-The history of Ardrahan cheese begins in 1925 with the establishment of the Lullaby Milk Company. Their herd of pedigree Frieshians routinely gave award-winning milk Ireland throughout the 20th century. However as competition from larger milk companies grew, the Lullaby Milk Company was forced to find alternative profit sources. In 1983, they first turned their surplus of exquisite milk into Ardrahan, and regained the public’s interest. The texture is uniquely tri-layered, with an unctuous layer beneath the rind and a fresher, curdy texture within that. As it is washed-rind, it has a slight pungency, but not so much that it detracts from the grassy notes and grilled peanut undercurrent.

Bleu di Bufala: Raw Buffalo, Lombardy, Italy
-A rare cheese indeed, this Buffalo milk blue hails from the town and Province of Bergamo. Matured for four months, it is firmer and stronger than any of the Gorgonzola produced in the region. The buffalo milk contributes a slight sourness that is translated as sharpness after its maturation. We pair it with Buckwheat Honey from Washington state, a union that raises some eyebrows until they combine on your palate.

Rogue Creamery Chocolate Stout Cheddar: Cow, Oregon, USA
-A collaboration between the Rogue Brewery and the Rogue Creamery, conveniently located just down the Rogue River. After the curds are drained of their whey, they are washed with Rogue Chocolate Stout and set into moulds. The stout does not overwhelm the cheddar, and in fact blends with it quite nicely, creating a smooth, sweet finish. The striations of beer create an aesthetically pleasing marble that stands out on a cheese plate.