(click to buy from iGourmet)
From the igourmet.com website: “Celtic Promise is a washed-rind cheese made from a recipe invented by the pioneering cheese affineur James Aldridge in collaboration with the cheeses makers John and Patrice Savage-Onstwedder of Teifi Farmhouse Cheese. It is a surface ripened cheese with a slightly moist, orange-red rind and an emphatic, pungent aroma. Celtic Promise has a creamy, rich yellow paste which is soft but rarely runny. The flavor is rich and mildly piquant, yet delicate without too much acidity. "Smear ripened" in cider, this unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese complements almost any good medium-bodied wine, red or white. Celtic Promise goes well with ale and is an excellent companion of good, fresh farm cider.”
As of late February 2006, it is in stock at igourmet.com – but it oftens goes quickly. You can email them and they will let you know when it comes in – let them know Fork & Bottle sent you. If you find another online source please let us know! We are sometimes able to get it locally from Dean & DeLuca (in St. Helena).
Supreme Champion - 2005 British Cheese Awards
The other cheese from James Aldridge that igourmet carries is good, too, but quite different. Jack does not like it as well, but would buy it again.
The Époisses we see in at gourmet cheese sections in stores is made by Berthaut in a small town in the Burgundy region of France. Their Époisses comes in two sizes: Large (about 10-12” in diameter) and small (about 4” in diameter). The latter is what you usually see for sale whole in individual wooden boxes. If you see a piece of cut Epoisses for sale it is likely cut from the larger size rounds.
Époisses is a washed rind cheese (the rind is orange) and this cheese is washed in Marc de Bourgogne as they are aged. It is almost the extreme of stinky cheeses and noted for it’s creamy interior that at room temperature can be runny and spoonable (if the cheese is of the right age). When buying press lightly on the center – usually where the label is. If the cheese is “ripe” there should be a slight give. Firmer cheeses are younger and you get that runny result at room temperature.
Where to Buy it Online:
Gourmet Food Store or igourmet
See also the great article on Époisses in
Issue #59 of The Art of Eating.
le Regal de Bourgogne
It seems to pop up near the holidays - or perhaps that's when we notice it. Plump white raisins juicy plum brandy with make this buttery soft cheese like a dessert. Pair it with walnut bread and you have the perfect end to a decadent meal or a fantastic mid-day indulgence. Joanne says "Yum"
Spring Hill Jersey Cheddar
A very mild cheddar with a creamy fresh taste. Great with eggs or for grilled cheese.
Laura Chenel Pepper Goat Cheese
I’ve never been a big goat cheese fan but I’m starting to evolve. I like this one. I like it much better than Redwood Hill (another local goat cheese maker) It has some goaty tang but not too much and it has a really nice flavor.
igourmet.com sells an assortment of 3 flavors.
A well-known and popular soft cheese from the Lombardy area. Made of pasteurized cow’s milk, Taleggio has a distinctive flavor and although in the stinky cheese category, most will find it very approachable. It has been a great introduction to stinky cheese for laymen. It is available everywhere. However, there are different producers and quality will vary depending on who made it. Price is sometimes an indicator.
Taleggio Valsassina is produced in the mountains and aged in cave and is a similar cheese to Robiola of Valsassina.