Happy New Year!
To kick off the first day of the new year, I felt like celebrating with a cheese-focused, fromage-forward brunch. To bring these two, very different cheeses together, I made Rosemary+Thyme savory muffins and Blueberry Bourbon Curd.
The curd, although rich, still maintains the essence of bright blueberry. Citrus zest and bourbon provides a deeper dimension of both grounding spices and lifting orange peel. Now, back to the cheese.
Rivers Edge Dairy is located in Logsden, OR, and focuses on amazing hand-crafted farmstead goat cheeses. They range from fresh chevres to aged goat cheese and washed rinds (holla). This company focuses on great product from great source. “Up in Smoke” has won a multitude of awards, and for good reason. These little babies are smoked, wrapped in smoked maple leaves, then given a spritz of bourbon to add an extra kick of smoke to permeate the fresh chevre.
This chevre is crumbly yet creamy and rich on the palate. The aroma of smoke is present but not overpowering, wafting through the roof of your mouth and nose as the lemony tang permeates across the tongue. It is a magical cheese that can stand on its own, yet paired with the blueberry curd, it takes me to an alternate universe. This combination creates a complimentary ping-pong match of flavors that rejoice with every bite.
Limburger. You’re up. Ah, the quintessential “stinky” cheese. The stuff cartoons were made of. This cheese has always carried a bad reputation for it’s offensive odor. Maybe I just like the challenge:). Bring me that stanky cheese any day. Trust and believe, if you like bacon (rhetorical question, of course you do), then you will love this plump little wonder. This bad boy hails from Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided between Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands. A semi-soft, pasteurized cow’s milk that is usually aged between 2-3 months. The strong “barnyardy” aroma stems from its washing in Brevibacterium Linens. What results from this bacteria? A slightly tacky, orange sherbet brick of squidgy, bacon goodness!
If you haven’t yet indulged in Limburger or still more scared than convinced, try it first. Go to your nearest international market or grocery with a decent cheese counter. I go to Barbur World Foods for my Limburger and various cheese finds. Melt it on toast, make a “ploughman’s lunch” with a limburger sandwich (cheese, onions, mustard, bread) and a dark beer. Channel your inner Trappist monk! Or if you feel so bold, try my curd for a bacon-blueberry-bourbon roller-coaster! If anyone reading is interested in these recipes, please let me know and I will begin adding to the posts. Cheers to Curd!