Jim Wallace is a cheese maker and cheese tech a.k.a the “Cheese Guru” at New England Cheesemaking Supply in Ashfield Massachusetts. When not helping the cheese world sort through problematic cheeses, he teaches classes at his home in his cellar where he also ferments wine, beer and cider and has his beloved cheese cave.
Our goal for this chat was to have a cider and cheese pairing and discuss a baseline approach for discerning between the right cheese to choose for a pairing.
On pairing cheese…You just have to see ….
- “What the two flavors have to offer”
- When pairing cheese with cider, look at both the moisture and fat content in the cheese.
- Pair a cider to see what will break through the butter fat of the cider.
- It’s about texture, it’s about moisture, its about flavor, its about all the different components of the protein how they are broken down, the tannins everything else.
Cheeses selected for this pairing
- Blue Cheese
- Stinky cheese – think really stinky cheese – link to epoisses – French stinky cheese. Read the Serious Eats article on A Brief Guide to Great Stinky Cheeses to find out more on the bounty of stinky cheeses out there – Best to read before you pick up this cheese and try to take public transportation.
- Gouda – Dutch fromage expert and cheese store owner Betty Kostner’s shops have two locations one in Amsterdam and the other northwest of Haarlem visit this website and build a visit into your next trip to the Netherlands http://lamuse.nl/
- Sheep Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Pepper Cheese – we had Jim’s own cheese made with Jalapeno peppers.
Tasting notes and terminology
- Paste – is the body of the cheese
- Rind – the outside of the cheese
- Retronasal – smell introduced by the mouth
- Ice cider tip*** Jim freezed the sweet cider juice and then kept the temperature at 27 degree fahrenheit which he says keep sweet sugar running out.
- Taste the center of the cheese and the rind when pairing cider and cheese
- The acidity of the cheese takes away the sweetness of the cider
- Any sweetness in the cider will mask some of the cheese.
- Sheep milk cheese tend to be a little bit grainy
Ciders we had with this tasting
- Carbonated sweet cider
- Dry Cider
- Millstone Cellars: Farmgate
- Ice Cider
Some of the Cheese Mentions…
- Caciocavallo a type of stretched curd cheese made out of sheep’s or cow’s milk
- Sheep cheese Manchego from Spain
Cheese and Cider sites mentioned in this chat
- Ricki Carol founded New England Cheesemaking Supply
Pine Hill Cider Mill Colrain MA – open every fall, selling bulk sweet cider during CiderDays
Sidehill Farm – Hawley Massachusetts
Contact Jim Wallace
- www.cheesemaking.com Offering Technical Help and Classes at New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
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