Cheese Twins Blog
We are so lucky to live in California, home to some of the country’s newest (and oldest) cheesemaking companies making waves in the artisan cheese world. Below are a few of our favorites we brought to KTLA:
Laura chenel, Original Medallion
Laura Chenel makes a variety of fresh goat cheese. Yes, a variety. Fresh goat cheese can be made to be dry and crumbly or moist and smooth. The difference isn’t fat, it’s moisture. Moisture is retained (or evacuated) during draining of the curds.
There are many different ways moisture loss can be controlled. This includes control of drain time, size and quantity of perforations in mould (or knit size of the cloth) and pH. A lower pH lowers the protein matrices' ability to hold water.
We love the higher moisture, velvety goat cheeses (like Laura Chenel's Chef Chevre), because it is like eating gelato, but a drier, more acidic (and slightly astringent) goat cheese is the perfect chevre-type to provoke an appetite. Today we have Laura Chenel’s Medallions (creamy, smooth).
The only problem with fresh goat cheese is that it can be a challenge to create a clean presentation. Despite its sticky appearance though, fresh chèvre is very easy to roll and shape. Our favorite hack is to drop the chèvre into syran wrap, roll into a log, then slice into coins (or half coins, see above) with a cheese wire. If you like to season your cheese, you can roll the log through herbs and spices before slicing!
Bellwether Farms makes some of the nation’s best aged (Award winning Pepato and Blackstone), but it also makes amazing Ricotta. If you like $8 toast and don’t want to spend the money, get some of this ricotta and whip it up with some olive oil, salt and lemon juice. If you are serving it with pancakes or waffles, add some cream and a little sugar. Whipped Ricotta also makes a great game day dip! (See above)
Bellwether also makes Crescenza, one of the creamiest cheeses on the market. Great for adding goeyness to an omelette or a grilled cheese.
Wm cofield and FiscaliNi
Two extraordinary Clothbound Cheddars come from California. WmCofield Cheese is situated in Sonoma Co. and schooled in British clothbound cheesemaking. They have a retail store at their cheesemaking and aging facility in Sebastopol's Barlow.
Fiscalini Cheese is located in Modesto, two areas well know for its wine growing; and soon, its cheese. We love to nibble on these cheddars with pink lady apples, but more fun is making cheddar cheese crisps! Grate, pile very very lightly on parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees F. For more details and pictures, check out our Instagram: @thecheesetwins.
Cheddar crisps can be intense, so they are a perfect complement for foods lacking acidity and/or salt (salads, ice cream, mac n' cheese, etc).
Point reyes farmstead cheese co
From fudge-like and tangy to smooth and sweet, Pt. Reyes Farmstead makes a variety of blue cheeses for every occasion. We love to pair these cheeses with pear, apple, apricot and fig as well as hazelnuts, walnuts and pine nuts. In short, these blue cheeses are perfect for snacking and adding complexity to a delicious salad. On top of all that, they also make a delicate, aged cow milk cheese, Toma, and one of our favorite mozzarella.
Nicasio valley Cheese Co
Located in the dreamy landscape of Marin County’s Nicasio Valley, Nicasio’s dairy cows roam expansive pastures between two short milkings a day. NVCC makes two of our favorite strong cheeses: Nicasio Square and San Geronimo! The former is a world class grilled cheese cheese, the latter designed for Raclette. Yes, these cheeses are pungent, soft and creamy - the perfect pair for melting over potatoes, or...anything!
Central Coast CreamEry
Life is short and that is why you should consider taking a drive up California’s central coast to visit one of the Nation's best cheesemaking companies, Central Coast Creamery. Today, we tasted the award winning Ewereka, a sheep milk cheese. If there ever a cheese to eat on its own, this is it. Also fantastic for grating over pasta or Mac n cheese.
The plate/board ought to bring another story to the cheese flight and just as much craftsmanship. Boos boards check both boxes. We also like to plate using slate, which can give a stunning contrast to sometimes subtle cheese colors.
Only one way to get such a clean cut with fresh chèvre and crumbly blue cheeses - the wire. That's because adhesive, crumbly cheeses stick to knife blades. To minimize drag and stick, use a wire. You can find these at some kitchen outlets. We got ours from Formaticum!
Some people just want melted cheese...all the time. This cool little gadget is made by Boska. Light some tea candles and you are set. The tray also works on bbq grills, which makes it perfect for sliding cheese onto vegetables and burgers.
In case you missed the show, check it out Below!
Michael & Charlie Kalish are international cheese experts and winners of Season 7 of Food Network's Great Food Truck Race.