A specific question followed by a more general one:
Can any cheese maven tell me how to tell if the Epoisses cheese I recently saw in a cheese shop in the US is the raw milk or the pasteurized version? It's made by Berthaut, and I understand that this company makes raw as well pasteurized. Is there a way to tell which is which? The label didn't say that it WASN'T pasteurized, nor did it say that it WAS pasteurized, and frankly I'm a little afraid to ask the guy behind the counter, lest he think I'm part of a sting operation or something. I'm also embarrassed to admit that given my current level of cheese knowledge, I might not even be able to tell the difference if tasted it.
Which leads me to my general question:
Is it bad form to simply straight out ask the local cheesemonger if she carries any raw milk cheeses? I've heard that a lot of the better cheese shops in the US regularly, if illegally, sell them. Is there a code word or phrase I should use to get her to show me the secret stash? If there IS a code word, and you're worried about posting it on the internet and ruining the party, I totally understand. Email me!
Just kidding. Sort of.
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