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Say cheese

carswell | Jun 14, 200909:11 PM

Cheese gets short shrift on this board, despite our living in what is arguably North America's top jurisdiction for local and imported coagulated, compressed and usually ripened milk curds. So here's a thread for reporting cheese finds and sightings, be they in restos, at cheesemonger's or at local producers.

My latest were at Yannick -- -- on Saturday.

Tried a sliver from a block of Templais Fleuron and had to buy some. A pasteurized cow's milk cheese from the Aquitaine, aged 12 months. Hard, dry and a bit crumbly; slightly granular in the mouth. Tastes a little like a cross between aged Gouda and Comté, though with a salty, dulce de leche tang on the finish. Lingers long. Said to melt well.

Made in Piedmont, La Tur is a wrinkled, bloomy rind blend of pasteurized cow's, sheep's and goat's milk sold in 150-gram rounds. Firm, chalky and tangy when young, it softens into a creamy/buttery/salty ooziness as it ages. Just lovely with fresh fruit -- I piled some bing cherries on the plate alongside it -- but it would also work well with savoury flavours like rosemary. Googling in search of background info turned up a Chowhound thread -- -- in which several regulars declared it their favourite splurge cheese. I can see why. If the idea of an Italian marriage of Loire chèvre and, oh, St-André appeals, seize the day 'cause I don't think they've got a long shelf life.

When I queried the clerk about wine pairings for the cheese plate, he suggested an aromatic white. I ended up popping the cork -- or, rather, twisting off the screwcap -- of Gobelsburg's 2007 Grüner Veltliner Kamptal, a minerally, limey, white peppery white with a spritzy tingle and just enough residual sugar to round the cutting acid without making the wine seem anything other than dry. A bargain at $15.95 and a steal at $14.35, its price during the SAQ's upcoming promotion -- 10% off purchases of $100 or more -- this Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21 (you heard it first here, folks).

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