Gastrokid Taste Test: Unpasteurized Cheese Tasting

While the fda suggests otherwise (and I’m not going to get into the science or health aspects of it), I side with the French and the Italians and the gastrofamilies of just about every other great cheese country that’s survived the past couple of millenia: the best cheeses are made from unpasteurized milk. After many months of prompting from cheeseophile 5.5 year old Violet, we finally took her to the Cheese Store of Silverlake to buy a nice little selection for a cheese platter. (They were all French. They’re all made with raw milk, tho to be legal in this country they’ve all been aged for at least 60 days. And I apologize for not having the proper French names of all the cheeses, as in my haste to get them home and eat them I failed to take notes). Here’s what we had, along with Violet’s tasting notes:

Super tangy and citrusy 120 day-aged goat cheese:
Violet: “It tastes like stinky cheese. Sweet, sort of like the grind of magic cheese.”

A pugent, earthy sweet sheep and cow milk blend, aged in an covering of ash and herbs:
Violet: “It tastes like a little leaf with thousands and thousands of pieces of cheese in it. it tastes like one big piece of lettuce.”

Super rich, caramely, milky reblochon:
Violet: “It tastes really good because the company that made the cheese is really good.”

Of course, if you’re squeamish about serving your kids raw-milk cheeses, there are any number of excellent pasteurized imported and domestic cheeses available. Murray’s, Zingerman’s
and Aristanal all have extensive selections. And Williams Sonoma has a charming little cheese keeper that the kids can help you load up to bring cheeses to room temperature.
—Hugh

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2 Responses to Gastrokid Taste Test: Unpasteurized Cheese Tasting

  1. Kim says:

    I suggest you head over to http://www.livingonthewedge.com and order a copy of this James Beard-nominated documentary about artisan cheesemakers in Wisconsin (USA). My kids were fascinated by it (as were the Dear Hubby and I).

  2. Katarina says:

    Another great kids find is the Artisanal Cheese Gallery in Studio City. 16 month-old Cinjin is offered tastes of everything by an enthusiastic staff (with no qualms about his love of all cheeses blue, the smellier the better), and they sell small bags of flavored cheese curds that I remember from my own childhood.

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