Thursday, February 4, 2010

Diana Pittet's Great Cheddar Adventure

Diana Pittet returned from 8 months traveling the world to visit cheese producers bursting with knowledge to share. On February 3 she hosted a talk and tasting the the back room at Jimmy's No. 43. The tasting featured 5 English farmhouse cheddars and a real English cask ale.

Here's a virtual taste of the evening:

Keen’s Cheddar -An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese made by the Keen family at Moorhayes Farm in Somerset for over 100 years.

Montgomery’s Cheddar - An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese made by Jamie Montgomery in Somerset.

Isle of Mull- An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese made by Jeff and Chris Reade on a remote Scottish island. The soil and climate in western Scotland is different from Somerset, resulting in a more acidic and fruity cheese.

Sparkenhoe Red Leicester- An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese made by David and Jo Clarke. It’s savory and satisfying and much younger than the clothbound Cheddars, only four or five months old.

Stichelton- An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese made by American Joe Schneider in Nottinghamshire near Sherwood Forest. It’s syrupy, toasty, and savory. It sure looks like Stilton but don’t call it that! That would be against the law!

And to drink:

RCH Brewery’s Pitchfork (Somerset, 4.3%)- it is not everyday you get to try a real English cask ale!

Farnum Hill Cider (New Hampshire, 6.5% to 7.5%) - This cider may be made in New Hampshire, but it’s still the taste of Somerset and a great companion for Cheddar.

Wild Meliades (Hudson Valley, 12%) - A uniquely produced organic apple wine. crafted by Enlightenment Wines. "Wild Meliades" is unfiltered and sulfite-free, with sophisticated floral notes produced by the complex interactions of an airborne wild yeast ecosystem, which develops independently in each 5-gallon cask. Every cask offers a one-of-a-kind experience, unmatched in depth or subtlety; this particular cask was brought to Jimmy's 43 by request and is not available anywhere else.