Get Lucky With These Golden Irish Cheese & Beer Pairings

beerblogWhile it might just be a really good excuse to get a little too drunk, St. Patrick’s day is also a great opportunity to eat some Irish cheese. Don’t worry, we’ve included several beer pairings to make sure you try some funky new curds… while pounding down the cold ones!

Irish Cheddar:

Pinch free! Wrapped in green wax, this cheese couldn’t be more perfect for St. Patty’s Day. Irish Cheddar is an excellent translation of pastoral Ireland. It’s bright and tangy, slightly sweet flavor profile is perfect for the aficionado, or the cheese beginner. We pair this classic cheddar with a classic beer; go for a hoppy, floral IPA. The complexity of these beers will go perfectly with this cheddar’s easy flavors and creamy finish.

 Ardrahan:

Cows that graze on clover fields are simply destined to make fantastic Irish cheese. These wheels are funky! But remember, you can’t have funky without the letters f-u-n! The truth of the matter is that this cheese doesn’t just go well with beer, it craves it! We’d keep it local with the beers (it also goes really, really well with scotch and whiskey.) Try a Barleywine, or another traditional brew like Old Ale.

Cashel Blue:

300 years in the cheese making biz means that you must be doing something right. Cashel is one of the most voluptuous and creamy blue’s we have ever laid our paws on. It’s not super poignant; like Stilton or Roquefort. This guy is much mellower and smoother, perfect for those who are just adventuring into blue cheeses. Celebrate this fantastic Irish blue with a fantastic Irish beer! Go for a dry Stout with a thick, creamy head.

How Stinky Cheeses Get Their Funk

greenswardWe aren’t afraid to say it: we love the stinky stuff. The stinkier the better! But, how does a cheese get it’s funk? Well Matt Spiegler from Cheese Notes, one of the best cheese blogs out there, gives us the run-down on how these stinkers are made in this month’s Edible Brooklyn.

Matt brings up one of the most important factors in making a stinky cheese, the washing of the curd in booze. This is what gives this family of cheese its name — Washed Rind. Wheels of cheese are washed in many different styles of alcohol, ranging from beer and wine, to even absinthe and cider. While this does not necessarily impart the flavor profile of the booze, it does have some interesting effects on the rind of a cheese. It introduces a new set of bacteria and yeasts. As Matt explains:

The best known are the Brevibacterium linens, which impart red and orange hues and distinctive aromas — meaty, wet grass, broth, barnyard, even “gym sock” — to prized washed-rind cheeses like nose-searing Époisses or funky, custardy Taleggio. But not all washed rind cheeses are “stinky”; some range toward fruity, floral, pleasantly sour and yeasty; others might not even read as “washed” at first taste, so subtle is the influence.

Matt calls out some of his all-time favorite American washed rinds, and Murray’s was lucky enough to get a shout-out for our Cavemaster Reserve Greensward (pictured above)! This cheese starts its life as Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm, but comes to us very young, where we bathe it in booze and develop its orange rind. Matt describes Greensward as “rich, milky and meaty, with bacon and caramelized onion notes and a distinctly woodsy infusion from its time in the bark belt.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Pimento Cheese That’s Sure to Please

PimentoCheeseSpread_blog

Y’all, sometimes there ain’t nothin’ better than a big ol’ dollop of pimento cheese on a nice hearty cracker. We love this stuff because it’s easy to make, and it gets gobbled up at any gathering. Alternatively, it makes for excellent snacking for those solo nights at home binge watching Netflix. Channel your inner Paula Deen, and give this Murray’s recipe a try to put a lil’ South in your mouth!

pimento_blogIngredients:

½ lb Tickler Cheddar, shredded
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Greek-style yogurt
¼ cup Peppadews, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Fold all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well incorporated.
2. Enjoy with crackers, baguette or your favorite raw vegetables.

 

A World Of Cheese

We know that the world of cheese can be pretty daunting: so many different styles and types, not to mention different countries of origin. This nifty map from Smithsonian  is an amazing tool to help discover the world of cheese, for novice and curd nerds alike! While it’s no surprise that France is the largest consumer of cheese, did you know that the US is by far the largest producer!? In Mauritania, Camel cheese is all the rage, while in the Philippines, fresh Buffalo milk is the curd of choice. You learn something new every day!

Via Smithsonian Magazine