Friday, June 9, 2017

Black Cow Cheddar

Black Cow Cheddar is one of the newest products to hit the Dussa’s Ham & Cheese fridge, and boy are we excited! This cheddar has an incredible story. Made by the same grass fed cows that make the renowned Barber’s 1833 Cheddar- the oldest surviving cheddar makers in the world! What makes Black Cow cheddar so special is not the milk, however, but the whey. Inspired by milk based spirits produced in cold climate regions where high fructose plants are not available, Jason Barber and business partner Paul Archard decided to try to make a pure milk vodka using the cows on the Barber farm. The result is the now famous Black Cow Vodka. The milk is separated into curds and whey- the whey is processed to make vodka, the curds pressed into cheddar!

Black Cow Cheddar comes in cute little 200g black wax truckles. The wax is key, as it helps the cheddar maintain its distinct creaminess. The result is a mouthwatering cheddar that is silky smooth, with the odd tyrosine crystal that adds a to the cheeses delightful texture. The cheddar itself tastes sharp, but lacks the bitterness that many aged cheddars tend to have. Its finish is slightly peaty, as though you’ve just sipped on a fine bourbon. Paired with a dry rosé, and Black Cow Cheddar has a hidden sweetness to it, as though a drop of honey has been added.

Black Cow Cheddar makes and amazing gift and travels well. Perfect for you next summer picnic!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fromager D'affinois

A few years back, a customer came to our shop wondering if we carried a cheese that she had tried at a gathering some days before. “I’m not sure of the name,” she said, “It looked like a Brie, but it tasted like the baby Jesus sliding down your throat in velvet pants.” I knew right away what she cheese she was looking for- D’affinois.

D’affinois is a gorgeous bloomy rind soft ripened cheese made by the Fromageris Guilloteau Company in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is rich and mild with a subtle smell that, although not offensive to even the most timid of eaters, lets you know that you are about to delve into something amazing. Yet above all, it is D’affinois’ luxurious velvety texture that has made this cheese so famous. The reason for that amazing texture is a process called ultrafiltration. 

Ultrafiltration is when the milk is continuously pressed through a porous membrane in such a whey (har har) that all the large molecules in the milk, such as the fats and proteins, are left behind while the water is drained away. Before the cheese making has even begun, all the whey has been removed.  Because of this, D’affinois only needs to be aged for about two weeks, unlike Brie and Camambert which need to be aged for at least four weeks. As a result, D’affinois lacks the earthy mushroom flavor of a traditional Brie or Camembert, and instead boasts a unique buttery freshness.

Another great thing about D’affinois is that it comes in many forms.  At Dussa’s we carry no less than six different flavors and styles throughout the year. We regularly stock the traditional D’affinois, made of cow’s milk and always a hit a party. 

We’ve also begun to regularly stock Bleu D’affinois, which is as rich and creamy as the traditional, but with few veins of blue that give this normally mild cheese a little kick. 

Every so often we bring in Champagnier, a wash-rind version of the traditional D’affinois. As D’affinois is aged, it is gently washed with a salt water brine that shakes up the tasty bacteria to create a slightly smelly cheese with a bold orange rind. Champagnier is just a touch stronger than traditional D’affinois, and is a staff favourite.  

New to Dussa’s is Florette and Brebicet, goat and sheeps milk versions of D’affinois so that our lactose intolerant customers can also indulge in this incredible cheese.

And finally, there is Secrete D’affinois, or how we at Dussa’s like to call, a little wheel of D’affinois for one!

D’affinois is definitely one of the hottest items sold here at Dussa’s Ham & Cheese. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that pairs well with charcuterie, nuts, and many different types of fruits.Yet it is just a fabulous all on its own!