Essex Street Cheese
Unlike other goudas, Brabander is never matured in cooler temperatures, allowing it to develop fuller flavors. Made in the Netherlands with milk from Holstein Friesian cows, it is aged for two years. Because this cheese is made year-round, the flavor, as a result of the varying milk, will change slightly with the seasons.
The beautiful white paste has lovely flavors of caramel and butter, with a pleasant savory underpinning from the goat’s milk. The cheese pairs well with a dry Riesling or a malty amber ale.
Located on a small farm in South Holland, Roos and Jan van Schie keep a small herd of Montbeliard and Friesian cows on their idyllic farm, and make only a small quantity of their signature cheese, Wilde Weide, each week. At a time when most Dutch cheese production has moved away from the farm and into large factories, the van Schies have helped to maintain the tradition of small-production artisan farmhouse Gouda, or Boerenkaas.
Translated as “wild meadow,” Wilde Weide is made from organic, raw milk. While it exhibits some of the crystallized texture that is a hallmark of aged Goudas, this cheese is more subtle than its robust cousins. At 15 months old, Wilde Wilde has lovely caramel and pineapple flavors, with an underpinning of savory grassiness.
Essex is importing a sheep's milk feta made on the island of Lesbos, the only Greek island to hold a PDO for feta. The cheesemaker, Tastanis, buys milk from from shepherds in Agra who milk a breed of sheep native to the island. The sheep feed on shrubs, herbs and flowers that grow near the sea, and are milked in the fields twice a day.
Tastanis, which employs three generations of cheesemakers, uses its own yogurt to culture the milk. They do not make cheese between May and December because the shepherds do not separate the young lambs from the ewes. Their feta has a crumbly texture, and the clean, sweet, mildly grassy flavors that are characteristic of high quality sheep's milk.
Finca Sierra La Solana traces its history to 1878. Located in the La Mancha region of Spain, the farm has grown grapes and almonds, and now uses the milk of its 500 ewes to make Manchego, the quintessential sheep’s milk cheese of Spain.
Named for the year Cervantes wrote the novel “Don Quixote,” which includes references to the classic cheese, Manchego 1605 is a raw milk, natural-rinded version that is aged for between six and nine months for a firm, slightly granular texture. Selected especially for Essex Street Cheese Company, the wheels offer flavors of sweet, earthy milk offset by a warm spice that is never harsh. This Manchego is best paired with a full-bodied tannic red wine, a dry sherry or a handful of fresh grapes.
Casella's Prosciutto Speciale is made in America using heritage breeds (Duroc, Old Spot, Tamworth, Berkshire, Large Black) which are raised on pasture by small family farms. The curing process is simple yet complex. It's just beautifully marbled pork, salt and time. The resulting prosciutto is silky and balanced with nuanced flavors breed by breed.
Casella's large format salami is also on sale for the entire month: Finocchiona, Soppressata Dolce & Soppressata Piccante.
Maia from Briar Rose Creamery
Montes de Alcala Pimenton from Pondini
Shepherd's Hope from Shepherd's Way Farms
Assorted Flavors from Jamnation