Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cheese of the Week 7/30

Bra Duro

Produced as a Italian farmhouse cheese from cow's milk, Bra Duro Cheese is a "sister" cheese to the Bra Tenero cheeses which differ only in the length of aging. A Bra Tenero cheese will be aged for slightly less than 2 months while a Bra Duro cheese ages for 3 months at a minimum and longer for some cheese producers enabling a sharper flavor to develop. The term Duro is the Italian word for rough or rugged, which is used to describe the coarse outer rind. Darker yellow in color and semi-firm to firm in texture, Bra Duro Cheese provides a cheddar-like flavor from a paste that is filled with numerous small eyes. Sharp and somewhat nutty tasting best describes the flavor from this cheese. It is a good cheese to use for snacking or for grating as a topping on pasta and casseroles. When paired with wine, this cheese goes well with a medium-bodied red wine or an amber beer.

Mahon, from the island of Menorca, is one of a few cow's milk cheeses from Spain. Mahón boasts a certain sharpness, and its lemony, salty flavors evince the rural Mediterranean seascape. Its rind contains a hard, crumbly cheddar-like texture and darkens as the wheels age. At peak, Mahón is tangy, intense and delicious. Pair this cheese with Madeira or Tempranillo.

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