Many cheesemongers believe the greatest cheeses in the world are made with sheep’s milk, and rightfully so. The buttery richness of sheep’s milk is perfectly suited to the cheesemaking process, creating cheeses that are often sweet, nutty and deliciously complex.
This season’s Cheese Nights, Tuesday, June 23 from 6:00pm — 7:30pm, we’re going to give sheep’s milk cheeses a much-deserved closer look. Come join us — it’s free! Contact your local store for event details.
Read on for a preview of the cheeses we’ll be tasting.
Experience: A renowned streaked blue cheese with rich spiciness, complex layers of flavor and luscious, smooth texture.
Goes with: Sauternes, port, cherries and stone fruit
Interesting fact: From the shepherds who raise Lacaune sheep in the Causses region of southeastern France, to the aging process in the caves of Combalou, Papillon’s cheesemaking has changed little since business began more than 100 years ago.
Experience: Rich with buttery flavor balanced by bright acidity and nutty undertones. A smooth-textured cheese made with Castellana and Merino sheep’s milk. Think tangy Manchego. So good, we bought it all!
Goes with: Dry rosé, fresh cherries
Old Chatham Sheepherding Company
Experience: A creamy and earthy soft-ripened cheese with notes of mushroom and a firm center that will become oozy at its peak.
Goes with: Sauvignon blanc, wheat beer, pecans, apricot preserves
Interesting fact: Owners Nancy and Tom Clark have combined a lifelong love of sheep, a fascination for the European tradition of sheep’s milk cheeses and 600 beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley to produce some of our favorite cheeses. They pasture 800 East Friesian crossbred sheep on the farm’s rolling hills, feeding them on grains and grasses. Tom takes charge of farm operations and Nancy oversees the handcrafting of the award-winning cheeses and yogurts.
Experience: Hard, salty cheese with piquant, full flavor. One of the few romanos still produced in Rome’s countryside. Faithfully made according to the original recipe.
Goes with: Cabernet sauvignon, barolo, membrillo, acacia honey
Experience: A moist and buttery cheese with subtle hints of butterscotch, made with milk from sheep that roam on the Croatian island of Pag.
Goes with: Tempranillo, Chianti, lime honey
Interesting fact: The island of Pag in the Adriatic Sea provides a mini ecosystem of herbs, clovers and grasses for the grazing sheep, in turn imparting unique flavors to this firm, distinctive cheese.
Experience: A sweet and salty smooth-textured cheese with brown butter and caramel notes.
Produced in the Pyrenees and matured for at least three months.
Goes with: Viognier, beaujolais, grilled vegetables, peaches, apricots
Mark your calendars to come learn, taste and celebrate these sheep’s milk cheeses at our next Cheese Nights on Tuesday, June 23, 6:00 pm—7:30 pm. It’s free! Contact your local store for event details.
Do you have a favorite sheep’s milk cheese? Tell us about it in the comments below.