Sunday, January 11, 2009
Fete du Fromage: Bergenost Cheese
Another white food from Norway for you, but this time, I can recommend it quite highly. Chez Loulou, the gorgeous and drool-inducing blog by an American expat living somewhere in the middle of a French vineyard, has a monthly La Fete du Fromage celebrating the delights of cheese from around the world. I missed last month's Fete in the frenzy of the holiday season but I am happy to say that I squeezed some new cheese into my family this past month and I present it now for your delectation.
The cheese in question is Bergenost, described as an artisan cheese made in Corfu, New York by Yancey's Fancy Cheese. The cheese is a buttery triple cream Norwegian style cheese, made with imported cultures, and won the 1999 Gold Medal in the New York State Fair Cheese Competition. It is a cream-colored, soft cheese encased in a dark green wax shell and tastes mild and very rich. I found it in the fancy cheese case at Hannaford's Supermarket (we are not civilized enough to have a cheesemonger within walking or driving distance like the French, quel dommage!) It was perfect paired with some homemade crackers, green grapes and a hearty red wine for a light dinner.
Since we are all about celebrating the glory of cheese, I thought I would also show off my new cheese plates. I picked them up at one of my favorite funky stores, Junque, 514 Main Street in Bennington, Vermont, which sells lots of retro kitchenware, costume jewelry, knicknacks and cool crafts. The owner, Kim, is a sweetie and makes a lot of craft items herself. On my last visit I bought my circa 1940s-50s cheese plates, imprinted with lurid color images of cheese, and housed in a cute wire holder.
The Swiss cheese plate looks normal, but another plate with a pink and brown speckled cheese seems to mistakenly depict head cheese rather than the dairy kind and another shows off a distinctly unappetizing green polka dotted cheese. The back of each plate is stamped "Japan", a country without a culinary tradition imbued with a lot of dairy products, so perhaps the cheese plate artist had a little cultural misinterpretation going on. One man's Stilton is another man's compost, I suppose.
At any rate, be sure to check back with Chez Loulou after the 15th to see what other glorious cheeses have been sampled. Au revoir.