Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cheese Nun, A Terroiriste?

The other day I heard Noella Marcellino interviewed on NPR. Noella is a Benedictine nun with a Ph.D. in Fungi or cheese mold. You might think that the mold in Camembert is all the same and the cheese in the Auvergne is all the same, but, in fact, the molds in cheese cellars just 500 feet distant from each other are different. Each cellar has it's own unique combination of cheese mold and thus produces cheese with a unique flavor. European caves have been accumulating these organisms for hundred of years. Perhaps that is why they have such intense and unique flavors. Charles De Gaulle complained, "how can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six kinds of cheese." Cheese cellars are diverse microclimates. This is real terroir. Of course, if the cheese is inoculated with a commercial culture, this diversity is lost. Have we ignored a major source of terroir in the wine world? How many winemakers ferment with the natural wild yeast of their terroir? What is lost with an inoculation of commercial yeast?

2 Comments:

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger Kathleen said…

    Great insight into cheesemaking. I enjoyed learning more about how cheesemakers make their delicious product.
    I was at a nice french restaurant last week and a cheese plate came. I ate the rinds of the cheese, others cut them off, like the crusts of a slice of Wonder bread. Who was right?
    Kathleen
    Albany, NY

    Wine and Stories from the Vineyard Blog -
    http://www.myspace.com/gamay

     
  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Thanks for your comment,Kathleen. I guess some people like the crust and some the soft middle. I eat the rind if I like the taste. It should be good for you, but it might turn you into a terroiriste! Gene

     

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