Happy St. Patty’s Day to our cheese clubbers! We’re happy to present an Irish cheese this month. Gortnamona comes from Cooleeney Farms in the heart of Tipperary, where the pastures are rich and moist and where some of Ireland’s finest cheeses are made. Here the fourth generation of the Maher family work their farm, and with the milk from their Friesian dairy, they produce their farm cheeses.
Gortnamona is hand made from pasteurized goat’s milk obtained from goat farmers nearby. It’s brie-like in style and texture with a mild yet complex flavor profile. Enjoy with any Irish beer or a lighter white wine.
Omorro Amanteigado, is a torta-style cow’s milk cheese from the Portuguese island of Faial. Like many Portuguese cheeses, it is made using thistle rennet, which gives the cheese pronounced vegetal notes. It is very creamy and buttery in flavor and consistency, which fits its name—Amanteigado means “butter-like” in Portuguese!
Cheeses of this type are traditionally displayed by slicing and removing the top rind, allowing guests to spoon its buttery and gooey paste onto fresh bread. We’ve cut it to provide everyone with a third of a wheel so be sure to let it come to room temperature on a plate that allows for oozing!
We’ve been cheesing it up around the globe this month. Ireland, Portugal and finally France. Cantelet is a cow’s milk cheese from the Auvergne in south-central France. It is similar in style and flavor to Cheddar but a bit fruitier, creamier and less sharp. I find it delicious and wish we’d gotten a larger piece.
It is said to be one of France’s oldest cheeses, older than Roquefort, dating back more than 2,000 years and can be considered an ancestor to English cheddars. Cantelet pairs wonderfully with reds like Cahors or Malbec. Perhaps a Viognier if you prefer a white!