Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cheese Tasting 2: St. Albry vs. Tomme Crayeuse-Ar

On tonight's cheese tasting menu are St. Albry and Tomme Crayeuse-AR, two ripened bries from France. I was a bit worried about these two, their smells are quite strong.

I first tasted the Tomme. I was expecting an overly strong taste based on it's smell, but it is very creamy and smells stronger than it tastes. With Cracker: excellent. With the Membrillo: Very good. The sweetness of the membrillo and the strong flavor of the brie are a great pair. With Dark Chocolate: Too bland. Neither flavor stands out.

St. Albry's has a 'stinky cheese' smell. However, its taste is also more milder than the smell; it is stronger than the bries I am accustomed to. It has a woodsy flavor. With cracker: OK. I could only eat a small amount of this cheese if it was only served with crackers. With Membrillo: Not as good as the membrillo/tomme combination. With chocolate: surprisingly good! I recommend this combination, quite a complex taste. It would be a nice desert, though, you could only eat a small amount. The smelly cheese taste contrasts well with the creamy dark chocolate. At the end of the tasting, the Albry starts to get too strong for me to enjoy.

Throughout the week as I sampled the St. Albry, it become more and more acidic. The taste was felt on the sides of my tongue. The more I ate, the less I liked it. However, it continued to be very edible with dark chocolate, and this is the only way I could enjoy it.

Comparing the two, the Tomme is more creamy and milder. After tasting the Albry, the Tomme's more delicate flavor is lost. I don't recommend serving these two together. The Tomme was overall a better cheese. But, I recommend the Albry and dark chocolate for an interesting combination.

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