~Unless you’re a world-class cheese connoisseur or have a refined palette, most people only get to experience one type cheese, most likely made from cow’s milk. Which is understandable, since there are probably more cows than people in the state of California alone, and a bunch more in Wisconsin. For those that raise goats, you’re more used to that tangy aftertaste than most folks will be (and braver I might add). I don’t see a whole lot of sheep’s milk cheese in the local grocery stores, unless you know where to go and what you’re looking for.
When I paid the Stamper Cheese folks yet another visit to their stall in Frankfort on Sunday, I made it my mission to try a sheep’s milk cheese. And I was in luck! They had 3 different types displayed: a cheese resembling Manchego cheese and 2 types of Gruyere cheese, one aged one year, and one that was a raw milk variety. I’ve always wanted to try Manchego cheese, mostly due to its catchy name (of Spanish origin) and to say that I’ve had a sheep’s milk cheese.
The Manchego was creamy and smooth, melting perfectly on my tongue. Next I tried both variations of the Gruyere. The aged cheese had a bit of a salty rind, but wasn’t too overpowering. The younger cheese was good, but not as refined as the aged. So I ended up with a chunk of the Manchego and a chunk of the aged Gruyere. Now I am the proud owner of a sheep’s milk, cow’s milk (I purchased a chunk of Asiago last week at the Palos Heights farmer’s market) and a goat’s milk cheese! The cooking possibilities are endless! What I did was make a healthy breakfast with scrambled quail eggs, a 4 cheese blend (goat milk Gouda, Asiago, Manchego and Gruyere) and wilted spinach.