Sage Derby  $8.59 lb. at Whole Foods. Cow milk cheddar type cheese, light yellow marbled with lime green, very mild, not stinky, flecks of sage.  Hardish cheese.  

Saint Agur 
$16.99 lb. It has since gone up to $19.99 lb. at Whole Foods, and it's worth every penny. Cow's milk from Auvergne, France. Sweet blue cheese, cream-colored, soft, spreadable paste, with crunchy, spicy, bright blue mold. The finish is tingly and it burns my throat. Delicate cheese.  This is absolutely delicious. It is tangy and creamy at the same time. It melts in my mouth.  Very buttery. It is a dainty little cheese for being so strong. This cheese, at room temperature, is so wonderful. Even with the plastic wrapper on, I could smell a delicious, cheesy, tangy, pure cheese aroma, and then some blue. The paste is dark cream colored, but it's not one of those dirty-tasting Stilton type of cheeses. This cheese is extremely delicate, light on the tongue, salty, creamy, sweet, moldy, spicy -- everything I love. It is an exciting cheese on so many levels.

Saint Agur $19.99 lb. at Citarella in NYC, $4.80 for a thin slice. Irv was my cheesemonger and he said this was his favorite blue. It is cream-colored with big floating curd holes of blue-green veining. Some pockets are brown and some even ooze and leak out some clear bluish-green liquid. It looks like the side of a cliff where the rock is dripping. Several pockets of blue have thick outlines of blue and then are hollow on the inside. It is a weird-looking cheese. The blue is tender, but a little chewy. It has a toasted, sweet flavor that may even be meaty, like a sweet, tangy bbq. I taste something like butterscotch and water. The blue veining is extremely mild and the super creamy texture of the cheese--creamy as in it does not crumble, but spreads--makes it taste even more milky. The blue gives more of an earthy flavor than a spicy, peppery one. It is creamy like a Gorgonzola. You don't even need a knife to eat this cheese. You can just smash pieces of baguette crust into it. It is extremely spreadable, and it seems to be the same color and texture all the way to the rind, which is covered in foil with the cheese's name on it in the color theme of the cheese. It has mushroom flavors. It is musky. It is an easy-eating cheese. It is very surprising for a blue, Patrick says, because it's like earthy mushrooms and nutty. He says it's like a blue crossed with Emmenthal in flavor. For me, this cheese tastes like a moldy ice cream. It is made of cow's milk, from the Auvergne region in Central France. It is also enriched with cream and is 60% m.g., a double cream cheese. There is no such thing as a saint named Agur. Photo of Saint Agur 

Saint-Albray French from the Jura, $5.99 lb. At HEB, $2.88 for a big chunk.  This cheese was pure nastiness!  It stunk up my fridge.  It is creamy and light, a little rubbery on the inside, supple, with a crust with red/orange mold and some white powder.  It looked fresh enough, but on second glance, had been packed nearly 4 weeks before.  I think this cheese was old because the books say it’s supposed to be mild with a light odor, but it is bitter and stinks.  It is washed rind, but it isn’t supposed to be this strong.  It was even stronger than the Limburger-esque Bierkaese that I had bought the same day.  I melted it on toast and it was a little better.  If this is old, it would be the second old cheese I have bought at Far West HEB.  I talked to some people at Central Market and they said that the Saint Albray should not be ammoniated like that.  

Saint Albray  $12.99 lb. at Central Market.  $5.87 for a big slice.  Patrick loves this cheese.  I got some for him and it was a good batch.  It stank really bad, but the flavor was good and just a little stronger than munster.  It is a meaty, spicy, robust cheese with a bitter aftertaste.  Sounds bad, but it is interesting for a change of pace here and there.  This cheese is from the Aquitaine region of France.  http://www.hillersmarkets.com/cheesenotes_detail.cfm?cheesenotes_ID=14    

St. André  Triple crème Brie $9.99 lb. at HEB Hancock, $2.70 for a slender slab.  It is a very buttery creamy brie.  I like it a lot.  It’s competitor at Central Market is Délice de Bourgogne, a saltier, tangier triple crème.  St. André is excellent, though.  The paste looks like soft butter, and tastes only slightly cheesier.  The label says that the milk was mixed with whipped sweet cream and heavy sour cream.  It is supposed to go best with a light, fruity rosé.  http://thecheeseshop.com/cgi/SoftCart.exe/scstore/p-0062.html?E+scstore  

Saint Marcellin  This is a yummy little cheese.  The size of the palm of my hand, soft-ripened cow’s milk.  The crust is not too thick.  The inside is creamy and a little darker at the edges.  Tangy, a little bitter, salty, and moldy.  It seems young, but it still really stinky.  It’s not so congealed as a Brie.  Patrick says it smells like the YMCA locker room—moldy towels, but not stinky feet.  It is giving Patrick asthma.  I guess he’s allergic to mold.  Patrick doesn’t like it as much as the washed rinds.  It is from the Dauphiné region.  Mild, acidic and salty.  It can also be served ripe.  It is cow’s milk, but originally was a goat’s milk cheese.  This one tastes like it could have a little bit of goat in it.  It is pasteurized.  It is really good.  Kevin said that in France, he used to wrap it in foil and let it sit out until it got really stinky and runny and eat it with a spoon.  Double crème, 50% m.g.

Ste. Maure from Pure Luck $14.99 lb. at Central Market, $5.80 for a tiny log that would sit well in the palm of a hand.  This is one of my new favorite cheeses!  It comes in a very small log, soft-ripened.  The guy from Pure Luck said that it was aged 6 weeks.  It is kind of runny under the plastic and almost a light brown color from the liquid.  Inside, it is gooey (but in a good way) with firmer cheese on the inside.  It is fairly salty, tastes like a runny, ripe brie at times, but also has a strong mold/Roquefort taste.  In the finish of the cheese, there is a definite goat flavor.  Everybody at work loved this cheese. The only problem is that it is so small, it would be devoured in mere seconds at a party and people might not stop to savor it.
Pure Luck  $6 for 4-6 oz. Log, Farmstead Goat cheese.  Ste. Maure from Dripping Springs, Texas.  Has vegetable rennet and some herbs which I couldn’t taste.  Crust looks old, a little white brie-like crust.  Great goat taste, very salty, perhaps a little too salty, creamy in the middle, firmer towards the crust.  Slightly crumbly.  Very clean.  I liked this cheese a lot.  

Sainte Maure, Jacquin  Goat’s milk from France.  $22.59 lb. at Central Market, about $12.50 for a big log.  It was rolled in ashes and also had the piece of straw in it that is put there to hold the cheese together and to ventilate it.  It was a lot like the pave de jadis – light, white, fluffy, and not too goaty – but it seemed just a little denser and more crumbly.  It broke off in chunks.  It was very good with the Sancerre. 

Saint-Nectaire  $6.99 lb. at Grapevine, $2.70 for a huge pie slice.  It looks kind of like Reblochon.  It has a hard rind, red and white mold, straw-colored paste.  When it gets softened up, it is barely harder than a cold brie.  It is really good.  Salty, creamy, mildly buttery, a tad musky, but not like Brie because I cut the rind off.  It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but is good.  Buttery.  It is from Auvergne in France.  It is aged on straw.  It is supposed to smell like a pasture, and I guess the rind does smell more like cow doo than mold.  I liked it and other people did, too.  It is awkward to eat because you want to eat it like a brie, but you have to cut the thick rind off.  I tried this again later from Grapevine.  I think the cheese was more aged, so it had more flavor.  It was a little bitter and spicy.  It doesn't really smell like a washed rind, but it tastes like one.  It is the opposite of the washed rinds that smell really bad, but taste mild.

Sap Sago  $3 for a little concrete tower at Central Market.  It is genuine Swiss green cheese.  It is a low-fat cow cheese made with clover and aged over 90 days.  It is supposed to be green, but it is cream-colored with a green tint.  It looks like a sandcastle tower or a concrete sculpture.  It is dry, crumbly, greener on the inside.  It tastes like liquorice or chemicals.  It makes my tongue sting.  It’s awful.  It makes red wine taste like fish.  It is a well-known Swiss sour-curd cheese made from ripened zieger and honey lotus clover.  I took it to a party and dared people to eat it, told them it was the worst cheese in the world, but nobody would eat it.  I think people grate it up and make salad dressings out of it.

SarVecchio Parmesan by Sartori  $12.99 lb. at Whole Foods, $6.50 for a nice wedge. This is the color of a very very light Parmesan. It is crumbly, but dense and cohesive enough that it could be served as a table cheese with no problem. I taste some citrus, like pineapple. Tingly flavor with a nutty, cheesiness on the finish. It is very fruity and cheesy. Aged at least 20 months. http://www.shopsartori.com/sapa.html It is cow's milk from Wisconsin, vegetarian.   

Sbrinz Hard Mountain Cheese  $9.99 lb. at Central Market, $3.60 for a small/medium block.  Cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland.  It is dark yellow, different colors of yellow.  It is definitely hard and dense.  I can slice it in tiny slivers and when I hold it up in the light, I see little chunks of salt in it.  It does taste salty.  It’s got some nuttiness and cheesy tanginess to it, and something light that reminds me of the smell of rubber.  When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t have a huge, strong flavor.  I really like eating it because of the crunchy salt crystals.  It used to be only made in the province of Brienz, but now is made elsewhere as well.
Read more about it at
http://www.cheese.com/Description.asp?Name=Sbrinz
Sbrinz is so famous, it has its own website in Switzerland:
http://www.sbrinz.ch/site/home/home_d.asp 
The site says that the milk is made from the Braunvieh cow (those cute brown European cows with white muzzles and bells around their necks).  They eat only grass in the summer and hay in the winter, never any sort of fodder.  All natural.    

Sbrinz  Cow's milk from Switzerland.  Dark yellow, deep-colored, and semi-hard.  It says Sbrinz on the rind in wax.  It has little grains of salt in it.  It is nutty and goes well with red wine.  When you hold a thin slice up to the window, you can see the salt nodules.  I always like this cheese.  It reminds me of a Swiss Parmigiano. 

Scamorza, smoked Mozzarella Company in Dallas. $12.99 lb. at Central Market. $8.70 for a big ball. This is the only Scamorza I could find in Austin. It comes in a round not much bigger than a baseball. It has had a little rope tied around its neck so that it has divided into something that looks more like a fat pear. It is covered in thick yellow wax. Inside, the cheese is cream-colored and very supple. Towards the wax, it is a little more brown. There is a piece of straw or a little string that runs along the outside of the cheese. When I eat towards the straw, the cheese is a lot herbier. It has a good mouthfeel -- definitely a stretched curd type. It is bouncy like a low-moisture Mozzarella or a Provolone. This company smokes their cheeses over pecan shells. I like it. Usually I am not much into smoked cheeses, but lately, since I have found some artisanal smoked cheeses, I have been enjoying them. They also go well with some of the rustic red wines. This cheese is not exactly like being in Italy, but it is still good.

Schmerling's "Triangle Cheese" Cheese Spread Portions from Switzerland The infamous "triangle cheese" that kosher consumers always liken Raclette to when they taste it. I don't see the connection except that both are sticky and this triangle cheese does have a faint flavor of a Swiss cheese. Schmerling is from Switzerland, after all. Its flavor is very mild, but there is some tingle and also some vague cheesiness. As a customer suggested, this is really great on a matzo, especially heated up a little bit in the microwave. The matzo starts to get soft and pliable, and the cheese really melts well and stays on the cracker. You can make a little sandwich this way. Photo of Schmerling Triangle

Schtark Pizza Cheese $2.99 for an 8 oz. bag at Pomegranate. This is about the mildest cheese ever. It is a blend of Muenster and Mozzarella. Super buttery, bland, soft. That said, it melts great and gives just the texture you are looking for on a pizza without having too much of only stretchy Mozzarella. It is a very popular blend, at least on the kosher shelf. Schtark is a Swiss family that started making kosher cheese in 1930 in Switzerland. The Schtark logo is "Zay Gezunt un Schtark!" (Be Healthy and Strong! in Yiddish, but with a play on words with the family name Schtark and the Yiddish word "shtark" for "strong.") Kof-K, cRc kosher, cholov yisroel, and kosher for Passover. Photo of Schtark Pizza Cheese     

Selles-sur-Cher, Jacquin  $22.99 lb. at Whole Foods, $12.41 for a round the size of my palm.  It’s raw goat’s milk from Berry and came in its own little wooden crate.  It is completely covered in lumpy light gray mold.  This is great!  It’s very very goaty, possibly the goatiest I’ve had in a while.  It’s creamier towards the rind, and chalky on the inside.  It is a little stinky-tasting and not too salty.  It is supposed to taste like hazelnuts.  Maybe that’s the weird taste that I can’t name.  Yes, it does taste a little like hazelnuts, come to think of it—old hazelnuts!  http://www.fromagerie-jacquin.com/selles_sur_cher1.htm. I tasted this again. It had gone up to $24.99 at Whole Foods. It came in the wooden crate again. It is shriveled up and grey/white with a tough rind. I cut a third of it and put it on a cheese plate. Within about 10 minutes, it had come to room temperature and started to ooze. After 20 minutes, it looked like it was sticking its tongue out at me! It is very spicy, very goaty, and a little bitter. It's good, but it really does fill your mouth up with some crazy flavors. Before long, it gets milder. This is the ripest Selles-sur-Cher I've ever had.    

Shepherd's Wheel  Soft-ripened sheep's milk cheese from the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham, New York. It comes in a 3 lb. wheel. It has a downy, edible rind, a creamy texture, mild flavor, with earthy tones and a nutty finish. It intensifies as the flavors develop. Read more about it at http://www.blacksheepcheese.com.

Shropshire Blue, Clawson  From England.  $15.49 lb. at Central Market, $4.65 for a decent, yet scant slice.  “A smooth golden blue veined cheese, excellent with claret.”  It says to put it on filo dough, fold it, and bake it.  It is the color of cheddar because it has annatto in it.  It has blue veins scattered around, and a dark brown rind with some white mold on it.  Comparable to the Roaring Forties.  It is mild, but has a good, strong-tasting mold on it.  It’s nutty.  It’s got a weird bite, almost bitter at times, but creamy.  It’s really good. Really moldy aftertaste, kind of itchy.  It’s not sharp like a Roquefort, though.  I don’t know how they make this cheese.  I guess it’s cow’s milk so that it doesn’t have that one kind of sharpness. Later this had gone up to $16.99 lb. at Central Market. It looks like Cheddar, but it's sticky with blue veining in it. It still has a good nutty flavor. Very long-lasting finish. I don't know if this second try is Clawson or Colston Bassett. This is so Great Britain. It is crumbly like Wensleydale. I really really like the nutty flavor and light spice of the blue. Annatto produces the orange color and penicillium roqueforti gives the blue. It is a cross between Blue Cheshire and Blue Stilton. It is matured for 12 weeks, but can be matured for 12 more weeks to produce a creamier, fuller flavor. 

Shy Brothers Farms, see Hannahbells

Single Gloucester, Smart  Neal’s Yard.  $13.99 lb. at Central Market.  It came in a slab.  Raw cow’s milk.  It is very cheddary, long-lasting, yet understated.  It was milder than the Double Gloucester.  The people at the party loved this cheese.     

Skirrid  $15.99 lb. at Central Market, $5.28 for a modest hunk.  It was a little expensive, but I loved the color of it.  It looks like it came in a small cylinder.  The rind is the color of cocoa powder.  The cheese is ivory-colored and gets a little greenish brown towards the edges.  It is semi-hard and dry, a little like some of the Greek sheep’s cheeses, but a little spongier.  It crumbles in your mouth and is extremely salty, 500 mg. per oz.  It has a nice long finish and an aftertaste of something vaguely stinky like that light vomity taste I get from pecorino romanos.  It’s good, though.

Smoke Signal by Calkins Creamery $16.99 lb. at Whole Foods. Raw cow's milk made with vegetable rennet. This piece looks like it came from a flattish, small round. The outside has a light color of smoke and the paste is pale cream-colored and a little oily. On the palate, it explodes with unexpected spicy an bitter flavors that tingle on the tongue. It has a cheesy taste that is both milky and tangy. It is an excellent melter, and when it melts, it retains that edgy, almost charred flavor. It makes my ears burn. This is not your typical smoked cheese at all! This cheese comes from Calkins Creamery in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The farmers employ sustainable farming techniques and the milk comes from their very own herd of Holsteins. The website says that this is an applewood smoked gouda smoked at the Delaware Delicacies Smokehouse. It does taste like real smoke. Intense smoke that is almost chocolatey. It tastes like something burned and caramelized, like a marshmallow. http://www.calkinscreamery.com

Smoked Baby Brie $1.99 for a big wedge packed in a fake chipwood box. I bought this at Westside Market at 77 SEventh Ave. in NYC. It is by Alouette, Tablet K kosher. I didn't think it sounded so great, but I thought I would try it for the price and that it was kosher. It was buttery and only lightly smoked. I admit, I didn't get the full effect of the cheese. I waited way too long to even try it, so I think it was past its prime. It looked pretty much like a normal Brie with a rind that was just slightly darker. This store likes to put cute and interesting anecdotes on the price tags. Usually they are silly, but this one said, "During this holiday season while you R enjoying this cheese remember--24,000 children die each day from malnutrition  Give to U.N.I.C.E.F.----I belive in the power of zero." [sic] That tag kept making me depressed and not want to eat the cheese! Then the cheese got wasted because by the time I tasted it, it just seemed sort of dead itself. That sticker killed it. Photo of Smoked Baby Brie sticker  

Snofrisk About $3-4 for 4.4 oz. at Whole Foods. This spreadable cheese comes in a triangular container. There is a darling picture of a snow white goat on the front sniffing flowers. Snofrisk comes from the makers of Jarlsberg in Norway. It is 80% goat's milk and 20% cow's milk. It has a goat taste, but with extra cream behind it from the cow's milk and a thicker, smoother cream cheese cow-like texture. It is nice and easy to eat. What was strange about it was that I couldn't decide whether it was goaty or not because of the cow's milk.

Sole, Formaggi Sole  $11.99 lb. at Central Market.  $5.04 for a big chunk.  Sheep cheese from Sardinia.  It has an acidic aftertaste and a little bit of a mayonnaise taste.  It also tastes like bile, but it's not unpleasant bile.  It seems like it would be better as a cooking cheese than a snacking cheese.

Sonoma Jack Hot Pepper Cheese  $3.59 for at least 1/2 lb. I bought this at a liquor store in San Francisco. Cheap! It is more yellow than your usual Monterey Jack, and it has flecks of red and darker peppers in it. The label says that it is hot, but it's really pretty mild. Very tangy from the milk and peppers. It tastes pickled. It has a good consistency for melting. My friend Tracy and I can't quit eating this cheese. It is rennetless and pasteurized, and it contains Jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, and crushed red peppers. This is so much better than the Pepper Jacks I usually eat. I am surprised to have found such a tasty cheese in a liquor store. We went in to get beer, and came out with my other favorite food -- cheese. 

Sonoma Jack with Portabella Mushrooms  $3.59 for a huge chunk at a liquor store in San Francisco. This cheese looks the same as the Hot Pepper Jack listed above, but it has dark flecks of Portabella mushrooms, spices, and herbs. 

Soréda Cone with Black Peppercorn $12.99 lb. at Whole Foods, $1.82 for a small pyramid. Made by the Fromagerie Soréda in Périgord. Southern France, near the Bordeaux regions where the Garonne and Dordogne rivers are. I can't find a lot of info out about this cheese online. This company also makes the delicious Cabécou Feuille goat cheese, wrapped in chestnut leaves. Some of the other cheeses alongside this one were wrapped in leaves, but they were past their prime. Vince at Whole Foods discouraged me from buying one, but when I sampled the peppercorn version, even though the paste was probably tougher than it should have been, I really enjoyed it. The core of the cheese is a dense cream color, and then it changes to caramel towards the rind. It is covered in crushed black peppers with some mold on top. It is kind of peanut-buttery textured, like peanut butter that has gotten stuck up alongside the rim of the jar and dried out. The flavor is definitely goaty with a bit of a barnyard finish. Tangy and spicy with lots of nuts, and the flavors from the black peppers that have bled into the paste of the cheese. It's really good. I think I would like this better with the peppers, since it is aged, to balance things out a bit.

Sottocenere al Tartufo  $19.99 at Whole Foods. It is called Sottocenere because "sotto" is "under" in Italian and "cenere" is "ash" -- meaning that the cheese is covered in ash. I never have liked this cheese, but finally got friendlier with it. It was suggested to me as a good match for Prosecco. It is cream-colored, dense, and aromatic. In fact, it smells like bad breath, which is part of the reason I never liked it before. It has that sort of wild onion/garlic halitosis thing going on, I guess from the truffles. The people at the party loved it, though. It was everybody's favorite. It is a fairly mild cheese overall. Here is my description from class: Sottocenere is a firm cow’s milk cheese made with black truffles and then rubbed with herbs and spices to enhance its flavor. Following the old Venetian tradition this cheese gets covered with ash and aromatized with truffle. Sottocenere means "Beneath the Ash". From Treviso. Cow’s milk, firm texture with flavor of white truffles, spice and anis. This is a soft solid cheese with flakes of black truffle inside. The units of cheese are carefully washed after a short period of ripening, and then the surface undergoes a treatment with extra virgin olive oil, many spices, especially cinnamon and then natural truffle flavoring. At this point the cheese is covered with ashes, allowing it to keep its flavor better. Its aromatic characteristics make it a very good cheese for very particular dishes.  

Soumaintrain From Burgundy, France. $19.99 lb. at Grapevine. $6 for a little wedge. This looks, acts, and tastes like a triple cream Brie type. Its rind is nice and soft with downy white mol and some brown and orange speckling here and there. The paste is luscious. It looks almost like cream-colored sour cream, it is so fluffy. The flavor explodes in your mouth. It is unpasteurized, so it has extra power and longer lasting flavor. It is creamy, salty, and earthy with the mold. The mold is also firm and when my teeth bite into it, they sink in and then suddenly pop through the delicate skin. The mold is fun to chew on after the creamy cheese has left your mouth. It is delicious and a treat to taste since I never see it here, especially unpasteurized. The French Cheese book says that it is generally eaten young, 6-8 weeks old, and that the rind is washed and brushed just like an Epoisses. This one doesn't seem to be such a washed rind since there is so much white mold, though there is some red bacteria here and there.

Speziato al Tartufo  $21.99 lb., $2.64 for a teeny wedge. This cheese reminds me a lot of Sottocenere (see above) in both flavor and texture, but lighter. The rind is brown and dusty, and I assume that's the truffle and spice coating. The outside tastes like cinnamon. It is a cream color with little specks of truffles here and there. I can taste some of the same coating of the Sottocenere, like cinnamon, for instance. It is the same style of coating, but with out the ash that Sottocenere has. It is good and easier to eat that Sottocenere. Excellent cheese.

Stilchester From England  $10.59 lb.  $3.49 for a decent chunk.  This is the cheddar-type of cheese that is layered with blue cheese.  It is really good and people like it.  It is pretty, too.

Stilton, Blue  $16.99 lb. at Kashkaval Cheese Market in NYC, $2.04 for a very small wedge. This shop cuts the tiniest pieces of cheese! I love it. Ahhh. This is exactly the cheese I needed. Dark cream, almost yellow colored paste. Crazy blue veining that is sometimes faint and squiggly and other times irregular caverns full of surprises like blue and silver crumbly. Earthy, nutty, rustic tasting, yet refined and sweet like nuts and caramel like a Cheddar. It tastes watery, like the flavor of a lake, and I have tasted this flavor before in Stilton. I don't know what makes this blue and green flavor, but it tastes like those colors. Stilton wants to crumble, but then it flattens out into a luscious paste with some shreds of crunchy mold mixed in. I don't know which brand of Stilton this is, but it is outstanding. The rind bears the imprint of the cheese cloth. Photo of Stilton

Stilton, Neal’s Yard Colston Basset Stilton  $8.99 lb. at Central Market, $1.62 for a small slice.  The king of cheeses.  It is creamy-colored, but towards the rind, it gets dark brown like the cookies I used to eat when I was a kid.  The rind is really tough and has some white mold flecks on top of the brown.  It is a firm cheese, with just a little bit of blue.  It looks like a creamy, white cheddar.  The blue taste is really strong, but then there is the cheddar-like aftertaste.  It is bitter, sharp, tastes kind of green.  I guess that’s the mold.  Patrick says it’s medium-stinky.  It has a weird cheddar taste.  I don’t quite know what to make of this cheese, but I like it.  It is slice-able like cheddar.  It tastes cold, green/blue, like water.  It’s not a warm cheese.
Read more about it at
http://www.gourmet-a-la-modem.com/0105008.htm 
Stilton also has its own website in the UK:
http://www.stiltoncheese.com/index.html 

Stilton, Neal’s Yard Colston Bassett Stilton  $13.99 lb. at Central Market.  $3.08 for a good slab.  It is darker cream-colored, and towards the rind it is almost yellow.  The rind is brown.  This piece doesn’t have a lot of blue veining in it, but I can see where the cheese was pierced with the needles.  It is crumbly, yet creamy-tasting, and with long-lasting lightly salty blue.  Apollo said he really liked it, and that it was strong, but it seemed not so sharp to me.  It is not too salty – 260 mg per serving.  The blue flavor is really nice and smooth.  This cheese is excellent!  

Stone Hollow Creamery Goat Cheese, Blackberry & Wine  $15.99 for a 6 oz. jar at Western Supermarket in Birmingham, Alabama. Blackberry & Wine jar photo. I love this cheese! From Harpersville, AL near Birmingham. I saw this in Western and it was pricey, but then after I tasted some at the counter, I decided on this one. It is a goat cheese with blackberry jam (wild blackberries, organic brown sugar, lemon juice), red  wine, sea salt, vegetable enzymes, and cheese cultures. There is also oil, but I don't see it listed on this label. The cheese is sweet in a fruity way, but also sort of earthy and thoughtful from the wine. It has an edge that I still can't figure out. It is hard to eat at first because there is oil on the top that has to be stirred in while the cheese is still in the jar, or, I suppose, you could spoon the cheese out of the jar into a bowl. It also seems like it needs to be mixed up to get the jam and berries at the bottom mixed in with all the cheese and the oil, so in that respect, it's a little messy, but it is worth it. Because of the touch of oil, the jam, the wine, and the natural soft texture of the cheese, the whole mix of it all turns out to be very spreadable and fluffy. The cheese itself is a sort of pale maroon color with little flecks of fruit and seeds. This is an excellent and completely irresistible cheese. Read more about these cheeses in my Stone Hollow pages and at http://www.stonehollowfarmstead.com. New:  Photo of Blackberry Wine Goat Cheese

Stone Hollow Creamery Goat Cheese, Herbs de Provence  $15.99 for a 6 oz. jar at Western Supermarket in Birmingham, Alabama. This cheese is also excellent. It is the Straight Up plain goat cheese, I assume, but with a blend of herbs mixed in. These are real herbs. Ingredients: Grade A pasteurized goat milk, extra virgin olive oil, safflower seed oil, sea salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, purple basil, lavender, vegetable enzymes, cheese cultures. When you get the jar unopened, the oil is on top and is a dark yellow, almost green color, I guess from the olive oil mixed in. The cheese is off-white, and then at the bottom, the scattering of herbs is more apparent. The cheese is difficult to get out of the container when it is cold; it needs at least 15 minutes just to move around easily in the jar, and preferably an hour for serving, but it can be eaten fairly soon, even cold. Once mixed up, the cheese takes on a dark yellowish color with a glistening of oil that pools up where the cheese crumbles. The herbs are large and not so dehydrated as to be unrecognizable. Sometimes this cheese is even chewy, and that is possibly it's only drawback--that the texture is so smooth, but it is confusing every to hit a big chewy piece of rosemary here and there. The flavor is extremely floral and fresh, and happily, not hindered by any overwhelming garlic or onions that so many other herb cheeses are; instead of giving you bad breath, this cheese actually tastes like it's freshening your breath. The herb blend really reminds me of the garrigues-style cheeses of Provence, or even the dense, dried herb Corsican sheep's milk cheeses. What in the world is purple basil? It all tastes exotic. Photo of Herbs de Provence Goat Cheese

Stone Hollow Creamery Goat Cheese, Straight Up   $15.99 for a 6 oz. jar at Western Supermarket in Birmingham, Alabama. The Straight Up goat cheese is marinated in safflower seed oil. It, too, is a vegetarian cheese. It seems to be similar to other chèvres, except that it has an extremely smooth taste and spreadability. Gone is the crumbly, flaky goat of plastic tube fame. I like how, when you spoon the cheese out, you can see a glistening of golden oil in the crevices of the fluffy little puffs. It was beautiful on the plate and great with little slices of clementines. Straight Up jar photo. Read more about these cheeses in my Stone Hollow pages and at http://www.stonehollowfarmstead.com.    

Stone Hollow Creamery Goat Cheese, Vidalia & Muscadine   $15.99 for a 6 oz. jar at Western Supermarket in Birmingham, Alabama. I had to try this because of the two Southern ingredients on the label, besides the native goat--Vidalia onions and Muscadine grapes. Besides goat milk, the jar contains Vidalia onion jam (vidalia onions and balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and sea salt), Muscadine syrup (Muscadines, organic brown sugar, and lemon juice), extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seed oil, sea salt, vegetable enzymes, and cheese cultures. In some bites, I can really taste the black pepper, and in others, I get the sweet onions--sometimes even a strip of what seems to be a caramelized onion slice. The balsamic vinegar makes it all nice and tangy and dark-tasting, and the vinegar complements the olive oil and the natural goat personality. I can't decide if I am eating candy or icing or a sauce or a cheese or a steak or a salad. It is confusing, but in a perfect and harmonious way. This cheese concoction is sheer genius! Vidalia & Muscadine photo. Read more about these cheeses in my Stone Hollow pages and at http://www.stonehollowfarmstead.com.  

Stravecchio, 2 years  $12.99 at Central Market, $2.47 for a small piece.  It was sitting out with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.  It is rock hard.  It is a little rubbery and not as salty as Parmigiano-Reggiano.  I'm not wild about it.  It is chewy, nutty, and is pale yellow like Parmigiano.  It has crystallized protein circles on it.  It would be best for a grating cheese.  I tried this later on and really liked it.  It seems like a dryer version of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  It has Stravecchio stamped in the rind.  The name Stravecchio is usually reserved for "extra old" Parmigiano that is aged for 3 years instead of 16-24 months.  At four years, it is called Stravecchione.  This one is just two years old. 

String Cheese "Mozzarella" with Zahatar by Karen Braha  $14.59 lb. at Pomegranate, $11.89 for the smallest braid they had, which is still way too much cheese. This is made by Karen Braha's Cheese in Brooklyn, NY. It is a huge twisted mass of white cow's milk cheese that is turned a slight grey color inside due to what the label claims as the addition of caraway seeds, though on the inside, it looks like more za'atar and no caraway seeds. There is a lot of dark green-brown powder on top with some some sesame seeds mixed in. This is the za'atar, which is an Israeli spice blend of sesame seeds and herbs, often with sumac or dried mint. I have had it on labane before. The za'atar isn't mentioned in the official ingredients, just on the extra sticker. I wasn't sure what to do with this cheese. You can slice it and then start pulling off the strings in little pieces, or you can melt it in pita. It melts really well. Overall, it is a very dense cheese with a mild flavor, except for the spices. It seems like more of a texture cheese than anything, like something you would shred up over a salad or with olives and some olive oil for an antipasto. It is Star K D kosher and cholov yisroel. Zahatar String Cheese Photo and more on Karen Braha's Cheese.

Sugar River Cheese Monterey Jack with Jalapeño and Cilantro $6.29 at Pomegranate. This is the pepper jack to end all pepper jacks. I can hardly put it in the same category with the others. It is one of the mellowest, smoothest base jacks I've ever had. Long-lasting with an extremely buttery, tangy flavor on its own, and then when you add in a low buzz of jalapeño peppers and a bundle fresh cilantro, the cheese really comes to life. This cheese does not have an inferiority complex, nor should it; it knows its milk is good. It doesn't have to overcompensate with blown out peppers that burn your palate to a crisp so you don't notice that the milk is blah. This cheese is based on pasteurized, hormone-free milk sourced from small family dairy farms in Wisconsin. The texture is so soft and creamy, and the ingredients shredded so delicately, it doesn't even look like a regular pepper jack. It looks more like a garlic cheese from afar. It melts well, but I feel the flavors shine through best at room temp. cRc kosher, cholov stam. Photo of Jalapeño and Cilantro Jack

Sugar River Cheese Monterey Jack with Tomato and Olive $6.29 for an 8 oz. square at Pomegranate. This is Sugar River of Wisconsin/Illinois' excellent Monterey Jack with sun-dried tomato and black olive mixed in. Always a crowd favorite at parties, it is an excellent match for Merlot and other medium-bodied reds. As with the other Sugar River Cheeses, the base cheese is of the highest quality local cow's milk and the added ingredients (herbs, vegetables, and such) are kept to a minimum so they are in perfect balance with the cheese, never overpowering. This cheese has a sweet and savory smack of Tuscan antipasto vegetables, spread out on a sturdy blanket of cream. I love the almost smoky, meaty tomato finish and the hint of brine. I also love that there is no garlic in this cheese to distract from its focus. cRc kosher, cholov stam. Photo of Monterey Jack with Tomato and Olive

Sunset Bay by River's Edge $42.99 lb., $8.60 for a very small chunk enough for two people or a few more if they aren't hungry! How do I always pick the most expensive cheeses in the shop? $43 lb.? This cheese came recommended by both Andrew and Carmen at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, NYC. It is from Oregon. Goat cheese. It looks a lot like a small Humboldt Fog--white, soft-ripened, but with the grey, wrinkly ash mixed into the mold on the outside. Instead of the strip of grey ash in the middle, however, it has a stripe of "burnt Siena" colored paprika. It is flaky on the inside, and then a little creamy and gooey towards the rind. It is wonderful, though, and visually striking. It reminds me more of a Loire Valley goat in the way the rind burns a little. The goat is upfront, but not goaty so much in an animal way as in a tangy, tart way. The little strip of paprika gives the cheese a smoky, bbq finish. This link has a picture and description of it, but the cheese I have has a much much thinner strip of pimentón: http://threeringfarm.com/October%20-%20Sunset%20Bay.htm 

Swiss, Bavarian Emmental  From Germany  $6.49 per lb. at Central Market, $2.66 for a decent chunk. Very mild with a sweet nutty taste.  It is a little bit rubbery, as are almost all swisses.  It is very light in color.  It seems young, but it says on the label “extra age for extra flavor.”  It says that it’s aged over 120 days.  I don’t see where the aging helped with the flavor.  It’s ok, but it doesn’t really have too much taste.  It’s good for snacking, though.  It’s made by Kaeserei Champignon in Lauben, Germany.  The milk is pasteurized, even though it has been aged over 60 days.  People liked it ok. 

Swiss Cheese, Wisconsin, Great Lakes  $4.49 lb. at Central Market, $2.33 for a huge slab. It looks like the usual Swiss cheese, but seems to be younger.  It is lighter.  I got it because it has a lot of holes.  It was so pretty.  It’s actually kind of mild.  It tastes sort of like steak to me, so that’s good.  Buttery flavor.  It takes a while to chew into the flavor of it.  It is maybe even milder than a baby Swiss.  I like it, but it doesn’t have a lot of taste.  It has a little bit of a minty, herby smell, very light.  

Swiss Diablo $11.99 lb. at Central Market, $2.88 for a slender slice.  It has a black border and straw-colored semi-hard paste with a few little holes here and there.  This cheese is a little like a raclette at times.  It will give you bad breath.  It makes my tongue burn and ears itch.  It is nutty, a little sweet, creamy, herby, sharp and slightly, with a grain of salt here and there.  Burns your palate.  Long smooth finish, but no aftertaste.  This is a fun cheese.  It’s not so heavy as a raw milk raclette, but it has a great variety of flavors running through it. 

Swiss Emmentaler  $4.99 lb., $2 for a big chunk, on sale at Whole Foods. Not chilled when I bought it. Not many holes, big holes, buttery, soft, butter-colored, very mild, a little sweet, not very nutty. Made with rennet. 

Swiss Olive $11.99 lb. at Grapevine, $3.24 for a small slice.  People loved this cheese!  I wasn’t so crazy about it, but everybody else was.  It was cream-colored, semi-soft, and trimmed in thin black wax.  It tasted nothing like Swiss to me and didn’t have a Swiss cheese texture.  It reminded me a little of Havarti, had a light olive flavor, and a long finish that was buttery and almost eggy.  Generally good and fun to eat.  It also seemed to go well with wine.

Swiss, Sweet by Fair Oaks  Fair Oaks Sweet Swiss doesn’t look like your usual Swiss. It is darker in color than Baby Swiss. Instead of huge, big holes, it has mostly small eyes. Even more intriguing is that it contains penicillium roqueforti—the mold strain that makes blue cheese blue.  This cheese is not blue, but it is savory and nutty. And with only 125 g of sodium, its “sweetness” shines through.  Since Fair Oaks Sweet Swiss is softer than many Swiss cheeses (which can be rubbery), it slices and chews very well. When you take a bite, the cheese fills palate upon impact, releasing mellow flavors of buttery milk. Pair it with  fruits, berries and muffins. It also matches fruity white wine, aged red wine, or fruit juices. Sweet Swiss is the Master Cheesemaker's own recipe and a favorite of Fair Oaks customers. http://shop.fofarms.com 


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