, , , , , , , , , , ,

Apparently Cambozola is a “hottie.” No surprise there–it’s a sexy hybrid of silky French triple cream and sassy Italian gorgonzola. Catherine Deneuve meets Sophia Loren. But cheese makers have figured out more than one way to raise the temperature of a turophile.


Hey, I love it too!

Here’s what’s been on my cheese board in the past few weeks (including a few real hotties). I am fond of chipotle cheeses and have even been known to enjoy a habanero cheese now and then, though they are nearly too hot for my tender stomach lining…


Cranberry-chipotle cheddar and Bellavitano at lower left; apricot paste, walnuts, and Trader Joe’s aged cheddar.

Below, the Godzilla of the cheese world. Yes, it’s a scary, two-pound block of Cabot habanero cheddar! It’s very hot, but not truly nuclear, so I suspect it’s mostly jalapeños in there rather than the more hard-core habanero. This stuff is terribly addictive because of its tangy pepper aroma. And like Godzilla, extremely cheezy.


And now, something to cool the palate: I love big, Brie-style cheeses with added cream. St. Angel is a favorite, with its delicate white rind and scent of savory mushroom. St. Angel uses microbial rennet, thank goodness.


Honey-roasted mixed nuts, more of my fave apricot paste, crackers, and St. Angel triple cream.

Cypress Grove of Arcata, CA is a reliably delicious producer of goat cheeses. This one, Sgt. Pepper, has a “secret combination of exotic spices and pepper threads.” It’s slightly hot and very habit-forming.


Sgt. Pepper chèvre.

What man wouldn't love this cheese?

What man wouldn’t love this cheese?

I am a big fan of fruit pastes. The classic for cheese is Spanish membrillo, made of quince, but I also like apricot with brie and cherry with goat cheese. My favorite brand is Rutherford and Meyer from New Zealand. Below, chèvre with herbs, cherry fruit paste, wafers, Carr Valley Wildfire blue. This last cheese was a revelation, a cow’s milk blue from Wisconsin with a touch of fiery red heat! One of the most delectable cheeses I’ve tasted in a long time.


The best beverage with these hot cheeses?  The heat more or less ruins most wines, especially delicate ones. Go for a nice Boddington’s Pub Ale!


So good. The little capsule inside explodes with nitrogen and CO2 when you open it, giving a close approximation of a real draft ale. If you spurn beer in a can, this one will convert you!