Archive | March, 2014

Scheuber chocolates, best eaten fresh!

29 Mar

Scheuber chocolates.

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These unique chocolate balls combines delicate white chocolate with a
few real drops of absinthe, Pontarlier Anis or Raspberry liquor inside
like no others in the world. Created by Jacques Scheuber from
Pontarlier. A family of bakers, patissiers and chocolatiers since 1912
who kept and passed on a savoir faire through three generations.

The Absinthe, originally an aromatic plant well known since antiquity
for it’s medical properties, was first distilled in 1797 in Switzerland.
In 1805 the first French distillery was born in Pontarlier which soon
became the world capital of Absinthe.
By 1913 Pontarlier counted no less than 22 distilleries and the
production reached 555.000 litres a day exported world wide as far as China.

Around that time in France a powerful campaign began against Absinthe
claiming that it led to madness and crime.
This alcohol so popular amounts artists, poets and philosophers at the
beginning of the last century got officially outlawed forever In 1915.

In Pontarlier the prohibition would eventually lead Distillery owed by the ‘Guy’ family to create in 1921 the “Pontarlier Anis” a new aperitif based on aniseed
(important component of the Absinthe).
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In 1997 the chocolatier Jacques Scheuber created “Les boules au Pont” a
chocolate based on “Pontarlier Anis”. It became an instant success.

It is in 2001 that Francois Guy, (owner of the only remaining distillery
in Pontarlier) resuscitated the legendary Absinthe of his great grand father and made it a legal drink again.

Soon after the chocolatier Jacques Scheuber gave birth to the amazing and now famous Absinthe chocolate.

Please get in touch with Fred if you want to know more

fredcaiou@yahoo.co.uk

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Rindwash on Sunday Brunch 30 March 2014 Focus on soft white bloom.

29 Mar

Our First cheese is Creme de chevre.

a camembert like soft lactic goat’s milk cheese from the Emmental region of Switzerland.

It is produced fifteen minutes south of Bern in Belp by the dairy Glauser who brought you Belper Knollé which you ll find on this blog too. The makers http://www.chaesglauser.ch/ I got mine from http://boroughmarket.org.uk/jumi-hp-limited Image

The raw milk used to make that cheese comes from Chamois goats, an animal well suited to mountain conditions with a high milk yield, rugged, long-lived, and undemanding. What stroke me first when i tried the Creme de Chevre is obviously the creaminess of the cheese, indeed Chamois milk is rather creamy, texture wise we are not a far cry from Encalat. It tastes rather milky, it is not very goaty if not at all when young. Goat with low milk yield produce a rather more fragrant milk. To those of you who like it stronger, you might have to hang on to it a couple of weeks, the goat taste will become slightly more pronounced.

Our second cheese is the Encalat,

a camembert like soft lactic ewe’s milk cheese from the Larzac where the infamous Roquefort is produced.

It is produced by a cooperative called Les Bergers du Larzac.

http://www.bergersdularzac.fr/BergerDuLarzacpresentation.awp

I got mine from http://www.unenormandealondres.co.uk

In the light of the present outcry about the UK price of a bottle of 4 pints of milk, i thought the following story to be a rather inspiring one.

Back in the early 1990, the Larzac countryside was suffering from lack of exploitation, many shepherds were finding it difficult to valorize their milk and were often selling it to industrial cheese makers with little profit. That lack of means meant that many part of the region became abandoned as it was too costly to take a herd in those sometimes remote areas. In 1996, a group of shepherds came up with the idea to set up a cooperative which aim has been since then to collect sheep milk, transform that milk in Encalat for instance, sell the cheese and provide shepherds with earnings that allow them to do what they do best, shepherding!!!

L’Encalat.Image

The milk has been thermized 63 to 68 celcius for 14 seconds, why not raw because the milk collecting covers such a vast area of the Larzac that it is rare to have enough raw milk on a given day, therefore the milk is thermized at a lower temperature than pasteurization ( 72c or higher ) in order to lower potential pathogenic presence and retain most of the goodness of milk. The cheese is matured for a minimum of two months, it reaches its optimum at 4 months. The pate is very supple, rich, it melts in mouth which is indeed a plus, the rind is a gorgeous white velvety geotrichum candidum.  If you like a creamy floral, silky, not too sharp soft lactic cheese with hints of mushroom and a gentle earthyness, Encalat is the cheese for you.

Our third cheese is Camembert De Normandie au lait cru AOC. 

It is a genuine Camembert made in Normandie from unpasteurized cow’s milk following the strict Protected Designation of Origin rules also known as AOC ( Appellation d’Origine Controlée).  Camembert is part of the French heritage, it was given to French soldiers during WW1, given they were drafted from all other France it is no wonder the cheese is so loved across the country since then.

The one we purchased is made by http://fromageriegillot.fr/en/

I got mine from http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk

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You ll find plenty of interesting details about Camembert on the Gillot website link i provided.

This Camembert is a lot meatier, gamey almost and has much more of a tang than the two first cheeses. Its smells is another world too,

a French writer even likened it to God’s feet.

The pate has slight yellow tinge which becomes even more dramatic in late Spring, it is created by beta carotene of which goat and ewe are almost deprived.

 

Our three cheeses had the same Geotrichum candidum in common, it is indeed very much in use to ripen soft lactic cheese, it is characterized by a beautiful white bloom , this bloom appears within 4 to 10 days, it quickly coats the young cheese in an immaculate white bloom which deprives pathogens from a feeding ground when the cheese is the most vulnerable, youth. The early Camembert most likely used another fungi penicillium camemberti, it too often presented defects, the fungi failed at times to coat the whole cheese, it is fair to assume that early Camemberts were much rougher than those we know now.

Are there any other differences between the three milks used in our cheeses:

The three milks present rather similar lactose content, in any case a lactose intolerance sufferer must try a milk based product in tiny quantity in order to judge its suitability. As a rule, aged cheeses from any milk contains little if no lactose as it is consumed during ripening.

As to the protein content of those milks, there is more lactoserum ( whey ) protein in goat and ewe than cow which has therefore more casein proteins.

Ewe milk contains more calcium than Goat and cow.

Ewe milk contains more fat and protein than both other milks therefore more liposoluble vitamin A and E.

http://www.swissmilk.ch/fileadmin/filemount/informations-speclialisees-lait-de-brebis-et-de-chevre-nutrition-fr.pdf

Please do contact your GP if you are suffering from allergies or intolerance.