(pronounced BAY-JEE) cheese its time to cozy on up.
If you only try one of these southeast Missouri goat cheeses you need to try Bloomsdale.
Why that one? Well for one thing it is really good. This small pyramid shaped cheese has garnered a lot of attention from the American Cheese Society and internationally from the World Cheese Awards.
For the last several years it has won Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards. This is no small feat for an American cheese to be recognized alongside some of the great traditional European cheeses. It is a great example of how far America and Missouri have come in the world of cheese.
In my opinion, Bloomsdale is one of the most consistently good farmstead and artisanal cheeses I have the pleasure of tasting on a regular basis. The small truncated pyramid is covered in ash and then a thin white penicillium rind is grown on the cheese.
When young, Bloomsdale is fresh and mild with a salty bite. As it ages, the paste goes from a dense yet fluffy, creamy consistency to a molten runny ooze as it ripens from the outside in. With age the cheese also goes from mild to strong with hints of blue cheese-like flavors. Don’t ignore the rind — it brings a flavor of earthy mushrooms that balances the other flavors.
Bloomsdale is inspired by the classic French cheese Valencay, but it takes its name from the small town 45 minutes outside of St. Louis. This is where Steve and Veronica Baetje go about their days and nights creating their wonderful cheeses.
The Mennonite couple has been making cheese since 2007. And now their cheese can be found all over the country. Bloomsdale even became the 2014spring centerfold in the national cheese publication Culture magazine
This is a great time to try Bloomsdale. Spring goats’ milk tends to showcase all of the good attributes of goats’ cheese. It is light, fresh, citrusy, grassy and not what is commonly called “goaty.” You know — that gamey and overly tangy flavor you have experienced with goat cheese.
If you need a light spring dinner, Bloomsdale is where it’s at. All you need is some crusty bread, a little honey and maybe some cured meat. You can’t go wrong with this great Missouri cheese.
Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbook and on Instagram @lincycheese.