The second entry in a feature called “Cheese’s Hidden Gems”. These are profiles of cheeses I personally consider to be special because each of them offer a thrilling and unique experience, if you can find them! Chamberlourd Cheddar was my favorite cheese of the year in 2014, according to a notepad I found cleaning out my nightstand. Enjoy (and if you do, please share)!
“Sharp, lactic, dishonest.” Remember those commercials?
My first encounter with Chamberlourd, I didn’t know what to think, how to look at it or where to stand. One whiff of its paste and it’s all yesterday’s newspaper and raw potato. But on the tongue? A carnival of boiled celery and turkey bacon. Wowabunga©!
More urgently, Chamberlourd is the only cheese that “grumbles” when you chew it. It’s true——the volatile chemicals inside the cheese cultivated during maturation react with human saliva and produce sounds akin to a traveling salesman’s inner monologue just after another failed pitch. It’s eerie and haunting and I LOVE it!
Chamberlourd is produced solely from the milk of the Graytooth cow, an especially disenfranchised breed which live exclusively in the abandoned buildings of decaying urban landscapes. These things are not pets, okay? Leave them alone.
The recipe for Chamberlourd has been in the Quinge family for nearly ten years. Homus Quinge, the orphan bachelor who developed the cheese roughly a decade ago, handcrafts the steaming yellow curd into 80 pound cylinders, wraps each wheel in found clothes, and leaves them to age for six to eight months under a busy overpass, where they’re, as he put it, “not safe, but not not safe.”
When ripe, it is best paired with a glass of warm white wine.