Mewesletter from George Mewes Cheese
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George Mewes News
Good afternoon, folks!

Well, it's that time of the year again – when the leaves start turning it's Vacherin Mont d'Or season! The first batch from France will be in this week and I can't wait to crack open the first one! Rich and buttery and utterly gorgeous, Vacherin is one of my favourite cheeses.
Also coming in this week will be all the Christmas goodies that brighten up the festive season for us all – panettone, cantucci, limoncello pralines, and of course, that big favourite, the chocolate grissini. They'll be on the shelves by this weekend, so get in early to stock up for Christmas!

All the best in cheese
George Mewes
Cheese of the Week  Gjetost

Now here's something a bit different, a cheese that's not a cheese as such, but a national icon in Norway, which divides opinion much like Marmite here. Also known as Brunost – brown cheese – it's been described as a salty goat fudge and it seems most Norwegians can't get enough of it.
Scandinavians have been boiling whey to create a soft brown spread since – well – forever. In fact, archeaologists say residue on a pot dating from 650 BC is a cheese like brunost. But the modern Gjetost was the idea of milkmaid Anne Hov in the 1860s, who added cream to goat's milk whey and boiled it down so that the milk sugars caramelise and create a firmer, fattier, more cheese-like product. Marketed as Gudbrandsdalensost (Gudbrand Valley Cheese, the type we have), it got so popular that it became a major moneyspinner for the poverty-stricken valley. In fact, in 1933, when she was 87, Anne Hov received the King's Medal of Merit for her contributions to Norwegian cuisine and the economy. That's how much they love Gjetost!
These days most Norwegian families will have a block of Gjetost in the fridge, cut into thin slivers with a special slicer. It's usually enjoyed at breakfast on grainy bread but it's also popular melted onto waffles as a sauce. It can be used in meat stews for a richer depth of flavour too, or you can even make a cheesecake out of it. This is one you have to try, if only to cross it off your cheese list. Add some to your basket today!

 Talking Cheese  Milk – pasteurised or not?
All cheesemaking starts with milk of some kind – cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, even camel! But how the milk is treated before it's made into cheese varies from cheesemaker to cheesemaker or is dictated by its rules of origin.
Soon we'll be getting new cards for the counter for each cheese, listing all the important things people want to know – where it comes from, who made it, vegetarian or natural rennet, but also whether the milk is pasteurised, unpasteurised or thermised.
When it comes out of the animal, milk retains microbes, bacteria and enzymes from the natural environment. Some of these are good and some are bad. Most are killed by heating the milk (pasteurisation) but this can also affect its flavour.
Pasteurised milk is heated to 72C for 15 seconds (faster and costs less) or 63C for 30 minutes (gentler but more expensive). The second method is used by a lot of cheesemakers to retain some of the flavour of the milk.

Unpasteurised milk (sometimes called raw) is not heated past 40C and is basically the same as when it comes out of the animal, while thermised milk is a sort of halfway house, heated to between 57C and 68C for at least 15 seconds. This process destroys some, but not all, of the natural bacteria and enzymes, keeping more of the milk flavour. It's not technically raw, but is technically unpasteurised.
It's a hotly debated topic among cheesemakers – some prefer pasteurised milk as it is a clean slate and you can add your own starter cultures to replace the natural microflora and get a consistent taste and texture. Others – and many rules of origin, especially in France, will specify this – insist on unpasteurised milk that retains its unique and complex flavour and contains natural enzymes, amino acids and microbes from the local terroir. All of these play a part in breaking down the fats and proteins of the cheese as it matures, creating flavour and character. This means that the taste and texture of the cheese can change slightly depending on the season and what the animals have been eating.  
If you want to know more when you're perusing the counter, just ask our knowledgeable cheesemongers – they're happy to help
Treat of the Week  Damson fruit for cheese

Tart and sweet, our damson paste from the Fine Cheese Co. is packed full of fruit flavour. Damsons are a kind of plum and their fruity tang works particularly well with rich, buttery cheeses like Vacherin Mont d'Or, mature Cheddars or goat cheese. If you haven't tried a dollop with your favourite cheese, now's your chance! Available now at George Mewes in Byres Road, Glasgow, and Stockbridge, Edinburgh.

Click here to download our range of cheeses!
Distinctive blue mould, creamy fondant paste, chalky, tart and slightly salty with a hint of hazelnut, unpasteurised, traditional rennet, from France.

Manchego Ojos del Guadiana – Rich, creamy, sweet, piquant, aromatic, fruity and savoury with subtle nutty notes and an aftertaste of sheep's milk. Unpasteurised, traditional rennet, from Spain.
Keen's Cheddar Dense, rich and creamy, bright acid tang, savoury and fruity. Unpasteurised cow's milk, traditional rennet, from England.
Comté – Firm, slightly grainy and very dense ivory to yellow paste. Nutty and sweet with a long creamy finish. Unpasteurised cow’s milk and traditional rennet, from France.

Rich, creamy, nutty, fruity, bold and complex milky finish. Unpasteurised cow's milk and traditional rennet, from France.

Mixed ewe and cow milk, salty bite into light grass and herbal notes with a mushroom finish. Pasteurised, traditional rennet, from France.

George Mewes Cheese
106 Byres Road
G12 8TB
0141 334 5900

George Mewes Cheese
3 Dean Park Street
0131 332 5900

Monday 9am-5pm

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George Mewes Cheese · 106 Byres Road · Glasgow, G12 8TB · United Kingdom

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