Cheese of The Week is a weekly feature on The Daily Meal, drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned cheese expert and consultant Raymond Hook. What follows is based on an interview with Hook.
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La Tur is a cheese that’s made with a combination of cow's, goat's, and sheep's milk. It’s produced in the Piedmont region of Italy, by the Caseificio Dell’Alta Langa company. It’s soft, creamy, fresh, and a perfect blend of different milks, and is one of the more tempting little wheels in the cheese shop’s display case.
Each of these little cheeses is only 4 ounces (and sells for around 11 bucks on average), which makes them a great addition to any cheese plate. During the cheesemaking process, the milk is pasteurized at the lowest possible temperature allowed by law, which keeps lots of the flavor-producing enzymes intact. A very light coating of mold gives the exterior a wrinkled appearance, and the interior at first resembles straight goat cheese but as it ripens it becomes much creamier.
While mixed-milk cheeses can be difficult to pull off, especially when they involve three milks, La Tur is able to make all three shine, according to Hook. "The cow, goat, and sheep milk all have to be in balance, and here they all are," he said. "It tastes sweet from the cow’s milk, the goat milk gives it a citrusy, mineral quality, and the sheep milk gives it a little bit of that 'animal' flavor."
Hook always stresses making sure that cheeses come to room temperature before eating, and with this cheese he advises leaving it at room temperature for an hour before eating in order to really bring out all its flavor. He also advises eating it with plain crackers and warm, rustic bread, like sesame semolina.
For this week’s pairing suggestion, we brought on board Peter Hepp, the brewer at Eataly’s beer garden, Birreria. For this cheese he recommends something spicy and hoppy, like their Brother's URMA, which was brewed in partnership with Dogfish founder Sam Calagione and Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. It’s hopped with a blend of Falconer's Flight, Hallertau, Cascade, and Warrior hops; coriander, Jamaican, Tellicherry, and Pink peppercorns are also added; and it’s and finished with Sorrento and Heirloom Navel orange peels.