Just for kicks, we decided to have our own little Battle of the Goudas at Chez Erber. The final decision was made by a toddler, so that’s always exciting.
Beemster XO (left), with its deeper color, advanced crystallization, and brittle texture competes against Wilde Weide, with a more buttery color and firm but creamy texture.
The first contestant was the ever-popular (and eternal Cheesetique staple) Beemster XO, a 26-month pasteurized cow’s milk Gouda renowned for its deep butterscotchy flavor and dense, chewy texture. The second, a relative youngster, was Wilde Weide, a raw cow’s milk Gouda aged for about 15 months. Both cheeses hail from the Netherlands.
The big question is: will advanced age beat out raw milk?
Aroma: You can smell Beemster’s sweet richness a mile away. Your hands smell like butterscotch after you’ve handled it. Wilde Weide is more delicate so you don’t get that same aromatic punch. Winner: Beemster.
Texture: Beemster is chewy and crunchy, bordering on brittle. Wilde Weide is also super-firm, but raw milk makes it more creamy on the palate. Winner: Wilde Weide.
Flavor: Beemster is intensely sweet and savory at the same time, tasting of salty butterscotch. Wilde Weide is more subtle, still having butterscotch notes, but not so “in-your-face.” Winner: Wilde Weide.
Overall: For a more nuanced flavor with excellent creaminess, go for Wilde Weide. If you want an intense “a little goes a long way” experience, go for Beemster.
To make the final decision, I checked with the nearest 2-year-old child, who happens to be the exact same age as the Beemster we tested. Which did she prefer? The pictures speak for themselves.
The moment of anticipation. Which will she choose?
The first bite. Not necessarily the method I’d recommend in good company.
The face says it all. The winner is… Wilde Weide! (at least for this toddler)
For most Christmas celebrators, today will be crazy. Last-minute shopping, herculean cooking efforts, keeping the house orderly with all those darn kids running around. During all the cheerful chaos, we wish you the most joy possible.
If you’re stuck in gift limbo, run to Cheesetique and grab a few gift cards. Trust us; they will be much-appreciated. Want something more tangible (or edible)? Grab some cheese or cool serving items while you’re here. Just remember… today is also OUR craziest day of the year. There will be a line and you will most likely wait for jolly service from the next cheesemonger. My advice: when possible, make the line your friend. Discuss your selections with others; share recipes; tell jokes. If all else fails, this is a great time to meditate (about cheese).
Merry Christmas to all and to all a GREAT cheese!
Allow our expert cheese mongers to select the best combination of cheeses for your platter – we’ll never steer you wrong. Of course, please let us know if you have any special requests. Order Online Today!
Each beautiful platter comes ready-to-serve with:
- hand-selected cheeses, each labeled with name, country of origin and milk type
- sweet and savory accompaniments (dried apricots, marinated olives, cornichons, seasonal jam)
- cheese-friendly crackers
Small platter has 4 cheeses and serves 10
Medium platter has 5 cheeses and serves 20
Large platter has 6 cheeses and serves 30
Wishing you the healthiest and happiest of holidays! See you Friday for our regular hours.
Cheesetique is hiring Cheesemongers for our cheese shops and and Servers for our restaurants (all three locations). This is your chance to join a thriving local business that LOVES its people, products, and visitors.
A Cheesemonger is a special person, sharing lots of cheese info with our retail guests while helping them take home the perfect selections. You must be quick, super-pleasant, and patient. Don’t know much about cheese? No worries – we can teach you that!
Our Servers are ambassadors of Cheesetique, educating our restaurant guests and making sure they enjoy every part of their dining experience. You must be cheerful, quick on your feet, and cool as a cucumber.
Click here to fill out an online application. OR pop into any of the shops in person!
Find us at these addresses:
Del Ray: 2411 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Shirlington: 4056 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206
Ballston: 800 North Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203
We look forward to hearing from you! And LONG LIVE CHEESE!!!
At Cheesetique, we know there’s no better way to choose than by tasting first. As always, you can try any of our cheeses, meats, and wine list wines. But now we have a daily featured cheese and wine in the retail shop for your sampling pleasure. Come by and test drive your new favorite!
Once a year, we close all of our stores in order to celebrate our amazing Cheesetique team (and their families). We will be seating in the restaurant until 2:00 on Sunday (join us for Brunch!) and will be closed for dinner. Thank you!!
One of the most delicious and versatile cheeses on earth is fresh mozzarella. Things can get a little confusing, though, when we are forced to choose between cow and buffalo versions. Here’s a little guide to help you out.
Cow milk (left): While still very tender and mild, this mozzarella has a slightly tighter, springier texture. Its flavor is more mild than buffalo milk, and it will hold up better to cooking.
Buffalo milk (right): This version is more succulent and lacy in texture. Its flavor is more robust, which makes it great for eating at room temperature. When heated, it will liquify more easily, making foods like pizza soggy.
Once cut, the texture differences are even more obvious. The cow (top) has a tighter paste while the buffalo (below) is more lacy.
Each version has benefits. When cooking, I choose cow milk. When eating in a salad or with fresh tomatoes, I choose buffalo.
P.S. “Buffalo” here is not American bison. It is water buffalo, a cow-like critter which won’t crush you to death when you try to milk it 🙂
Join us at Cheesetique Shirlington and Cheesetique Ballston August 15-21 for DC Restaurant Week! Both locations are taking reservations online, so make yours pronto.
Curious about the menus? Check them out here…
Restaurant Week Summer 2016 – BALLSTON
Restaurant Week Summer 2016 – SHIRLINGTON
See you soon!
Cheesemonger Ethan with the perfect summertime cheese: Le Roule with fresh herbs.
It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, especially if you like cheese and wine. Here are 5 easy steps for building a delicious warm weather cheese platter.
- Choose softer cheeses: Hard-aged cheeses like Manchego and Gouda have fat fatty and/or dense textures that don’t hold up when it’s too warm (they get “sweaty” with oil and taste waxy). Instead, choose soft cheeses like fresh goat, soft-ripened cheeses like Brie, or semi-firm cheeses like young Cheddar. Not only will they hold up, but they tend to be milder in flavor, which suits those hot days and nights just fine.
- Crunch on light, crisp crackers: Avoid anything too thick, herby, or salty. Let the cracker be a delicate vehicle for the cheese instead of a main player.
- Offer chilled fresh fruit: Keep your fruit on ice (or on a platter on ice) separate from the cheeses. Its cool juiciness is the perfect complement to creamy cheeses.
- Speaking of cool juiciness: Iced rosé or white wine is a summertime cheese’s best friend. The acidity cuts through the richness and amplifies flavor, while the coolness is uber-refreshing.
- No sun, please: Keep your cheese in the shade and don’t let it sit in the heat for more than a few hours. Store a backup supply somewhere cooler and replace the entire platter after that time.