Producer: Landaff Creamery
Where: Landaff, New Hampshire
Being back in Southern California this week meant we would look for a Southland cheesemonger who would bring us something new and exciting. We found one surprisingly close to my place of work and after braving the congestion of the Los Angeles freeways for a bit we walked through the door of the Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks and met Chaz, who cuts a dapper figure at the cheese and cured meats counter with a fabulous moustache and a crisp striped apron. The shop is airy, well-lit and clean-looking. The cheeses and the meats and the cutting boards made of olivewood or slate and the meticulously written signs in the cases make the place a delight to behold, and it does make you want to try if not buy, well, pretty much everything they have on offer. We settled for a piece of Bolivian chocolate that seemed a steal at something like $7, some incredibly flavorful cured meats and a piece of Landaff cheese.
Landaff is a town of a little over 400 souls in New Hampshire and if you google it, you can see that the Landaff Creamery is the most important business in town. The New Hampshire cheesemakers, knowing that their town’s name comes from the eponymous town in Wales, found their inspiration across the Atlantic and used a recipe from there. Our cheese had a beautiful clean natural rind and a buttery yellow color with a little white mottle. The cheese itself reminded me vaguely of cheddar, but it was more flavorful and complex. Despite the fact that it is a raw milk cheese the flavor doesn’t linger much in your mouth – it is a clean dismount, if you will. Charlie went to school one day with a turkey & cheese sandwich with a lot of Landaff and he was a very happy camper. I ate most of it in thick slices as an evening snack. It is a cheese that plays well with others, and it can go with pretty much anything, although I would not combine it with heavy red wines. In fact, I will have a beer with my next chunk of Landaff.