Friday, May 07, 2010

Flat Creek Lodge

Just got back from Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro, GA earlier this week. I always have a magical time there (I don't throw around adjectives like that lightly) and this year was no exception.

I brought back some cheese with me, but not as much as I'd like: Flat Creek, you need to make more available to us on site!

Anywho, tonight is wine and cheese night featuring only Flat Creek Cheeses. Tonight we're having Drunken Deer, Low Country Gouda, and Uneenodae (this one I had to get at Alon's).

I hadn't planned to have Italian wine, but that's what the spouse wanted, so we're also having an amazing new-ish supertuscan called Brancaia. This wine was ranked number 10 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009. I've tried this in a previous vintage and was unimpressed, but this 2007 is truly super at a super price. Strong fruit that holds up to food without being overly tannic. In fact, it's a bit much for these cheeses. Next time I'll pair it with some pecorino and maybe a robiola. Thanks to our friends for giving us a bottle to try out!

Back to the cheese!

The Low Country Gouda isn't as strong as I remembered - especially when paired with the wine - but it's still tasty.

The Drunken Deer is beer cheese with chunks of smoked deer jerkey that was washed in some home brewed beer throughout it's aging. This I like. It is just as good as I remembered, but still smoky and probably better suited for beer drinking. It tastes like a mild cheddar and is semi soft. Very nice smoke flavor, without being overwhelming. Luckily, I bought almost a pound of it, so I will be able to try it with some porter or IPA next time.

The Uneenodae wasn't something that I was able to get at the Lodge, but I've bought it from Alon's before. It is really tasty. Mild, but with quite a bit of flavor. Somewhere between semi soft and hard, with those little calcified chunks in it which are the sign of a spectacular cheese (in my book anyway.) This cheese is 50% sheep and 50% cow milk, and is the first Flat Creek cheese I've had with sheep's milk since they took on the flocks. (Lacaune-East Friesian mix sheep, in case you are interested.) If I were the cheese producer, I would consider this one of my masterpieces...and it's produced somewhat locally. These sheep's milk cheeses are only produced in limited quantities because of the lower yield of milk in these smaller animals. Flat Creek also recently lost their main cheesemonger, which worries me that we won't see such strong sheep's cheeses for a while, but I'm hoping if I get on their list the new cheesemonger will start producing great cheeses soon (and I will get some!!)

Kudos as always to Alon's for their fresh baguette, awesome marinated anchovies and olive tapenade. We also added a favorite of mine, olive and almond paste, along with some grilled artichokes, peppardew and topped it all off with some olives and greek salad.

Pictures to follow....a nice low-key night. Thanks Flat Creek Dairy! Can't wait to be able to bring home some of your award winning Blue Farmhouse, Cypress Cheddar. Also looking locally for Aztec Cheddar, Smoked pepper and Cilantro Leiden cheeses!

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