One look and you can’t fail to notice the protein crystals on this amazing cheese. It’s got them all right, and from the first bite on, the Mossfield Farm 12-month Organic Gouda has everything else one could want in a gouda-type cheese. It’s a flat-out fantastic cheese.
First, this Irish cheese has a superb, rich taste. There’s not a lot of added culture, and you can taste that, too. It’s bursting with a complex flavor that contains hints of caramel, cherry, nuts, and earth. It is tangy, with a hint of sweetness. The mouth feel is very smooth and a little buttery. And the taste just goes on and on.
Mossfield Farm engages in small production, from a single cow herd. The County Offaly farm, run by the Haslam family, has been organic for 10 years. They’ve already won a bushel of awards. They just do what they do exceedingly well.
This is a cheese to savor. I wouldn’t pair it with another cheese, or much else. It doesn’t even need a cracker. You may want to visit a grape, cherry, almond, or dried apricot between delicious bites, but you’ll be back. The strong taste and caramel overtones do beg for a big red wine, such as an oaky Zinfandel or a Cabernet. If you are a port drinker like me (or even if you’re new to port), try the Mossfield with a rich, tasty, special bottle like Dow’s 20-year Tawny.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman