La Tur: A Rustic Dessert Cheese
September 22, 2010
It was hard to eat La Tur without thinking of dessert. When I first cut into La Tur, its density felt like cheesecake under my knife and that impression remained during our tasting. La Tur is a cheese that could replace dessert.
La Tur is a soft bloomy rind cheese made from a blend of cow, sheep and goat milks. This cheese is made in Italy by Caceificio dell’Alta Langa. It has a small dome-shaped format. La Tur arrives at market cloaked in a paper wrap like a cupcake and pre-packaged in a plastic cup.
La Tur looks rustic. It has a thin, soft yellow-white rind that shows indentations from its paper wrap and cheese form. The interior paste is creamy white, dense and looks like New York-style cheesecake. La Tur’s paste has sweet aromas of dried grass, honeycomb and whipping cream. The rind smells like wet animal.
This cheese’s interior texture is similar to a chevre-style goat cheese. It has a dense and creamy consistency; it is not dry or chalky. It feels rich and luxurious in the mouth.
The flavors of La Tur are relatively delicate. The dominant flavor is sweet and akin to honey. There is a light tart goat cheese flavor, too, but La Tur’s sweetness lingers.
Most of our tasters liked this cheese; one adult found it boring and without flavor. Our two juvenile tasters liked La Tur a lot, and one wrote that it reached the Mt. Tam gold-standard range.
La Tur would make a nice cheese to share at the end of a meal with fruit, in lieu of dessert. Our sample retained its form out of refrigeration for over an hour. Its soft format and packaging doesn’t lend itself well to a picnic, unless one intends to eat the whole cheese.
Notes on purchasing: La Tur is pre-packaged in a small plastic cup and is purchased whole. Its size allows for 8 small servings. We purchased this cheese at Whole Foods (San Francisco). This is a young cheese that continues to ripen over time, so its flavor and consistency may change.