Inverness: Cheese Cake, California-Style

October 28, 2010

Inverness is a cheese that says “California.” Its flavors and aroma evoke pastoral images of California’s citrus orchards, native flora and beehives. Fans of Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and Red Hawk will find much to appreciate in this well-crafted cheese.

Inverness is a soft pasteurized cow’s milk cheese produced by Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, California. This is a young bloomy rind cheese, aged for 2 weeks before market. Inverness

Inverness looks like a miniature fluted column. The rind is skin-thin and has vertical scoring. Its exterior rind is butter yellow and covered with white surface molds. The interior paste looks like a dense New York-style cheesecake.

Inverness has a sweet aroma similar to honeycomb, a beeswax candle, or mum flowers.

Inverness’s flavors evoke a Southern California orchard. The cheese’s flavor starts salty then becomes sour citrus. It has an underlying sweet honey flavor that balances the salty and sour flavors. None of the flavors are dominant and overall the cheese is mild. Ben described this cheese as “bland, with a hint of nature.”

Inverness has a dense cheesecake consistency. In the mouth, Inverness has a thick buttery texture that encourages slow eating. This cheese coats the tongue and mouth with flavor. It leaves a mild sour after-taste that is like the juice from under-ripe oranges.

We all liked this cheese during our tasting. We actually tasted Inverness way back in July in a class at Cowgirl Creamery’s Point Reyes Station facility. My kids had no recollection of this cheese, so we considered it a “new” cheese.

Inverness is a beautiful cheese that would be good to share with visiting friends or family. Its small format also makes it a good choice for a picnic or outdoor meal.

Purchase Notes: We purchased Inverness at Cheese Plus (San Francisco); it is also available at Cowgirl Creamery’s stores. The small, 2-oz. cylinder could be cut into 4-6 servings.

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