Mountaineer: A Mountain Cheese from Virginia

January 8, 2011

Mountaineer is a cheese that says “autumn” with its cold weather flavors of toasted nuts, berries and Asian pears.  It makes for a good snacking cheese and with a name like Mountaineer, it begs to be taken on a hike.

Mountaineer is a semi-soft-to-firm cheese produced by Meadow Creek Dairy of Virginia (which also make Grayson and Appalachian).  It is made with raw cow’s milk and has a washed rind.  It is aged for 6 months before market.

mountaineer-cheese-by-cheesechatter-january-2011Mountaineer has a rusty tan rind that shows a sprinkling of tiny white surface molds.  The natural rind’s bumpy pattern is so fine, that to the touch the rind feels smooth and dry.

The interior cheese paste is a deep, golden yellow.  Mountaineer has some small holes and fissures, but is otherwise smooth and solid.

For a washed rind cheese, Mountaineer is surprisingly sweet smelling.  The rind and paste have an inviting aroma of toasted nuts.

Mountaineer has a lot of flavor, but the cheese comes across as relatively mild.  Mountaineer’s flavors are fruity, tangy and nutty.  Sweetness is added by a subtle blueberry flavor and a butterscotch flavor similar to a ripe Honsui Asian pear.  Mountaineer ends tangy and firmly nutty, with the nuttiness lingering in the mouth after eating.  It has a smooth and chewy texture.

None of our tasters was bowled over by Mountaineer but we all liked it and thought it a tasty cheese.  It would not be my first choice for a snacking cheese, but I would consider it for a casual meal or day hike.

Purchase Notes:  We purchased Mountaineer at Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).  Mountaineer is produced seasonally by Meadow Creek Dairy; they report availability November-July.


One Response to “Mountaineer: A Mountain Cheese from Virginia”

  1. […] Virginia Mountaineer – tillverkad av Meadow Creek dairy och tydligt inspirerad av Appenzellerns tillverkning och textur men bär en mer orange färg i kroppen. Den har en mjuk textur och borstad skorpa. Lagras i upp till 6 månader och har en ganska mild smak som tenderar att starta lugn och sedan växa något i munnen. Aningen nötig och toner av smörkola. […]

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