Winnimere: Fun, Messy & Delicious
February 26, 2011
Winnimere is a first class cheese for an inelegant party among friends. When out of refrigeration, Winnimere relaxes into a gooey ooze. Even when eating with spoons, this cheese was messy. Winnimere is fun to eat and has a flavor similar to another bark-banded cheese, Forsterkase.
Winnimere is a soft washed rind cheese, farmstead produced by Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. It is made from raw cow’s milk. The cheese is produced in a flat disc format, banded with spruce bark, and washed with local beer. Like Forsterkase, Winnimere’s spruce band gives the cheese structure, flavor and a distinctive aroma. It is aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill for 60 days before market.
Winnimere is a rustic beauty. Its bark band gives this young cheese a weathered appearance. The bark ring looks like damp old leather; it is flecked with white and blue-green surface molds. Winnimere has a salmon pink rind that is thick, bumpy and pliable. Its interior paste is pale, wet and soupy.
Winnimere has a pervasive perfume, but it is not offensive. Its dominant scent is woodsy and reminiscent of freshly ground mulch or a cedar-lined chest. The rind has a barnyard odor, while the cheese paste smells like smoked nuts.
Winnimere has strong flavors. Its flavors are smoky, herbally, softly nutty, woodsy and sour. It leaves a long smoky and woodsy aftertaste. Winnimere’s texture is like thick glue; the cheese coats the tongue with a pasty cream.
We all liked Winnimere and had a lot of fun eating it. Its flavor reminded us of Forsterkase, yet Winnimere’s texture has a soupier consistency. Unlike Forsterkase, Winnimere is a cheese one ought to purchase whole, remove its top rind, and dip into with spoons.
Purchase Notes: We purchased Winnmere at Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco); it is available January-June. Winnimere should be purchased as a whole cheese; if purchasing half a cheese, get home quickly before it relaxes too much.