Warren and Hugh talk about the language that is used to describe cheese, and how these definitions vary from person
Tags:cheese description,how to describe cheese,Le Gourmet TV,legourmet.tv
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Warren: For me, a huge part of what enhances my experience of food is the language that we use surrounding the food. And so, to have more descriptive words to describe something, like cheese, is going to really enhance my experience in terms of I’m going to be listening for or tasting that flavor.
Certainly, it’s true that when I give a customer the taste of something and list off four or five flavors that I think are in the cheese, they’ll usually pick one or two and go, “Yes, I agree” or “Absolutely not.”
Hugh: We usually find that once you give people notes, people find flavors that they didn’t realize were there. It really brings out those tastes.
Warren: Yeah. And one of the difficulties of the language is of course in all language, the definition of descriptive words. So what Hugh and I are arguing about today is sharp.
I believe that sharp is—well, it also would basically with these two cheeses. This is a four-year Perron cheddar from Quebec. Perron is canned as oldest making cheddar family that’s still in production, and then the L'Île-aux-Grues Cheddar from L'Île-aux-Grues Island. That’s two years old, so a two-year versus a four-year.
I believe that the two-year is the sharper because it has a citrus tang to it, kind of that real sourness that makes your cheeks pinch. You salivate and usually, a crinkling of the brow as well, whereas the Perron four-year, while being firmer and drier and sweeter, it’s definitely not sharper.
Hugh: See now, what Warren has done here is he has preempted my description of what sharpness is as a sort of cheek-pulling, saliva inducing flavor, something that really makes your mouth water, that sharp and acidic.
Traditionally, Warren had argued that this two-year is sharper because it’s more lemony and tart, whereas I make the case that the four-year-old is sharper because it’s got more of that acidity, more of that complexity that really bring out the flavors.
When people ask us for cheddars, they almost always ask for our sharpest cheddar. And I think that for that reason, the four-year-old is the clear choice to go with.
Warren: The four-year does not make your mouth water the way the two-year does.
Hugh: The four-year certainly is not as lemony and tart as the two-year-old is.
Warren: It’s much gentler.
Hugh: I would say it’s much earthier, winier while having that acidity that gets your mouth watering and really gives you that sharpness that people look for.
Warren: You said earthy and sharp in the same sense. I don’t buy it.
Hugh: They could be both. Sharpness is more about the acidity, the sensation than it is about the flavor. This one has got earth and wine and all sorts of flavors to it, as well as being sharper, even the two-year.
Warren: Do we agree to disagree or do we fight each other with these blocks of cheddar?
Hugh: I think we have to fight with the blocks of cheddar.