Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Stinky Hooligan - Hooligan Cheese

We are now at least fifteen years deep into a renaissance of American artisanal cheese. There are phenomenal goat cheeses, sheep cheeses, cheddars, semi-softs, blue cheeses and others being produced all over the US.

One thing US producers have shied away from though is the stinky, washed-rind cheese, the American equivalent of French Epoisse or Italian Taleggio. I'm happy report, though, that America has found its stink, in Connecticut of all places.

Cato Corner Farms is a small, family farm located in Colchester, Connecticut which makes a variety of raw cow milk cheeses. One of their most acclaimed is the washed rind Hooligan.

I picked some Hooligan up at the Cheesestore of Silverlake and was not disappointed. It was soft and creamy with a strong pungency. It smelled earthy and musty in the particular cheese-stench way. The taste was similarly explosive, more akin to a Livarot than an Epoisse. A good cheese, very high on the stink meter.

So get yourself some stinky Hooligan and enjoy.

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