I received an invite from Ling of O Gourmet Food Hall at Bangsar Shopping Centre just a few days before the cheese tasting event two Fridays back. I asked Capt'n Hook if he's interested and he immediately said yes. I knew he would love to attend this as he loves his cheeses. I joined in since I was available that morning hehe.
We were amongst the first to arrive and managed to catch up with Ling on the introduction of hmmm they believed could be Kuala Lumpur's first climate control Cheese Room. This room is located right where the fresh fruits section used to be, next to the wine cellar. Ling informed that the full stock of cheeses have yet to arrive hence, the room looked a little sparse but by now, they should be fully stocked. The cheeses are imported from Europe, USA and also Australia come in all sorts of types and textures such as fresh, soft, semi-hard, hard, very hard, spiced and flavoured! We've also met Kenneth Wee of Total Agri Marketing who is representing California Milk Advisory Board in Malaysia. He gave me quite an insight on cheeses as well. Hopefully, he won't forget us for the next coming tasting :p
Each type of cheeses have the signature signage next to them explaining the where they're originated, what they're made of, how they were processed and how to use them. There are advisors around to help you with your choices and which wine to pair with. You'll also get to taste the cheeses before succumbing to any purchase which is a great thing as there are times we did not like the cheeses we bought off the shelf.
Before the tasting started, Ling introduced to the crowd Mark Todd who is better known as ‘The Cheese Dude’. Mark, who is with California Milk Advisory Board, gave us a briefing on the various types of cheeses and answering questions fielded by the attendees.
In the span of half and hour, we've learnt so much about cheeses, how to store them, when to dump them etc. BTW, you'll need to store your cheeses in airtight containers, else double wrap with shrink wraps as it can cross contaminate your other food in the fridge. It's mighty all right to eat cheeses with dark or blue molds on them but never when you see PINK molds. Dangerous stuff there so do dump them when you see pink spots.
Let's get on to the 7 types of cheeses that we got tasted. Mark explained each of these cheeses, their characteristics, pungency etc as we go along with the tasting.
The first was a soft Camembert. This one's rather mild with a creamy centre.
The second served is an alpine cheese made with raw milk and aged 7 months. It's known as Lionza. This is a remarkable one, one of my fave that day. To me it tasted nutty and brittle.
These are cheddar. Light yellow in colour, mild in taste as well.
Check the next one out! Very special as it's my first time seeing one with an outter purple hence making this the memorable one. This is actually cheddar soaked in cabernet sauvignon, yes yes, red wine which explained the purple colour on the outside. I can smell the fragrant wine aroma as I bite into one. A unique one indeed, something you can get to wow your guests.
Then came the mildest of all blue cheeses which is a brie with blue reins. Mark said this is the "training wheels" for those who are intolerant of blue cheese *ahem* like moi. I really really hesitated but I took the tiniest bite from Capt'n Hook's slice and seriously I'm not sure its physchological or not, I still can't bear this.
Poofff then came the stinky one, the fully aged blue cheese. I can smell this even I stood pretty far away from the plate! No comment but Capt'n Hook and Nigel were enjoying this one whilst Allan and myself stayed far far away.
Then Mark introduced the last lot for the tasting. As he explained that this cheese is very pungent akin to smelly feet or socks that were worn for weeks. However, Mark said the taste is spectacular as opposed to the smell! I shudder thinking that it could be worse than the blue cheese. Surprisingly, when the platter came by, it didn't smell as bad though. I braced myself for a slice and surprise surprise, it was indeed very pleasant to the mouth and tasted good too but a tad salty. I grabbed a piece of cracker and it was indeed all right when I took the subsequent bites. Remember the name for this cheese... Schloss.
We both have a very educational morning with Mark, tummy filled with the yummy cheeses. Ahhhh this is blissful. Thanks to Mark Todd, Ling of O Gourmet Food Hall, Vivian of BRDB and the rest who made this happen.
Since we were already there, we went over to Just Heavenly counter to check out their addition of a new display fridge. New fridge means more cakes!!! *drools*
On display too were the raya cakes that you could order for this coming Hari Raya and Ramadhan. Do check out the details over at their website. They're so beautiful ain't it? Best as gifts for your Muslim friends this festive season.
O Gourmet Food Hall
East Wing, Ground Floor
Bangsar Shopping Complex
285 Jalan Maarof
Tel: (+603) 2094 9966
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Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 9.00am - 10.00pm