Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mont Des Cats: Monks Strike Again

While I realize I've been a bit cheese heavy on the posts recently, I couldn't resist buying a piece of Mont Des Cats at Zabar's recently. After all, I've reviewed Chimay Cheese as well as Abbaye de Tamie, making me one of the leading reviewers of cheese made by Monks on the Upper West Side, if not the World.

The cheese is made of cow's milk and has a 50% fat content. It has a brownish thin rind, which is a result of the washing in salt water and then being dyed in roucou, which is derived from annatto seeds. The cheese is a beige color. It is a very mild tasting cheese with a bit of an odor, sort of like a dog whose bark is worse than its bite. I found it felt a little rubbery when chewing.

Many commenters, from the little sign at Zabar's to Wikipedia, note that Mont Des Cats is made in a similar manner as Port Salut Cheese. While I don't disagree with this, the one thing that I have noted in my European tour of Trappist Cheese is how similar all of them taste to each other. All have a similar color and texture (although Chimay and Abbay de Tamie do a better job of it than this one), smell and taste. I happen to like the taste, but I can not see a reason to ever buy more than one. Given that Chimay is widely available, reasonably priced and good, I would go for that one in this category. Although I think I have to buy a piece of Port Salut just to make sure. Guess who created Port Salut!!!!

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