20 August, 2010

Cambozola Cheese

Lately, the ShopRite in my town has been making their own fresh mozzarella cheese, displaying it on ice by the specialty cheese display near the deli.  I went to pick some up at the beginning of the week and was disappointed to find that, because they were having a sale on some nationally-distributed mass-market fresh mozz, they hadn't made any of their own.  Bummer.

But I was hell-bent on buying cheese anyway, so I started poking around the display to see if there was anything interesting.  And that's when I found a lovely wedge of Cambozola; it was mad ripe and just this side of runny, and I guess the ripeness was a little too scary for the deli guys, who had it marked down at half off.  Pretty awesome, because Cambozola is an excellent cheese when it hits the shelves, but I swear it gets even better as it approaches and sometimes exceeds the cautiously-labeled "sell by" date stamped on the wrap.

Cambozola has a relatively short history as cheeses go. It was originally invented in the early 1900's, and since 1970 has been made by huge German cheesemaker Champignon.  It's a soft-ripened triple-cream cheese made with the same Penicillin roqueforti mold also used in Gorgonzola, the taste profile is very complex:  imagine a good Italian Gorgonzola with the sharp edges filed off, combined with a decent triple-cream Brie.  The nutty characteristics of Brie are there, and the mild "mushroomy" flavor of the rind, but they're well-balanced with the blue.

It was great served with sliced peaches and salty smoked almonds for lunch.  Also, because I'm a damned cheese heathen, I mashed up some fresh wild blueberries and blended them into a chunk of Cambozola to make a blueberry/blue cheese spread which was also very good despite what you might think.


Champignon Cheese's US website.


Alan said...

Now I had never heard of that cheese, but after reading your article, I'm now drooling to find some. I still miss Liederkranz cheese. That was an amazing cheese. I don't know that it can ever be brought back, since the process is half science and half luck.

Alan said...

Oh wait. Doing some searching after reading this article, I see the Wisconsin Cheese had brought back Liederkranz. Just reintroduced in May. Oooooo.

Chefs Resources said...

I love Cambazola. I first had it at a wine tasting with a Columbia Cabernet by David Lake. The two together was fabulous!

MrsBug said...

I've just been introduced to your site today (hooray!) and saw this post on the Cambozola. If you want to do something with this that will rock your world, try it this way:

*a slice of some kind of crisp flatbread
*a clove of roasted garlic
*a schmear of a sweetish chutney: tomato is perfect
*a schmear of the Cambozola

Insert in mouth and let your tastebuds rejoice. There's something about that combination of flavors that is amazing.

Dave said...

Alan - I'll have to check into that; I thought Liederdranz was "extinct." If it's making a comeback, I'll have to try to find some.

Chefs Resources - Unfortunately, I didn't have any Cabernet, but I did have some with a fat Sangiovese and the cheese stood up well to it.

MrsBug - Welcome to the Cupboard! Your idea sounds awesome, and I'm going to try it out. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I found this cheese at Costco and have been a huge fan ever since!

Nelly said...

Cambozola is my favorite cheese which I discovered a few years ago when I lived across the street from a German deli. My local Sams Club carried it for a while but recently stopped..Sooo I'm looking for it again.