So I’ve had a bit of blogging hiatus lately, and I wish I had a better excuse for why, but the truth is I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been to the cheese shop! Oy, sad on so many levels. I rectified that late last week, though, and restocked my drawer with some dairy goodies (right in time for National Cheese Day tomorrow). You know Colleen and I try to focus on American cheeses for this blog, but once I saw that the Cheese Shop at France 44 had Ticklemore, I knew I needed a wedge. How could I resist a cheese with a name like that?
So here’s the thing about Ticklemore – there’s a Ticklemore Dairy in Devonshire, England, but it doesn’t make Ticklemore cheese. Makes no sense, right? This goat’s-milk cheese originated at Ticklemore Dairy, but Ticklemore’s cheesemaker didn’t have room to make all his cheeses in his creamery, so he trained the cheesemaker at nearby Sharpham Dairy, Debbie Mumford, to craft the cheese, and it remains a Sharpham Dairy creation to this day.
And another thing about this cheese – apparently, the version we get here in the United States is quite different from what cheese lovers enjoy on the other side of the pond. Cheese Underground blogger Jeanne Carpenter visited Sharpham Dairy this spring (let’s not get started on our jealousy surrounding that trip) and reported that while we nosh on a semi-firm cheese that tends to soften and ooze under the rind, Ticklemore is firmer and crumblier in its home country. There must be something magical that occurs during shipping that accounts for the difference. Luckily for us, stateside Ticklemore is a treat as is, so I’m not complaining.
Snowy white and shaped like a flattened sphere, Ticklemore offers light, floral notes without lingering goatiness. It’s a perfect beginner’s goat due to its mild flavor and almost non-existent odor. The chalky interior helps the cheese keep its unusual shape, but like most bloomy-rind fans, I enjoy the lusciousness of the creamline under the rind.
Though some say a fruity red wine would work with Ticklemore, to me, this is a white-wine cheese all the way – preferably without much oakiness, like a crisp sauvignon blanc. It also pairs excellently with a decadent cookie, like the Nutella and sea salt variety my husband baked recently.