MouCo Cheese Company was incorporated in July 2000 but their story starts much earlier as a love story. Birgit Halbreiter grew up in Memmingen, Germany, a small town in Bavaria where she learned to make soft ripened cheeses at Kaserei. When Birgit left Germany she eventually came to work at Molson Breweries, where she met Robert Poland. Soon the pair began making cheese at home with the help of Birgit’s father. After forming their company they made their first sale in 2001 with a Camembert. Over the last few years they have added four more varieties. ColoRouge is one of those four.
MouCo ColoRouge is a natural rind cheese that is reddish-orange in color with a slight white finish. It is made with pasteurized whole milk obtained from a local dairy. The cheese has a two week aging period where the cheese is “smeared” by hand. Smearing is a process by which each cheese is rubbed to help the development of the special rind characteristics. The cheese is then wrapped in a special foil imported from Europe that allows it to “breathe” oxygen thus keeping the cheese “alive” and fresh during its entire life. The flavor of the cheese changes as it ages: young – soft and creamy with mild earthy tones, then as it starts to age it gets softer with a pronounced buttery characteristic more complex in its earthy characteristic. Fully aged at 7 to 8 weeks the cheese is quite complex with its buttery creamy flavors that are spicy and just plain addictive. The cheese is gooey when served at room temperature.
Pair with Colorado’s Redstone Mead Raspberry Nectar was our favorite. Riesling, Carlos, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Champagne work well.
Cheese Type: Soft
Milk Type: Cow
Rennet: vegetarian no GMOs
Age: 2 – 8 weeks
Origin: Fort Collins, CO
Ring of Vine Ripe Tomato with Field Grown Green Lettuce
Chef Florian Wehrli, Chimney Park Bistro, Windsor, CO
4 Vine Ripe Tomatoes
2 heads of lettuce of your choice or one clamshell of baby salad mix
1 cup original Mead
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1 Mouco ColoRouge cheese
To Peel the tomatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the core of the tomatoes and make an incision on the bottom of each one. Plunge them in the boiling water for 20 seconds, then shock them in an ice bath. The skin should now be easy to remove.
Cut the tomatoes in half. Place each half on a cutting board and cut them in thin slices, make sure to keep the tomatoes in their shape.
Place a 5 inch ring mold in the middle of a serving plate. Place 2 tomato halves in it and spread the slices around the circumference of the circle.
Remove the ring mold carefully and start over for your next plate.
To make the vinaigrette:
Put the mead in a small pot and reduce by three quarters. Reserve a little of the reduction for the plate decoration.
Add the vinegar to the rest. Whisk in the oil, season to taste and finish with half of the chopped chives.
For the cheese:
Heat up a non-stick pan as hot as possible. Cut the ColoRouge cheese in 8 even slices. Spray the hot pan and place the cheese in it to toast. Wait about 30 second and remove the cheese with a spatula. They should have a golden brown crust. Flip the cheese slices on a plate and reserve in a warm place.
Clean and drain the salad carefully. Place in a bowl and season with the mead vinaigrette.
Arrange the dressed salad in each of the tomato rings. Decorate the outside of the plates with the chives and remaining reduced mead. Top each salad with 2 warm slices of toasted ColoRouge Cheese.