AWARD WINNER! Hooligan is our signature "stinky" cheese that many food lovers consider to be our most exciting variety. Hooligan was awarded the top prize in the Outstanding Dairy category from Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards (April 2006), and it was selected by both Saveur magazine and Slow Food USA as one of the top American cheeses. Made in 1.3-1.5 lb wheels and aged for 60-75 days, Hooligan is a ripe washed-rind cheese with a soft creamy paste, slightly firmer center, and a gorgeous orange rind - with a flavor reminiscent of French Muenster. Hooligans are bathed twice a week in brine to encourage the growth of pungent, surface-ripening bacteria and yeasts. The Hooligan melts beautifully for a fabulously stinky toasted cheese. Pairs well with cranberry walnut bread, Belgian style ales, Zinfandel, sweet white wines, hot pepper jelly, honey, and caramelized pecans.
Fromage d'O'Cow - Hooligan's "bigger brother" is made in flat, five pound wheels and washed regularly with brine to encourage the growth of pungent, surface-ripening bacteria and yeasts. The wide surface area helps these microflora penetrate quickly throughout the cheese, leading to greater ripeness and intensity.
Rappleree (pictured here) is formed in the same disc shape as the Fromage d'O'Cow. Once in the cave, we rub it with apple marc from Connecticut's Westford Hill Distillery. The apple lends a unique fruitiness and added pungency to the Rappleree, making it most often our stinkiest cheese!
The Culture Magazine centerfold cheese, Winter 2015! Despearado is made like our Hooligan and then washed with fermented pear mash and Pear William eau de vie from Connecticut's Westford Hill Distillery. The effect is a unique cheese that's stronger and riper than our traditional Hooligan with a hint of pear on the aftertaste. Aged 2 months and sold in whole 1.4 pound wheels.
Other variations on Hooligan include Drunken Hooligan (washed in grape lees from Priam Vineyard) and Drunk Monk (washed in beer from Willimantic Brewing Company).
Photo here from Culture Magazine