People ask a lot of questions online and while shopping at our farmer's market booths. One of the most common questions asked is, "what is our 'stinkiest' cheese?" Honestly, it varies on the season and most of the time, we don't offer a stinky/blue/funky cheese, but that's about to change...
Introducing Gorda, a washed-rind, semi-soft cheese, only available in the November 2023 Cheese Club shipment. Gorda is made with a blend of farmstead goat's milk and cow's milk heavy cream.
What makes Gorda stinky, you ask? Brevibacterium linens (b linens) are the answer.
Believe it or not, YOU most likely have b linens on your body right now. That’s right. B linens are present on human skin and cause foot odor. So when you smell a cheese with b linens present and are reminded of your high school locker room, you’re not alone.
This feet-smelling, rod-shaped bacterium is what we use to ferment Gorda and give it a beautiful orange-red color on the rind. First, the cheese is soaked in a salt brine multiple times. Before the aging process, the cheese is then hand-washed with a different brine containing the b linens.
The b linens add a meaty, beefy flavor to the cheese in addition to a creamy mouthfeel. It also will give the cheese a bright mold on the outside rind - don't worry, it's safe to consume.
(Gorda soaking in a brine bath before being hand-washed with b linens and the aging process begins)
“Because Gorda has a more robust flavor, we suggest eating this cheese in thin slices on warm bread,” said Robin, head cheesemaker. “The style was developed back in the day by Trappist monks who learned how to make a cheese that tasted like meat to eat during lent. Pretty cool what you can create with bacteria.”
The Stepladder Creamery cheesemaking team looks forward to Cheese Club planning every year. It’s their opportunity to test out new cheese styles, experiment and create unique offerings normally not part of our year-round repertoire.
(Gorda blocks waiting to be hand-washed with b linens before aging)
Gorda is one of those highly-anticipated cheeses the team has planned to re-create and add to a Cheese Club shipment.
“We made a trial batch of Gorda several years ago and loved the way it turned out, stinky and all,” said Jack, creamery co-owner. “With it’s complex make, we knew it wouldn’t be a year-round offering, but always kept it in the back of our minds for future Cheese Club planning and special releases. We’re excited to re-release this version of Gorda to members for a bit of funk as we conclude our final shipment of 2023.”
Gorda is an exclusive offering only available in the November 2023 Cheese Club shipment alongside Big Sur, Moonstone and Spicy Fromage Blanc. Members will also receive packs of crackers and a special chocolate bar pairing.
As a final reminder, Gorda is a funky/stinky/aromatic cheese that WILL develop blue/green mold as it ages. The mold is completely safe to eat.
We hope you enjoy this fun creation!