Thursday, May 27, 2010
Yet Another Obsession...Artisan Cheeses
To be frank, I have always enjoyed cheeses. One of my highlights when I was in Europe in 1984 was to visit Edam and try their cheeses. It made the train trip very delightful to have Edam Cheese and Red Wine. Over the years, I have always been open to trying new cheeses. My dear friend Dot has turned me on to Stilton and various other cheeses. She even gave me cheese as a birthday gift. My other dear friend, Alf has cheese themed parties. We were at the opening of our local farmers' market and Alf lamented they had no cheesemonger. Another friend an I had discovered a great cheesemonger at the local Paradise Market and I allowed Alf to kidnap me so I could introduce her to this great cheesemonger. This lead to a cheese party that featured cow cheese, goat cheese, and sheep cheese. We had the herb encrusted Purple Haze from Cypress Grove, Sir Francis Drake from Cowgirl Creamery (Cowgirl's limited edition cheese which was "Da Bomb" or just an amazing cheese), and Spanish sheep cheese Cana De Oveja (which is pungent, ultra smooth, and sticks to the roof your mouth in a good way).
Yesterday, I finally got to visit the new Whole Foods in Novato and they have a decent cheese section and were handing out samples of delicious Gouda. Their cheese guy seems to work in the late afternoon or evening shift, so I will let you know how he compares to our cheesemonger at Paradise Market. I bought a small wedge of Cypress Grove's Truffle Trembler (pictured above from A Gluten Free Guide).
Cypress Grove's Truffle Trembler grabbed my eye because of its looks. There are tiny specs of black truffles. Just look at that picture! Doesn't it beg to be tasted? I open it up and there is this amazing earthy aroma. I happen to love all shrooms for their taste and smell, so if you are not in love with fungii like I am this may not be for you. I don't think I have ever really had black truffles, so this was kind of a nice way to initiate myself. I just spread it on pieces of crusty fresh french baguette and was transported. I had to leave and do an errand and in the car I was smelling the earthy aroma in the car. All afternoon I would catch wafts of the cheese which I can only describe as sexy earthiness that transports you to the French Countryside hunting for truffles with your dog after the rains. The cheese is crumbly, has a complex taste and texture.
It is a cheese that makes me want to hunt down the perfect wine pairing for it and willing to spend over my usual $20 and maybe my cheese pairing limit of $40. This cheese is a keeper.
We have been having unseasonable rain and this cheese was just perfect for a rainy day.
I will be sharing with you my love of cheese and wine on this blog as well as for France, Art, History, and Perfume.