Taste the world in 4 cheeses

The elation that comes before a meal that you know will challenge and expand and stretch and regale your taste buds = exactly what I felt last friday afternoon. On a break from 3 weeks of work and in a mood to burn money on things that float my very own boat, I put together a cheese feast with some coworkers. We picked up 7 varieties, of which I will write about not Taleggio, Morbier, or Saint Nectaire. The biggest pity is that my iPhone with pictures of all these albuminous protein chunks from the Netherlands, France, Spain, and wisconsin was lost to the Salish Sea, so the only fruit for the brain buds will be concise descriptions of what I savoured.

First was the Pave de Jadis, an ash-covered chèvre from the Pays de la Loire. It was weeping moisture in the way only the heat of 5 PM in late july can coax out of a tranche of cheese. It had a slow to come on, rather fuzzy way of conveying citrus, mild dairy, and mellow grasses.

Second was the Garrotxa, a Catalonian aged goat’s cheese. Funky and bleu-chestnut rind colored with fishy tasties in my olfactory part influencing the chalky earth salt taste. A little mold funk made me think that this cheese is confused but in a “share my delirium” sort of engaging way.

Third was the Ballerina, by far the most expensive of our cheeses. It is an aged gouda that has a wonderful dark amber interior and translucent cheese crystals. I am not sure how long the affinage process lasted but I would venture somewhere in between 15-27 months (big range I know). It seemed like a wonderful vessel that someone poured delightful essence of garlic, molasses, salt, and roasted shrooms. The range and developing flavas was just so exciting and I highly recommend this cheese and other friends who like to talk about what they taste for a good time.

Last was Honeybee, another aged gouda. Somehow the sweetness and citrus of a teriyaki chicken skewer were the very first analogies I could find. This cheese finished with such a fun creamy nut sweetness that would have been both a muted dandelion yellow and earthy violet were they to be colors instead of (or in addition to) tastes.

These cheeses were fun to eat. We spent $70 on cheese (and sancerre) and I can’t think of a more amusing way I have spent my money in months.


Adventures of a cheese smuggler

Working as a counselor at a french camp in the middle of an ocean may seem like a milieu full of cheese tasting opportunities but I say FALSE and that such opportunities are few and far between. Consequently I have been occupado by entertaining and disciplining children for the last 5 weeks and naht making/writing about/eating cheese except for my glimmery glorious 36-hour vacations. A plus of working at a french summer camp is that half our staff comes from France aka people who will appreciate my efforts of throwing together a cheese pl8 from the slim pickings of the island grocery store. Last last weekend I had the fun pleasure of sneaking cheese back to the island in my backypack and laying out a cheese course for the staff.

First cheese to see the light of day was a variation of Port Townsend Creamery’s Seastack, the equally tangy and imo more curious Trufflestack.
trufflestack Here we have it all nicely wrapped up, completely unodorous and giving no hints of the velvet storm ahead of us. Voilà deplasticked, all mottily white and bloomy rinded. Even sniffs here only have a mild ammonia and waxy mystery.
truffastack nekkid I cut into the ver pliable croûte and wedged a morceau of cleanly dry, ivory pâte into my bouche. The tangy and gauzy moist was cousined the entire time with a round, super sympa truffle dynamism. As someone who gets through college by adding white truffle oil to his easy mac on those desperate nights, this truffastack makes my go-to repertoire like so for sure. Bless the land for Port Townsend Creamery and their godsend of a dairy product.

The other cheese on the plate the night was a nice double cream gouda, something buttery and nutty sharp for the other chilluns in the house. By the time we ate it in the evening, it had been sitting out for a couple of hours and had started to sweat and the mellow flavors were out to party. gooda

Watching ratatouille while writing this post = my brain wants to convey the joy of taste and thinks that pixar should open a restaurant. I also apologize for how big these pictures are… I’m not an html expert haha