Once Upon a Young Sheep’s Milk

Last weekend marked a big event in the celebration of Memere’s 85th celebration with family from all over the states. And what more fitting for the evening after lunch picnic than red, white blends, and cheese platters from PCC guhhhhh. I had a ball of a time eating crystalline allium-flavored Rembrandt gouda (aged gouda is rapidly rising in my esteem), chivey and malleable Cotswald, sweet violetted Beecher’s Flagship, and most exciting of all: Pecorino di Pienza. A sheep’s milk cheese from Siena, it can be eaten anywhere from 40 days to 18 months. The one I ate was soft, light, and oily aka young aka at least 60 days aged because hello I live in the US. There was another cheese on the plate called Drunken Goat but all my relatives thought that the pecorino was the Drunken Goat because of the strong, fuzzy nose that tickles the tongue and throat so devilishly in the pecorino aka Drunken Goat sounds like it would be real funky but uhhh let down. In any case, the Pecorino had a slightly more aged exterior (duhh rind) that had calmer, sharper notes than the interior. The soft sofa of an interior was milky white, acutely sheepy, bitingly fuzzy, and had a most curious lingering taste of rhubarb bitter. I think/hope that this pecorino was raw milk because the palate was so diverse and I want to think that I tasted those green italian pastures. At least for 3 minutes, I was walking on hillsides in Siena, holding crumbly soil in my fingers, milking italian sheep, and experiencing milk being coaxed into this higher form.