May 7, 2007
I share with you a picture of yesterday's cheese tray. I want you notice the cheese in the center and the cheese at 12 o'clock. Most Americans would have discarded these cheeses long ago. However, they are the most special cheeses on the tray. Both began as a simple fresh goat cheese about the size of the cheese in the center. The cheese in the center is about 1 month old and has a bit of fluff growing on it. You know, good cheese is alive!!! The cheese at 12 o'clock was fresh in February and has been allowed to cellar age or age in a refrigerated situation where there is air circulation. So with this cheese tray in front of you, what do you choose and in what order.
At 9 o'clock is a Brique de Ewe. This is the mildest cheese and a place for you to begin. Next, at 2 o'clock is the Petit Basque (another ewe cheese but the process is different where the milk has been warmed and then the rind is rubbed with a salted cloth..causing the rind to get thicker and thicker). Then let's move to the first aged fresh goat cheese in the center. It has a bit more flavor than the fresh goat...don't shy away from the fluffy mold. It is okay. Remember cheese is living! Then the aged fresh at 12 o'clock....Before going further, I will tell you that I love all of them but I found this cheese a bit salty. As with all aging processes, flavors are concentrated. The mold you see on the cheese was not a problem, but the salt was for me. Finally, the cheese at 6 o'clock is calling me. I know this cheese and I love it!.. It stinks to high heaven when opened, but has a flavor that goes fabulously with red wine. It is Muenster from Alsace.
None of these cheeses are cut so that I can address the issue of 'cutting off the Pope's nose'.....a bit of cheese etiquette 101. Maybe another blog
P.S. I have corrected the times listed for my postings. They have been wrong. It is 8:05PM here and from now on you will see that I am posting on my time here in France....C'est 2:05PM in NC right now....