Cheese, tasted on August 15, 2005 — I have been accused of
being a cheese snob by only listing European cheeses that I really
enjoy. I claim ignorance not snobbery, as I simply have not eaten
nearly as many cheeses as I'd like in my life. The other day I was
engaged in one of my favorite past times - standing at the
WholeFoods cheese counter trying as many slices of new cheeses as I
could shove into my mouth.
The first was Estrella Farmhouse Reserve. It was sort of
a cross between Neapolitan ice cream and havarti, but better than both.
:) Sheep, cow, and goat milk havarti like cheese is melded together in
three multi-color layers. At first you find the texture novel and the
flavor mild. But there is this inescapable kick on the finish that made
this particular cheese stand out for me. BTW, I say this despite the
woman next to me at the cheese counter who also tasted it and made a
condescending face when I said I liked it. It was this faux politeness
where she tried to give the impression she was holding back her
disagreement, but made a face that said how stupid she thought my
opinion was. And then of course her opinion came out anyway as how could
she not tell the "truth" about her dislike of the cheese. I hope I never
see the judgy cheese lady again. Luckily, the next cheese made me forget
about her quickly.
Next was the Quillascut UFO goat cheese. This was super
ripe and super enjoyable. It compared to some of the strongest triple
creams I've enjoyed from France. It was soft, but not liquidy, and
strong without having any ammonia qualities. This was a big cheese that
deserved a big wine to go with it. I stupidly only bought a small wedge
and should have bought way more.
I'm sure there are plenty of other domestic cheeses that
are quite flavorful and tasty, and I'm eager to find them. One cool
thing is that these two both come from my home state of Washington. So
perhaps, my enjoyment of local cheese will make up for my lack of
enjoyment of local wine. I'll try not to complain too loudly as I suffer
to find out the answer.