I’ve said it before, we love cheese. If it didn’t have such a bad reputation nutritionally, we’d be eating it every night. Last night we decided to have a little cheese tasting. Our local market happened to have interesting cheeses for a change so we took advantage of the rare occasion to do this lovely little tasting.
Our first selection was this Iberico. We have never seen Iberico here at our market. It is a blend of cow, sheep and goats milk. In Spain Iberico is often served with quince paste. We opted to try ours with this fantastic fig paste. We bought this piece of cheese for about six dollars. We found it to be soft, mild and creamy- leaving us with a goats cheese tang in a pleasant way. We thought this cheese was a wonderful substitution for the more commonly found Manchego. It is also a lot cheaper so for those of you (us) on a budget it is a great find! Iberico pairs wonderfully with pinot noir.
Our second selection was this oozy Rochetta Robiola. We paid about ten dollars for this small wheel of cheese. I’ll be honest, when I am looking for cheese the oozier the better. This one did not disappoint us. It was one of our favorites of the night. If you are new to cheese this might be too much for you. It had a pungent smell from the get go and (quite honestly) smelled like the farm yard. We did think it had a slight aftertaste of burnt ammonia with a pleasant sourness. We left it out for about thirty minutes before we ate it and the insides were melting out…bliss!
Our third tasting was this adorably wrapped little wheel of Le Vache de Chalais. We came across this cheese a few weeks ago and picked it up only to notice it was priced at twenty one dollars. Yes, twenty one dollars. We were sure it must be amazing if they were asking that much for it, but we opted not to purchase it. As it turns out we think it was an error. When we went back this week it was marked (more appropriately) around five dollars. It was very pretty. When we unwrapped it we found another oozy little wheel of cheese. The downfall was that it smelled of a wet forest and mildew. We decided to take a bite of it with our eyes closed to see if the flavor changed- and it (eyes closed) tasted much like a good cheddar but with a soft creamy texture.
This was our fourth choice and it was a lovely Fol Epi. We really were so happy with our cheese section of the market this week that we can only hope they will have the same selections in the future. This Fol Epi cost about five dollars. It was not at all over powering. It has the scent of a Swiss cheese but had a much softer bite. It was creamy and we will certainly purchase this again. We also just loved the writing on the rind.
Finally, an old favorite. The Vermont Creamery double-cream Cremont is, and will always be, one of our favorites. It might be our life long affection for double and triple cream cheeses. It might be the lovely texture of the cheese or the perfect small little wheel shape it arrives in. We love it!
Having a cheese tasting was a great way to spend a night off from work and an easy way to eat dinner without having to cook for a change!