Cheese, All the Cheese (except maybe goat)

8 Oct

I was a precocious cheese-lover. So I’ve been told by my mom. I was maybe two? Four?

Twas a time before I have memories, not that I’m the best at memories now, but I at least manage a few. The so-told scenario?

The adults had a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano (or some such shaving cheese) out for their….their salads? Something like that; Iike I said I have no memory of this. And little piglet that I was, as the evening went on, I kept going back and slicing off hunks of it–so says my mom. Obviously it must have been delicious.

I’ve always had fantastic taste. Hopefully it makes up for my memory.

As for the adults that let me have my way with lactose, I have questions–was I handling a knife? That seems not chill, but given the age but my parents let me stay out til 3am with the upper schoolers when I was 13, maybe their blade-chill was premature too. And why didn’t they put the cheese up? Were they so impressed with my gourmand senses that they let me have at it? There IS something fun about watching people discover new tastes.

Who knows? And I don’t care to ask.

It’s been a long while since my toddler cheese munching ways. And I am still in love.

I dream of being the cheese expert version of sommelier. I am not yet a fromager, however, so I preface all this by saying I am a cheese enthusiast, always eager to learn, always to be happy what I got wrong. So take all my cheese notes with a pinch of lactose.

Oh right so I’m reviewing a few cheeses that were sent to me, outside what I usually buy. The cheeses I buy most often are mozzerella, sharp cheddar, parmesan, and brie. Lest you were interested. Especially those dorky Babybel rounds of mozzerella. I like peeling ’em and eating them and also melting them or whatever but that’s not we are all here for today.

Today for you I have a Camembert, an Emmantal, and a Roquefort. The first two I’d pair with a buttery Chardonnay. Or a lean one. They would be Chard-friendly cheeses. Either way they are definitely white wine cheeses. The Roquefort is more ruby port material. Or if used as a verrrrry minimal component in a salad one could pair it with with a fun Pouilly-Fumé. Cheese is versatile, my friends.

Onwards, lactose lovers. these are my latest three discoveries. Pretty sure “cheese discovery corner” is going to be a recurring bit on this blog.

CAMEMBERT

It’s a cow’s milk cheese, shaped into small wheels and aged several weeks. Holy heck it is deliciously buttery, with a hint of grass. Quite mellow, really. The texture, out of the fridge, is pliable without going into goo. Ever so slightly cashew nutty. Mellow and yes nutty and a hint earthy, but the lactose ballasts all.

EMMENTAL

Also cow’s milk! From Switzerland. It looks like a “Swiss” cheese ( which it IS, technically) with very large holes. Firm, and tastes like Swiss cheese as Audrey Hepburn–elegant, really, not overwhelming, instead enduring in taste. It’s hard to typify, but it is like–browned butter? hints of nutmeg maybe? It’s SO good.

ROQUEFORT

Blue cheese can be…alarming. I love it, to be sure, but I can’t eat gobs of it–it’s the salt of cheese. Use as seasoning, not the main event. Roquefort is dank and salty. The blue veins come from Penicillium Roqueforti being injecting into the cheese. So rich. So much. Umami-y? I honestly am at a loss for more vocal for blue cheese. It tastes blue cheesy I don’t even know.

END OF STORY

Cheese is life.

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2 Responses to “Cheese, All the Cheese (except maybe goat)”

  1. cliffordjudith October 9, 2022 at 7:32 am #

    Camembert can become quite pungent if aged long enough.

    • Ellen October 9, 2022 at 4:26 pm #

      This is true! This one was pretty young, I think.

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