Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello Whole Foods

So, I went to Whole Foods Market last night because I have a cough and needed eucalyptus oil to put in my humidfier. Well, we all know how Whole Paycheck works. I escaped this time with only $20 worth of damage. 2 new cheeses ... Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Cheese and a Pleasant Ridge Reserve Gruyere. Have I reviewed that one before? I'll have to check. (ok, checked - I haven't).

Cypress Grove... mmmm. From the makers of Humboldt Fog comes this delightful goat cheese. Slight crystallization for a bit of "crunch", but otherwise creamy and melts in your mouth. Nicely goaty. Gorgeous creamy color as well, with a black wax rind. Nutty flavor reminiscent of gruyere.

The Pleasant Ridge. I have to say, I normally love gruyeres, but this one left me disappointed. From Upland Cheese Company in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, this hard cheese just had a bit of an off taste to me. Only aged 4 months, in a natural rind, this one tasted much older to me. Dunno. I guess it was inevitable that I ran into a cheese that left me cold.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cheese is indeed for snacking!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but I love Whole Foods for their "Cheese is for Snacking" bin. Small little bits of cheese, about 2oz each. It's a great way to try new cheeses without breaking the bank.

Yesterday I stopped to sample, and came home with 4 cheeses. One was the Wensleydale Crandale, which is a favorite of mine. Another, the one that I am snacking on now, is a Double Gloucester. With a lovely golden color and a natural rind, it's a very well-balanced cheese. Creamy and a bit crumbly, similar to a hard cheddar. At first bite there was a hint of blue to it, but after a bite of apple, it became more buttery and less sharp. The apple is a gala, and I think it would do better against something a bit more tart, or some slightly sour grapes. As you move outward on the slice, towards the edges of the wheel, the blue taste becomes more prominent and consistent.

Overall, a very diverse cheese for very diverse moods!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Code bleu

Is there anything like warm, melty cheese, oozy and stringy and yummy? I think not. That's why grilled cheese is probably the world's most perfect meal. It can be tailored to any situation, any mood. Feeling traditional? Kraft singles to the rescue. Feeling gourmet? Goat cheese, honey and prosciutto on sourdough, if you please. Someplace in the middle perhaps? Brie and ham with a smear of jelly, raspberry, perhaps, or the cranberry-jalapeno I so love with cheeses of all kinds. On a nice sturdy white bread, of course. George Duran, of "Ham on the Street", did a show on grilled cheese once, and introduced me to the idea that you can take any bread, any cheese, and any jam (go fig! But it does work) and make a killer gc sandwich. That sweet-salty combo is lovely - thanks George, for your dedication.

So, seeing as though my cheese drawer was woefully empty (except the Kraft singles - I've been on a kick lately!) I stopped at the market today, and 3 happy cheeses found their way into my basket. Seeing as though it's mid-January, and we are a handful of days away from midterm exams (didn't like them as a student, don't really enjoy them as a staff member either!), the cheeses are nice and familiar.

Once again, the honey goat cheese (from Montchevre, by the way!). I also have a happy container of fresh mozza and a wonderfully sharp white cheddar from New York. And peace once again came to the Whore House. Fire up the cast iron griddle, probably the best way to make them. Although, for kicks, the pie iron from camping, stuck in the wood burning stove, provides me with many smiles as well, as I sit on the floor in the light of the fire and lick cheese from my fingers...

Grilled cheese - because in these times, we could all use a bit more comfort and happiness. Peace out, cheese love