Monday, February 23, 2009

a peeksee into the cheese drawer

The deli ham slices leaked all over the floor of the meat/cheese drawer. What is your problem, ham? Why can't you just be cool?

So I had to extract all the innards of the drawer to clean it out, and here they are:
On the back row we have the bulk mozzarella I got for our New Year's Eve party. It doesn't move very quickly. Next is a tiny Babybel from Christmas. Then the rind from a piece of Rockhill's Snow Canyon Edam, which I'm saving for soup, then some medium cheddar, which is our base model.

Schmancier Cheeses
Middle Row
First up is Manchego, which my mom has adopted as her best-loved child. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it's a somewhat waxy, mild sheep's milk cheese that is perfect with fruit--especially quince preserves or paste. Quince paste, not the kind of paste that has an anthropomorphized cow on the bucket. Aside: when I was a wee bairn of less than five, I had to go to day care while my mom did whatever it was that she did. Harvest organs? Human trafficking? Who knows. Anyway, I knew that I grooved on the taste of glue, and was pleased to find a great big bucket of it back by the art sinks. I opened up the lid and took a stupid huge fistful of what turned out to be paste. Gross! I mean, how sick is that?

Next is a nice aged cheddar we got from Costco--crunchy and crumbly and it improves with age. Not at all footy.

Then Midnight Moon, which you already know about.

Roaring Forties, likewise. Look, I'm not going to beat that dead horse. If you haven't tried Midnight Moon or Roaring Forties, it's your own fault.

Last on this row is Valdeon, another blue. More crumbly than Roaring Forties, and stronger. A nice blue, but not overly unique, to my mind.

Front row
Selun, which you should never, ever buy, even on a dare. I got what I deserved, because I asked the Liberty Heights Fresh cheesemonger for a soft, washed-rind cheese, even though I hated plasticky Taleggio. He said it was a real stinker, and he wasn't just whistling Dixie. He also said it wasn't assaultive, which was a wicked lie. It's totally assaultive, if you call smelling like poo assaultive, which I do. It has a really quiet finish, but right at first you're pretty sure you're eating an outhouse.

Then comes Haystack Mountain Snowdrop, which I want you to go buy right now and let it ripen for a long time. It's goaty and runny (at least at this point in its life), salty and mellow, and so, so good. I want to eat it right out of the rind with a spoon. I got it for free from the Whole Foods people, because it's about to date. Woohoo! Free cheese that's almost but not quite garbage! Eat it with toast or crackers (or a spoon), not fruit.

I forgot the Parmesan--you know what it tastes like. You know it's a little expensive. You know that doesn't matter.