Mmmm Cheese

I have so, so much cheese in my possession right now, I don't know what to do with myself.  Dakin Farm in Vermont is a specialty food store with divine bacon and, apparently, a wonderful selection of cheeses.  And they happen to be having a sale.  Gasp.  So my father has graced me with copious varieties of cheese in all their dairy wonder, in addition to some of that bacon and some maple syrup (since the world would be absolutely over if I were to run out).  My dinner last night consisted of cheese, bread, and grapes, and I was so udderly [harharhar] pleased about it.  Since I have something a little more labor intensive planned for the next post, I figured y'all wouldn't mind if I gave you a cheese lesson instead of a recipe today.  Is that alright?  Cool, I shall take your silence as consent.

My personal favorite was the Blythedale Farm Vermont Brie.  The texture was like buttah.  The flavor, too, was incredibly mild, but soft and sweet and barely tangy on the back of my tongue.  It was quite different than commercial bries I've had, which I find to be more assertive in taste and more solid in texture.  This brie began to slump and melt even at room temperature, which I didn't mind one bit, having been smeared across a thin, crusty baguette.  The warm puddle of brie had a buttery, silken mouth-feel against the crisp shards of bread, only interrupted by the soft, toothsome rind.  I really love brie and peaches together, grilled on ciabatta bread, so now I'm really wishing it were summer so I could make this come true.

When I smelled this next cheese, I thought it might be a Parmigiano Reggiano because of its strong nutty and salty qualities.  It's actually a cloth-bound cheddar from Cabot that was aged for ~10 months.  The texture is somewhere between the smoothness of a familiar block cheddar and the crumbliness of a Pecorino Romano.  The aging process highlights the savory aromas of almond and walnut, supported by sweet and sharp undertones. This would be great in a non-traditional pesto of walnuts and arugula, tossed with pasta.

This third cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm is a toma, which is an Italian cow's milk cheese.  It's made with raw (non-pasteurized) milk and is aged for ~6 months, which renders an interesting dichotemy between the subtle scent of grassy farmland and the ripened tang of age.  I liked this toma least of the three cheeses because of these grass flavors, as they rose from subtle undertones on the back of my tongue to a distracting aroma that was too reminiscent of a farm to be pleasant to me.  John didn't seem to have the same negative reaction as I did, so I wouldn't write off this cheese just yet.  I will say that, while I didn't appreciate the flavor profile of the cheese as much as I had hoped, the texture is great and it melts beautifully.

Next time, we'll have bagels, or perhaps focaccia, I haven't decided yet (!!!!).

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