Wednesday, 4 July 2007

A Taste of Something Cheesy

I have been relieved to learn, by talking through my fixation with others and hearing back the same from them, that being a Cheese Addict is not an uncommon thing. Research is still out as to whether or not cheese is chemically addictive, but I can testify to the hold it has over me. Given the choice between cheese and chocolate? Cheese. Cheese and coffee? Cheese. Cheese and peanut butter? Difficult, but probably cheese. The only reason I don’t eat more than I do is because it makes me a bit ill (sometimes more than a bit) but that hasn’t stopped me, merely slowed me down. And whenever Mr. Ambrosia and Nectar finds me in the kitchen, hiding behind the fridge door eating cheese, he’ll become both upset (“It makes you ill!”) and disappointed (“You told me that last block of cheese was the last block of cheese”), but if he’s not already one of us, he’ll never truly understand the power it has over you.

Based on some recommendations, I tried Reblochon for the first time yesterday (bought it in stealth, cut big chunk, hid behind fridge door, cue Mr. Ambrosia and Nectar walking in on me). It is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, semi-mild and often described as ‘nutty’ and ‘autumnal’. The taste was indeed both things, while also being creamy and with a bit of leftover tang. The rind was a surprising addition to the experience – the cheese was not-quite-gooey soft and the rind was slightly-squidgy hard, and the two together gave very nice complementary textures. The smell of the Reblochon was something I really savored, smelling like an Italian market full of cured meats and cheese and dried mushrooms, all rolled together. I melted a bit in the microwave just to experience it warm, and it was a tantalizing view into the melted Reblochon world – the flavour came out slightly more, with the melted texture turning beautifully buttery.

As you would expect from the internet, there are some great cheese resources.

  • There’s a dedicated Reblochon site which loses a bit of impact since I can’t read French, but I do like the videos of happy people eating cheese.
  • A British site, dedicated to French cheese, tells you where in the UK you can get the particular cheese and what to expect from it’s flavour. There’s also a cheese quiz – I got 7 out of 7!
  • Artisinal Premium Cheese in New York has a great cheese glossary and a large variety of cheese (broken into helpful categories such as stinky, soft, hard-rind, etc) that are often difficult to find in the US.
  • CheddarVision web cam lets you watch a wheel of cheddar mature in real time. It’s been at it for 194 days (as of today) and you can start at the beginning and fastforward your way to the mouldy-rinded present. You can even become the cheese’s friend on Facebook (how haven’t I done that yet?)


Megan said...

we love your blog!!!
keep it up-- you have a talent for writing (we share your talent for eating). best to tom, and happy 4th.

james and megan

Tom said...

She's an addict! She needs help! She used to hide the dead, red carcasses of the baby bells she'd devoured and claim they weren't hers when I found them. Classic compulsive addictive behevior. Help not encouragment.

Katja said...

Mmm ... cheese ...

My best friend gave me a book ALL ABOUT cheese for my birthday a few years back. She knows me too well.