Wednesday, March 01, 2006

the cheese tome

Who knew that cheese could be so exciting? I look at a freshly cut wheel of Westcombe Red and I break out into a huge smile. This cheese used to taste like plastic. Now it has a nice fruity finish with a pleasant edge. Wow. This is why I like cheese. This is how I know I'm in the right place. I get so excited about a freshly cut wheel that I must share it with my customers. Why not? My job it to tell 'em what's great and why. I'll try a sliver of Pleasant Ridge Reserve and do a happy dance. I can taste the love and devotion that went into the making of this cheese. It reflects it. The care that the cows receive, the quality of the grass they eat, the gentle ladling of the curds into the molds. Every step matters, from beginning to end. Mariano Gonzalez, the award winning cheesemaker at Fiscalini Cheese Company said that when he tastes his cheese, he can tell if he was in a good mood that day.

Update: July 27, 2006. Fiscalini's Bandaged-Wrapped Cheddar took a couple of blue ribbons at the American Cheese Society Conference last week. A really savory, traditional English style. farmstead cheddar. The texture (paste) is on the dry, crumbly side, and like a good cheddar, it's been rubbed with lard and bound in cloth to help it age properly.