Wednesday, March 4, 2009

cheese is contagious

so last weekend we did it again. this time i made the excursion, dragging along pooka and my niece danica.

at first, pooka didn't want to go and she pitched a fit because she thought we would make her eat everything and wouldn't let her choose one or something like that. i'm not sure exactly, kisu us the family psychotherapist on her. i get too frustrated.

anyway, we bravely ventured into the cheese fridge at westborn market. that place is freezing! they had everything nicely sorted on wire racks. an entire 4' wide, 6 shelf rack of cheddar! one for swiss, several shelves for italian, blue, and french. the featured selections this month are irish, naturally.

pooka cheered up and decided to participate when i pointed out a chocolate cheese fudge. forgetting, momentarily, that we tried it and didn't particularly like it at the cheeshaus in frankenmuth, i allowed her to buy it.

danica picked out one, i chose one for me and one i thought kisu would like. we grabbed a baguette and headed home. $30 in cheese, people!

we tried to prepare a proper cheese tasting board, with a selection of crackers, baguette, and apple slices. elegance went right down the drain, however, when i dropped two hunks of cheese on the floor downstairs. pooka had to retrieve one from under the couch. the cat licked up the smears.

a very short time later, we were crumb-covered, lactose-saturated, and lethargic. we also had some new data for our cheese files:

chocolate cheese fudge: meh. one bite cheesy, one bite chocolately. neither in a good way. pooka liked it, so she will be getting it for lunch desserts for awhile.

white stilton with lemon zest: a (poorer) cousin to the mango/ginger variety we had last time. good flavor, but the zest left a gritty feel. paired well with the apple slices.

chevre with honey: i like goat cheese when it's incorporated with other things, like as a binder for a portobello filling (which i've done), but not so much when it's the main flavor. kisu and danica enjoyed it and the small portion we bought was eradicated.

formaggio with roasted garlic, tomato, and basil: like a pizza without the crust. so much flavor! i think it would be perfect melted onto the baguette, but we couldn't be bothered to go back upstairs.

a dutch cheese labeled vlaskaas: not sure if that is the brand name or the type. it was a hard cheese, similar to parmagiano reggiano, but not as pungent. it was described as buttery and sweet. it was fairly strong, but i decided that i liked it. good on the apple slices.

a good haul, but left us only wanting more. danica wants to participate again and we have already marked out 2 to try next time. i want to avoid too many mix-ins, like the herbs or the fruit. they're good, but i want to experience the natural flavor of the cheeses first. the inherent character infused by the bacteria that create each individual type.

wow, that makes it sound kind of disgusting.