I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I can has Cheese?

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Female Cheesemongers are hot

 I had to walk away from my desk at work one day because I was about to physically assault a co-worker and according to me skimming the company HR booklet, I am apparently not allowed to do that. The discussion came up about cheese and she was inquiring me on how many calories a piece of cheese has. I asked her to clarify in what kind of cheese, meaning the prepackaged and processed cheese or tasty artisanal cheese. She them goes on to utter not fighting words, but beat down words:

“Well there isn’t a difference, isn’t all cheese like processed anyway?”

I had to excuse myself from my desk, in order to not give her 5 finger slap in the face. There are so many things wrong with that statement. I am pretty sure if you said that in a country that celebrates cheese such as maybe France or Italy, she would be publicly shunned and all the kids at school would laugh at her. Although I do respect the singles slices for the nostalgia factor, to compare it to such cheeses as a sharp Comte, or a creamy Mozzarella is insulting to anyone that makes and likes cheese.

Shopping for cheese is hard because I need to proactively set myself a price limit as well as a maximum amount of cheese. If I did not set these kinds of rules on myself, I would be broke and living in a cheese cave. It is also hard because the two cheese shops that I frequent the most, Lucy’s Whey in Chelsea Market and Saxelby Cheesemongers have some very attractive women that work there. I do not know what it is, but there is something really hot about a female Cheesemonger. Maybe it is the way they say “washed rind” or "Manchego" just makes me want to buy even more cheese. Also they have a great personality (no this is really true, not weird code word for ugly) and are passionate about the cheeses they sell.

Mt. Tam by Cowgirl Creamery

The Mt. Tam by Cowgirl Creamery from Point Reyes Station CA is a washed rind cheese. The first thing that you notice about the lucious white Mt. Tam is that it lacks the signature uber-pungent and room clearing smell that the ever so good Redhawk cheese has. Nonetheless, it is a tasty cheese. The Mt. Tam is a triple-cream made with organic milk and is aged for three weeks. It is firm but just soft enough to make it spreadable and eating it is like drinking a shot of heavy cream which I have unfortunately done in some less than memorable college weekends. It is smooth with dairy and has a mushroom earthy undertone to it and is just reaches the point of being rich without it overwhelmingly luscious.

Dorset from Consider Bardwell Farms

The Dorset from Consider Bardwell Farms in Pawlet, VT is a washed rind cheese made with raw Jersey Cow’s milk. Although it is a washed rind, it is a pretty firm cheese and not one that is spreadable. Personally I was just fine just eating it how it was. If it was not weird I would just start taking bites of it and forgo cutting it. However, it is a great cheese to snack on and put into sandwiches. It has a hint of pungency to it which makes it a pretty safe cheese to eat at the office without co-workers asking if someone forgot to take out the trash. Eating it there is an initial sharpness but then it quickly mellows out with a nutty note.

Peppercorn Raclette from Spring Brook Farms


The Peppercorn Raclette from Spring Brook Farms, VT I regret only picking up a quarter pound of it and wish I picked up more. Raclettes are a semi-soft cheese that is mainly produced in France and Switzerland and Spring Brook is one of the few American cheese makers producing a great Raclette. The Raclette is mild and grassy and the incorporation of peppercorns gives it a refreshing spice. Although it is not overtly sharp or powerfully distinct taste, this is however a great cheese for snacking and especially great for melting. Melting it I think gives it complexity and again, tastes great. This cheese is great texturally when it is melted and has that great gooey factor with out the insane amount of messiness. At one point I was enjoying this cheese so much I contemplated on actually melting it on to the strawberry Poptart I was eating. Then I realized the peppercorns would throw the flavors off and besides, brie would work better. 

Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese


I am a fan of runny cheeses and although I was originally aiming to pick up the Winnemere when I went to Saxelby but it was not going to be in until next week and Anne, being amazingly charming pointed me to this cheese and I am glad she did. The Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin is a seasonal wash rind raw cow milk cheese that is wrapped with spruce bark for what I can tell is there for structural integrity because without it, I am sure it would become a puddle of sticky cheese goodness. This is a very runny cheese, runny like a 5 year old with a cold but more appealing. It is a smooth slightly salty cheese that I think taste like a farm in a complete good way. It is milky and buttery and I want to say that it even tasted a bit beefy as well. It was luscious but not overpowering and it had very little “stink” factor which I think makes it a good cheese to introduce to someone that is unfamiliar with washed rind runny cheeses. The runny texture is great to spread on just about anything or if you really want, you can scoop it out and eat it like a dumped girl spooning out frosting.

Anyone that says that American cheeses cannot stack up to the Frogs across the Atlantic or general European cheeses needs to get out more an try this cheese especially when the counter is manned by gorgeous women (sorry Murray's, everytime I go, its all dudes). Like pie, there is a cheese out there for everyone.

Lucy’s Whey
425 W 15th St
(between 9th Ave & 10th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Saxelby Cheesemongers
120 Essex St, #17
New York, NY 10002

1 comment:

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