Brownie's one too, but she has more self-control, so as we've been walking through the aisles at Fancy Food, I've eaten a piece off of almost every cheese plate while Brownie's only tasted a select few. I will tell you, it was the vast amount of cheese that made me go this year, especially considering that many of them don't come cheap, if you can find them at all. Onto the cheese....
There are the requisite pecorino romanos, parmesans, bries, bleus, and roqueforts, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm liking this "try different foods" kick I've been on. Within the last year and a half, it's been about trying goat cheeses, especially different fetas, and more pungent cheeses e.g. Saint Agur. The first cheese I found that stood out was Abbot's Gold from England.
It's a traditional cow's milk cheese, with the twist being the addition of carmelized onions. It gives it a wonderful sweet taste, along with the salty. I will definitely pick this up if I see it in the stores, as it would be a welcome appetizer or a delicious, to-die-for grilled cheese.
Close to the Abbot's Gold was another unique cheese from England, Sticky Toffee Cheese. This was another that combined the sweet with the salty, though I think this one is mainly best on a dessert cheese platter. I loved the addition of nuts and toffee flavoring. Toffee is not the biggest dessert in the US, and I think that's not a good thing.
By far, the best cheese I've had so far (so good I thought about it last night and had to go back for more today) was ALL the cheeses from Cypress Grove Chevre. First up, I tasted their Purple Haze (no, not that kind of Purple Haze!), a goat milk cheese made with lavender buds and fennel pollen. It tastes very earthy, the lavender and fennel pollen don't overwhelm the creamy, acidic taste from the goat's milk, and it all combined is a different flavor than what you're used to. I could easily imagine eating this as is, or perhaps melting some over pasta or adding it to a sandwich....
The next one we tried at Cypress Grove was the Truffle Tremor, another goat's milk cheese. This was a hands-down winner. The truffle flavor really plays on your umami taste buds (yes, I believe in umami), which compliments the salty. The cheese is very creamy, and it's another one I could see myself using 500 different ways.
We also loved the Bermuda Triangle goat cheese, the special feature being the unusual triangle shape. The shape makes it easier to cut off pieces for me to eat. Along with their Humboldt Fog, Lamb Chopper, and Midnight Moon, Brownie, Lawman, and I were quite taken with the work of their goats. And we will be saying hello again tomorrow, and eating more cheese, right Brownie?
Cypress Grove Chevre is based out of Arcata, CA, but if you see their cheese in your market, trust us and pick some up. Check out their website here.