Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Confessions of a Cheese-aholic, Part Two

Perhaps you recall my previous forays into the realm of exotic cheeses. You can check those posts out Here, Here and Here. It's been quite awhile since then, but my penchant for fantastic cheese has not waned in the least. If anything, it's gotten much more powerful. I can't walk into a grocery store without checking out their cheese section. And if there's nothing to stop me, I'll spend ages there.
I'll be honest...I really don't know anything about cheese. So while I may pretend to be some posh, snooty cheese connoisseur, all I really know is what I've tried and what I like (or don't like!)
I know I love Chevre goat cheese, Brie, aged Gouda, fresh mozzarella, and Tillamook cheese curds. I know I don't like Gruyere or Tilsiter. I know I'm dying to try Mimolette, smoked mozzarella, Humbolt Fog Blue, and a million other cheeses. And that's about as extensive as my knowledge is. But that's why it's so fun! Every time I try a new cheese, I learn something new! : )
I discovered Whole Foods a few months ago, but hadn't had the chance to go visit yet. But, I had visited their website, and their cheese section (of course) enthralled me. I finally got the chance the other day! I spent forever just browsing the section, eyeing the massive wheels of parmigiana-reggiano, fingering the little wedges of Mimolette, and salivating over the rounds of five different blues. Aaah.
The best part of bigger cheese sections, I've found, is that they often have a little basket or two of smaller wedges of cheese. I imagine these are the leftover bits from cutting the cheese. The wonderful thing is, they're usually only a dollar or two! This means I can try all sorts of fun cheese, without spending hardly anything at all! And, if I don't like it, no worries. Happiness!
So, after much deliberation, I chose two of the little beauties. I was particularly drawn to the Bries and such. I haven't had a brie in so long! Preggo= no soft cheese, due to the possibility of bacteria. So, I ended up choosing two soft, "Bloomy" cheeses. Bloomy refers to the soft, white rind found on most creamy Brie type cheeses. See, I did learn something!

The first one I snatched up was a Triple Cream St. Andre. I've had my eye on this one for a very long time. Triple Cream just sounds so decadent and rich. Mmm. The sign called it "one of the most luscious cheeses in the world." Yum. Here is a description of it that I found online:

"with a reputation as a blend of the perfect brie mixed with equal parts of thick, sour cream and whipped sweet cream. St. André is made from cow's milk and enriched with pure cream. St. André is also fairly rare. Containing no less than 75% butterfat for every 100 grams of cheese, St. André is commonly agreed to be 50% richer than the average Camembert. This cheese is a favorite for cheese boards!"

Sold! I haven't tried it yet...I'm saving the best for last!

The other little sample I picked was a double cream Brie, Fromager D'Affinois. It looked so soft and smooth and buttery. It was practically oozing in it's packaging.

" Fromage d’Affinois may remind you of a triple-creme, so loaded it is with silky fat. But that texture is achieved by "ultra filtration," which breaks down the fat molecules in the milk in order to further disperse them through the paste. The result is a thick, nearly whipped spread of tangy, milky goodness."

This one I have tried! And- it. is. so. good. It's very rich and creamy, and very gooey! I think that a gooey cheese is just so much fun...so different! It just wraps itself right around your tongue, then slowly melts away. I immediately thought of sour cream as soon as I tasted it. It's sweeter than traditional Brie, and I actually found the mild rind quite enjoyable, while with a regular Brie I tend to cut it off after a bite or two. I could eat a lot of this cheese. Sweet and buttery, with a bit of tang. Fabulous.

Sigh. I do love cheese. I think that someone should start a grilled cheese only restaurant...it could be called something "cheesey" ;) like "The Big Cheese" or "Say Cheese!"
All the sandwiches could have really kitschy names for the sandwiches like
"The All American"-traditional, american grilled cheese on white toast
"The Billy Goat Gruff"- Chevre goat cheese, basil pesto, and sundried tomatoes on pita
"The Easy Briesy"-Brie and apples on wheat berry bread
"It's So Gouda!"-Gouda and bacon on sundried tomato bread
"The Babe"- Blue cheese and steak on a hoagie (get it? Babe the Big Blue Cow?)

Clearly I've spent way too much time thinking about this. : )
But I would eat there all the time!!

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