Monday, November 12, 2007

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

It seems that it's been a while since I just straight up wrote about some cheeses that I am truly in love with right now. And what better way to start a Monday than to wax poetic about some lovely and wonderful specimens of fromage? Get ready, get set to get sentimental about some dairy. Embrace your inner cheese dork. It's cool, you're among friends.


Constant Bliss, fresh off the truck...

Sigh. There is nothing nicer than peering into a little wooden crate full of fat and happy little Constant Blisses. Usually shipped right at 60 days (the legal limit for raw milk cheeses) they arrive at the shop at their fullest and most flavorful. Each fluffy and buttery cheese is perfectly ripe, with hints of mushroom and spice and wet straw on the rind. Did I happen to mention that we just received a shipment? For the uninitiated, now's the time to savor the Bliss. The name'll need no further explanation.

A freshly opened wheel of Pleasant Ridge Reserve...

Cheese, much like wine, is full of kinetic energy, just waiting to express the myriad of flavors locked beneath its toughened rind. When you uncork a bottle, or crack open a wheel of cheese, all that savory goodness that's been percolating for months, sometimes even years, is released and you (lucky cheese eater) get the flavor equivalent of a slap in the face. In a good way though. Pleasant Ridge, now in its extra aged incarnation, has been aging for a year and a half, and is so chock full of rich carmelly goodness, it'll knock your socks off. We crack a wheel open just about every day, so chances are, your day will come to taste the fresh stuff sooner rather than later!

A big old spoonful of fresh ricotta (for breakfast, lunch, or dessert)...

I have been known to sneak a little spoonful of fresh ricotta every now and again to test its fluff and sweetness of demeanor. I do it in the name of quality control. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Contrary to popular belief, fresh ricotta is not just for lasagna. Use it for everything. No kidding. For breakfast, plop it on pancakes or eat it in a bowl with some fresh fruit, preserves, or honey. For lunch it's perfect on a sandwich, in an omelette, or simply mixed with olive oil and herbs atop a little crust of bread. For dessert, have it any old way you like it. A friend of mine mixes his with rum and espresso. (yum!) In summation, Fresh ricotta is to cooking what a blank canvas is to painting. Add as much or as little as you like to it, and you'll come out on the other side a happy camper. Maybe those minimalists really were on to something...

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