Monday, August 11, 2008

And the Sheep Rolls On...

So, last week I mentioned that August is a month chock full of new cheeses, and this week seems to be no exception. The folks up at Woodcock Farm, dairy mecca that it is, have sent a smattering of new soft sheep and mixed-milk cheeses for us to nibble and heap praise on. They're gooey and ripe and tasty as all get-out, so come on by the shop and have yourself a lovin' spoonful.

Summer Snow
(pasteurized sheeps' milk. Woodcock Farm, VT)

Vermonters, stalwart souls that they are, spend about 8 months out of the year covered in snow (Or at least slogging through it in some fashion or another). It only makes sense that come August, they might start to get a bit nostalgic and wish for a little of the white stuff, if only in their minds. Summer Snow is a runny puddle of sheeps' milk cheese that is more than happy to oblige those wintry leanings. Ripened for just a few weeks, Summer Snow is coated by downy white rind that conceals the rich, melty paste within. Unsure of what to do with that load of veggies you zealously hauled home from the market this week? Make yourself a simple salad, and plop a bit of Summer Snow down beside it. Snag a fresh, crusty piece of bread from somewheres, and voila! Dinner is served.

Humble Pie
(pasteurized sheep and cows' milk. Woodcock Farm, VT)

This cheese actually arrived on the doorstep of the shop bearing the moniker 'Something New.' (i.e. that's what was written on the invoice... such and such pounds of 'Something New') And though I delighted in that name, I was informed on a quick phone call to the farm that the cheese did in fact have a tentative name, and that Humble Pie was it. Now, I hope I haven't let the cat out of the bag and spoiled the creative process entirely, but for now, this is what we'll call it. Humble Pie, a common American-ism that seems to be especially appropriate in this day and age, acutally evolved from a thing called Umble Pie, which was a pastry filled with different kinds of offal. Yum. We've come a long way from Umble with this tangy, tasty, and yes, a tad bit beefy cheese. The rind is washed ever so slightly with a b-linens-laced* brine and takes on a tawny, orangey glow after just a few weeks in the cellar.


*First cheese footote ever! I am such a nerd. B-Linens is a kind of bacteria that colonizes the rind of certain cheeses, usually those whose rinds are washed with brine or booze. It usually packs a stinky punch and give the rind an orange or reddish color.

Until next week, fellow cheesers!

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