Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nice Enough Little Goat Bocconcini from Italy

I found this little cheese at the Wegman's in Ithaca, on the same day that I bought the Mimolette that I posted about before. And when I say little, I mean it - the whole thing sat quite easily in the palm of my hand. (My limited knowledge of the Italian language makes me think that it translates to "little something".) To be perfectly honest, its diminutiveness and charming packaging was definitively part of its appeal to me! It is made of goat's milk in Italy. It had a tender and thin rind (the outer layer of a cheese), with a paste similar to that of an unripe brie or camembert. The flavor was gently goaty, and subtle enough to make me not sure that it was ripe when I ate it. Perhaps I should have found it a cool spot in my basement and let it sit for a few days. (All of this is somewhat inconsistent with Wikipedia's article on bocconcini. So perhaps what I bought is not really traditional???)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My favorite cheese - Mimolette

So, for a couple of months now I've been working on learning cheese. I've read a couple of books (more on that in later posts), but more importantly I've started buying and eating good cheese and paying close attention to how it really tastes, and what I like. Now I'm starting a blog as a way, more than anything else, to keep track of these experiences. The idea, more or less, is to become a cheese "snob". (Is it bad to be a snob? Not necessarily, I don't think.) For this first post I'm going to talk about what is pretty quickly becoming my favorite cheese, Mimolette: I really like this cheese. When I go somewhere like Wegman's, the only grocery store remotely near me where I can buy top end cheeses, to buy cheeses new to me, I end up getting a little piece of this too. It is very firm, being a pressed and aged cheese, with a slightly sweet, deep, nutty, and richly flavored paste. ('Paste' is the cheese term for the inner of a cheese, the part you actually eat, to be distinguished from the 'rind' which you can eat, though most people don't.) It is made from pasteurized cow's milk and comes in a largish round ball, from which your local cheese purveyor will cut a wedge. It is French. The piece you see here is the third piece I've bought and eaten. The first piece was from Wegman's in Syracuse, the second was from a little shop near Notting Hill in London, and the third was from Wegman's in Ithaca(that's the one you see here, bought yesterday). The first and third pieces were a very deep orange, but the second was paler and not nearly as tasty. So I am assuming that it gets darker and richer with age, like so many good cheeses. If you want to know a little more about Mimolette, go here.