06 June, 2010
start in the cheese case
i've had an opportunity to taste some good cheese lately and i'm hooked on farmstead cheese. the definition i know is that this means the cheese is made and aged on the farm where the goat, sheep or cow's are stabled and milked.
the term 'artisanal' has lost some of it's meaning, along such terms as 'natural' and 'healthy'. i've had this discussion with a few cheese mongers, a wine maker and in my own head. i like a good baguette and i know how to bake one as well as choose one in the grocery. i look for a 'standard of identity', when i see a term such as 'artisan produced' or 'artisanal' product X, the term is not a standard of identity it is a marketing gimmick. that said, i still buy an artisan baked baguette, it's just not labeled as such.
back to the cheese; the last one i bought after one taste, the smell (OMG!) sealed the deal. i like the stinky cheese and it has a rind that's beautiful, i believe it's an aged sheep milk cheese, the mystery is because i had a bite saw the tan/brown pebbly rind and knew i had found a good cheese, the name is secondary. the farmers market stand had just three baskets and cutting board. in the baskets were 10 or twelve wedges wrapped in wax paper, i tried one and....had to have it, take it home, keep it in my refrigerator. of course a few minutes later i let my wife see it and she turned her nose up , pouted and asked me how much i paid, i believe she was jealous. go down and get yourself a love tree farmstead cheese, and you might like it.