Jackie Specht - Saving the World from Bland Cheese by Spreading the Word
I work in a library and I read whenever I am not asleep. Travel and good food are my particular reading specialities and the two combined have provided me with great adventures as I travel! I am, and always have been, a blue cheese girl; umami is my favorite taste sensation. So whenever and wherever I travel, I head to the blue cheese section of the cheese shop first. When I unwrapped the cheese that had been sent to me I sighed with sheer delight!! Those lovely blue veins, that wonderful smell, that slightly grainy feel of the cheese on your tongue. I was in heaven. This would be my dream taste testing.
My husband and I performed an informal taste test on Saturday (we had way too much fun,by the way) with the original Point Reyes Blue Cheese and the new cheese. We buy the original frequently and enjoy it with a good dish or on its own. They were distinctly diffferent; each had its own merits. We paired the new cheese with a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon (I have to confess that it was Two Buck Chuck, the Pinot was a good wine, however). It was delicious with both wines. However, when we paired it with a reputable Port it just did not mesh. We also paired it with a good dark chocolate (Seattle Chocolate Bar with Rainier Cherries) and it did not marry well. Our avocado and kumato salad with a balsamic vinagrette was a wow! And with salami it was a home run. We could see that this would be a good cheese to pair with Italian cold meats, e.g. proscuttio, capacolla, soppresetta. If I were twenty again and could afford the calories, I would put this cheese on a medium rare T-bone hot off the grill or on a good heirloom potato straight up with no butter. This would also be excellent in a spinach salad with summer fruits or with roasted green beans or asparagus. But the best way to eat it is alone.
This cheese reminded somewhat of a Bleu D'Auvergne. It had a more mellow flavor than the Orignal Blue Cheese and it seemed to have more depth. It stayed with you longer on the palate. The rind reminds me of the cheeses commonly found in France in all their roughness. I always eat the rind (or save for soups.) I took this to work for a sample from my co-workers, "The Cookbook Mafia", and it was universally agreed that we liked the new cheese the best. Even my contractor (we are building a new deck) loved the new cheese.
Would I buy this cheese? In a heartbeat. I loved the subtleness and the taste that stays in your mouth. Sign me up!