Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cheese Magic

After a self-inflicted cheese-free June, I started thinking about the cheeses I had missed the most. Cheddars and mozarellas came to mind, of course, for their comforting and important roles in salads, sandwiches, and on pizzas. But I also longed for those stand-alone cheeses which taste like magic in more refined quantities. Two of my favourites:

Port Salut: This unbelievable semi-soft cow's milk cheese has a lovely mild, slightly tangy, almost yogurt-like flavour which goes amazingly well with fruity, young red wines. I'm told it was first made by 19th century monks in Entrammes, France who honed their cheese-making skills during times of political unrest. Despite its mild flavour, Port Salut has an insane smell, so eat quickly!

Saint André: This perfect triple creme cheese is 75% butterfat, enrobed in a fuzzy white rind. So rich is this cheese that it actually tastes metallic when paired with wine. A better choice is a nice hoppy beer to bring out the nutty flavour of the cheese. Serve with sliced pears or dried apricots and a warm baguette.