Independence Day: Free to Eat Good Cheese

July 4, 2010

Yesterday was a busy day.  We had to squeeze in our cheese shopping between preparations for Jacob’s birthday party in the afternoon and a long morning of sports viewing bliss with two FIFA World Cup quarterfinals and the Tour de France prologue.  Jacob and I went shopping and spotted a lot of celebrating soccer fans.  It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day in San Francisco–a rarity in early July.

This week we shopped cheese with a few criteria.  We discussed buying all American cheese for Independence Day, but rejected this idea because 3 of the 4 cheeses we purchased last week were from California.  We also had a suggestion from our uber critic to get a more aromatic selection.  Jacob went shopping with his own criteria, too: nothing tangy.

A few weeks back, Ben and I were introduced to a raw sheep’s milk cheese, Vallee d’Aspe.  We both liked this cheese a lot, but decided against it because we thought Jacob would veto it.  This cheese was so intriguing that I wanted Jacob to try it on this shopping trip before ruling it out.  Jacob liked it in the shop, so we ticked one cheese of our list.

I suggested we try Garrotxa for our goat selection since this cheese is different than the chevre-style goat cheeses the boys were familiar with.  This selection would also get us into a new country of origin (Spain).  Jacob approved this choice after tasting a sample.

Our final selection was Langres, a soft and pungent cow’s milk cheese from France.  The cheese is tucked like a jewel in a little round box then sealed in plastic, but the cheese’s odor still leaks through its wrappings.  After sniffing it, Jacob commented that it “smells like a dirty diaper” (that should appease our uber critic’s demand for an aromatic selection).  I anticipate some fun, descriptive comparisons when we taste the Langres.

In the coming week we will post evaluations of: Vallee d’Aspe, Garrotxa, and Langres.

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