World Cup of Cheese

July 11, 2010

This week’s cheese buying was constrained by geography.  For the past week, we batted around the idea of an arbitrary  cheese battle related to the FIFA World Cup.  The idea was to pick one cheese each from the countries participating in the final match.  We got lucky when Spain and Holland advanced.

The problem with Holland, however, was that we were back to gouda and these cheeses have not impressed our tasters.  We spent some time trying to find a gouda-style cheese that was acceptable, rejecting one aged gouda and another with cumin.  We settled on Parrano, a gouda-style cheese with hints of parmesan.

For our Spanish cheese, we selected Monte Enebro.  The cheesemonger pulled this off the shelf and we were immediately intrigued.  The whole cheese looked like a weathered brick: a smokey gray log about 10-12 inches long and 4 inches in diameter.  A slice revealed a cloud-white interior.  This beauty was an easy buy.

We also asked for a cheese from the French Alps.  Why?  My family knows that every July, I become obsessed with the Tour de France cycling race.  Yesterday, the race transitioned to the French Alps where it will remain for several stages.  Geography dictated this choice.  Our alpine cheese selection was Beaufort.

We couldn’t leave the cheese shop with just 3 cheeses this time.  The boys suggested I choose another that they would not pre-taste in the shop.  Jacob had expressed concern that by tasting cheeses in the shop, they were skewing the population of cheeses sampled to those they liked.  I chose Pont l’Eveque as the wild card cheese for the week.

This week, we will post evaluations of: Parrano, Monte Enebro, Beaufort, and Pont l’Eveque.

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