Monte Enebro: Adults-Only Cheese
July 15, 2010
Monte Enebro is a pasteurized goat’s milk cheese from Spain. It is hand-made, formed into logs of about 12-16″ long, then covered in ash. Also in the rind is penicillium roqueforti, the cheese culture used in Roquefort production. The cheese is aged for 1-2 months.
Monte Enebro is a cheese of contrasts. For such a young cheese, it looks like an ancient stone. The interior of the cheese is snowy white and it darkens to beige near the rind. The exterior rind of the cheese is mottled, ashy, and shows colors of gray, black and brown.
Monte Enebro’s has an array of scents. Its rind smells moldy and musty like an attic. The ash rind also gives off a scent similar to post-campfire perfume.
The uneven surface texture of Monte Enebro contrasts with a smooth and soft interior. To the touch, Monte Enebro is a bit squishy. It holds up well under the knife, slicing neatly, and does not degrade out of refrigeration.
Monte Enebro should be eaten with the interior and the rind together. Without the rind, the interior of the cheese is extremely salty. The rind has a light blue cheese flavor that counters the saltiness of Monte Enebro’s interior, but does not completely balance the cheese. The consistency of the interior is creamy and smooth and has a nice mouth feel.
This is a cheese for those who appreciate complex flavors. Adults will enjoy the interesting contrasts in color, texture, aroma and flavor this cheese offers. The rind’s blue cheese flavor enhances the cheese and should not be avoided. Our adolescent tasters ignored the rind until encouraged to try it with the cheese’s interior; after his try, Jacob simulated death. He recovered to proclaim his immense dislike for the cheese.
Monte Enebro is an intriguing cheese that should not be treated casually. The cheese is so salty that it should be balanced by something sweet on the plate (perhaps fruit), or a sweet beverage. This is the kind of cheese that I would introduce to adult family and friends who appreciate complex flavors. Monte Enebro is not likely to appeal to everyone and definitely not to kids.