Sticking with tradition I made my dear friend Hans his birthday present today, which is large amount of spaetzle, with emmanthal cheese, caramelized onion and bacon. Lots of bacon. I felt I needed to share a quick photo of what I spent a chunk of my day doing.
Also, the oven is totally the way to go when cooking a large amount of bacon. Trust me.
Having just finished my second week as a part-time Cheese monger at Formaggio Kitchen it seems like a good time to write about some of the cheeses I've tasted. These two I actually brought home for dinner this week on the recommendation of one of the more experienced cheese mongers.
First, half a piece of Charolais.
Charolais is a goat cheese from Burgundy. It can be sold either very fresh or slightly aged. This piece was on the more aged side. It's got a bloomy rind and the center of this pieces was firm and chalky. I thought the flavour was kinda plain, but on the earthy side. In my mind I kept thinking the flavour was not unlike cream cheese and sour cream (but more complex) it had a sourness and a creaminess at the same time.
The next piece was Mothis Feuille.
This is also a goat cheese, but from Poitou. When I was being shown how to set up the fresh goat cheese case my manager told me that this specific bloomy rind is common in cheese of that region. It's aged sitting on a chestnut leaf, which I'm assuming is a tradition and doesn't do much to the flavor. But I'm new to this. This cheese is much creamier with a very small center that's chalky. I found the flavor more pungently earthy than the charolais, slightly bitter and more salty. For some reason as I was spreading and eating this cheese I kept thinking about melted rubber. I think it's got to do with the texture of the gooeyness, and it's shininess.
Also - the combination of apples and comté is a new favorite.
The book that was recommended to me the first day was Steve Jenkins "Cheese Primer" and it's been very helpful. Also very inexpensive to buy used online.
I'm really enjoying my new job. I'm learning a lot every day I'm there and trying to read up on cheese when I'm not. There's a lot to learn which can feel a tad daunting but the rest of the staff have been very patient and supportive.
More cheese next week.