I keep promising you more information on all the cheese in my life and failing to deliver when I get distracted by some shiny recipe. It doesn’t help that I’m so new in the cheese world that everything seems exciting, but my knowledge is all fairly shallow so I always seem to talk myself into deep water. Anyways what I am trying to communicate here is the silence does not mean lack of enthusiasm!
Thanks to some incredible Christmas gifts from my parents I spent some time at the Cheese School of San Francisco (yes this exists. and yes, it is amazing.) in the past few months. From the moment I walked in, was offered a glass of wine and found a name card and a plate of cheese I was more than sold. In fact I am head over heels for this place. Here are some fun facts I picked up there in the past few months:
1) Softer cheeses (such as brie) have a lower fat content than harder cheeses (such as cheddar) because the harder cheeses have more whey in them. So indulge away in that delightful piece of brillat-savarin you picked up this afternoon. Sip champagne and eat some strawberries with it.
2) Aging cheese and making cheese are two entirely seperate ball games. In retrospect this seems painfully obvious, but the truly great agers (or affineurs) seem to be almost gods in the cheese world.
3) The cheese community seems fairly small and VERY friendly.
4) Mountain cheeses taste of the mountains. Smell the rind, break the cheese in two and smell that two. The mountains hold my heart, and these cheeses hold my taste buds.
5) I found a bleu cheese I actually like, Bleu d’Auvergne. It is actually tasty, and tastes great with something sweet. Apparently that is the trick, moldy cheeses love sugar.
Honestly folks, I’m a complete beginner in this world. I am just way too excited and had to spill some of this new information off. Suffice to say, I don’t know what learning about cheesemaking on the farm this summer will hold expect that for better or worse I’ll learn a lot. I also can gaurantee that the cheeses will come out better than my first attempt at aging a cheese (RIP Cheever). Cheever the Cheddar didn’t turn out as planned, and I spared y’all the photos. After Cheever I took a step back to fresh cheese, and so far things are working out.
I learned more about cheese in general than actual cheesemaking the past few months ( I did make a mean panir, chevre, ricotta and marscapone with a fun group of people one class though!) One of the most important things I learned my first class from Colette Hatch (Madame de Fromage) was, “Go ahead and serve it, as long as it is delicious.” So there you have it folks, straight from Madame de Fromage to me to you, eat delicious cheese.