Friday, May 21, 2010

Mmm...buffalo milk cheese

The most famous cheese using water buffalo milk is Mozzarella di Bufala, but did you know that water buffalo milk is used to make quite a few other cheeses? If you're a lover of blue cheeses you should try the Blu di Bufala in our case, and if you like your cheese a bit strong and earthy, you have got to come in for this week's pairing.

Quadrello di Bufala is a washed rind cheese that many people compare to Taleggio. While both cheeses are square shaped and washed they have remarkably different flavor profiles. Taleggio (often called "Italian Brie") has a soft, creamy, paste and a sticky, moist rind. The strong beefy aromas and milky, flowery, slightly salty taste make this a favorite on the cheese board, or melted into macaroni and cheese.

Quadrello di Bufala on the other hand has a much more delicate flavor and aroma. The use of water bufalo milk adds a rich buttery texture that coats the mouth. At first whiff you may smell mushrooms, and cultured milk. The flavor profile is slightly tangy with a bit of sweetness. A great cheese for entertaining friends with a cheese plate, or shaved over veggies. Personally I like it on top of warm fava bean salad.

Jamie suggest pairing this with the Rietvallei Chenin Blanc. This South African wine comes from grapes that are completely hand harvested. This dry white has a very aromatic nose of tropical fruits, dried apples, banana and flowers. Full bodies with balanced acidity the fruit forward flavor of the wine help cleanse the palate and balance the earthy aromas normally found in a washed rind cheese.

A delicious pairing just in time for the first great picnic weather weekend we've had for quite some time.

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