This week we're pulling from three of the most important food groups, chocolate, cheese and wine.
The chocolate comes to us from Antica Dolceria Bonajuto in Sicily, Italy. Founded in 1880 by Francesco Bonajuto, Antica Dolceria, has been recognized world-wide for it's chocolate production.
The chocolate begins with a mass of semi-ground cocoa that still contains its cocoa butter. The mass is heated to make it fluid, and when ready it is mixed with caster sugar and spices (either cinnamon or vanilla). The mixture is kept at a temperature that prevents the sugar crystals from melting and allows them to remain an integral part of the chocolate.
This chocolate is pure, without the addition of butter, vegetable fats, milk derivatives or lecithin, just sugar and spices. We are sampling the vanilla bars at the stores, but if you're looking for a deeper spice and slightly more savory characteristics I suggest pairing with the cinnamon bar.
Humbolt Fog comes to us from Cypress Grove in California. Cheesemaker Mary Keehn is one of the leading ladies that put a spotlight on goat cheese in the American dairy scene and introduced high quality goat cheese to the American palate. She began raising Alpine goats in the 1970's and quickly discovered that she had a natural talent for breeding goats. Her herd began winning numerous awards and before she knew it, Mary was recognized as America's premier Alpine dairy goat breeder.
Like many farmers she soon was faced with a surplus of milk and so turned to cheesemaking. Eeventually Mary made the decision to sell her goats and instead to focus on the artisan production of cheese. Cypress Grove supports the agricultural community in Humboldt county and buys milk from people who practice sustainable farming.
Humbolt Fog is an elegant, soft goat cheese. The texture is creamy and luscious with a subtle tangy flavor. Each handcrafted wheel features a ribbon of edible vegetable ash running through its center and a coating of ash under it's white exterior.
The wine is Jorge Ordonez Malaga Special Selection Muscat. Muscat is a phenomenal grape that yields some of the most wonderful sweet dessert wines and dry whites as well. It is a variety that is grown around the world with great success.
Special Selection comes from thirty year old vineyards in the mountains of Axarquia in the south of Spain. Fermentation is carried out completely in stainless steel tanks and, as is characteristic of this type of wine, the alcohol comes exclusively from grape fermentation.
Pale gold in color with intense fresh notes of orange and exotic spices, floral and musk this sweet wine is powerful on the palate, embracing and warm with just a punch of minerality.
The sweetness of the wine, slight acidity and tang of the goat cheese and the rich spice of the chocolate all come together to make a well-balanced, delicious, party of happiness in your mouth!