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.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Come and Meet a Cheese Legend!

In 1982, when I was wasting time by watching Knight Rider and Dynasty a woman in Texas was embarking on a career that would not only change her life, but would touch the lives and tummies of millions of people.

The woman is Paula Lambert of the Mozzarella Company. Paula had spent some time living in Italy and was disappointed upon her return to Texas that all the fresh mozzarella she could find was nothing like what she has had in Italy. From that disappointment sprang an a wonderful idea. She would make her own cheese.

Ms. Lambert went back to Italy to learn how to make the cheese she had grown to love, and then brought that knowledge back here to the States. Like many cheesemakers she started small, selling only 100 pounds of mozzarella a week. Then she got her cheeses into some professional kitchens, won some awards at the ACS and started getting a larger audience.

Today the Mozzarella Company creates 250,000 pounds of cheese-nearly all of it handmade-and they're creating several different types of cheese. One of our favorites is Hoja Santa. The Spanish named Hoja Santa translates to "sacred leaf". Often used in Mexican cooking, Paula used the leaf to wrap her delicate fresh goat cheese. The resulting cheese has a fresh lemony, tartness with a hint of mint and sassafrass. Absolutely delicious!

Please come and join us on Friday, May 21 from 4-6:30 at our Lake St. store as we proudly host a demo featuring this lovely cheese with Mozzarella Company founder and cheese legend Paula Lambert.