Tuesday, September 27, 2005

cheese and dreams and aphrodisiacs

(Or google "cheese and dreams"). what more is there to say. cheese is a strong mind manipulator, and now we have some dubious scientific proof that supports my gut instinct. i'd like to add only that i've found that sharp cheddar and apples makes me talkative and also that theessoh seems to find Humboldt Fog an aphrodisiac.

Speaking of aphrodisiacs, while perusing the web like it's my job, this hot restaurant, Manresa in Los Gatos, CA number 38 of the the world's best 50 restaurants (so named by some brits I believe), is currently or was very recently serving up a taleggio oyster amuse bouche. As much as I adore taleggio (despite having made the mistake of eating the rind the first three times I ate it), i can't imagine that this can be any good unless they really manipulated the taleggio beyond my imagination. The reviewer (I believe on chowhound.com), noted that he had to then use the rest of the wine pairings to get the taste of that dish out. think about what (raw) oyster is usually paired with: the strongest taste pairing are the shallots in a mignonette. can anything be quite as different as some gooey taleggio? methinks not. shallots may linger, but they won't coat the tongue. here's my analogy (and i know i haven't had the dish yet so i should bite my tongue), but it would be like salty pepto bismo with an oyster... taleggio rolls on your tongue, coats it with a barnyard sweetness. then you throw a raw oyster there. shudder!

Friday, September 09, 2005

le premier blog de foolya

It'll be fleshed out once my camera is functioning (and found) but currently I'll begin a litany of cheeses to preoccupy myself.

Crottin de chavignol- A teensy round goat cheese with a bloomy rind. I always expect the interior to be very unctuous, and while this isnt' crumbly a la chevre logs you'd get at your local safeway (not to say crumbly is bad), it's not the more viscous interior I admire. Relatively mild flavor, but the rind ensures a nice sharp smell that separates it from the crumbly chevre logs.

I always buy these crottins because they're such manageable sizes and because the cuteness seduces me.

Epoisses de bourgogne- King of my heart. My idea of the platonic cheese. Reddish rind caused by washing the cheese in a marc (fermented runoff from wine and sometimes brandy) and the inside is out of control. You break open the rind with a spoon and actually just scoop the lovely thick liquid out. And the smell! I don't like it when ppl compare it to durian, because I personally think durian is a much more pleasant smell. If you touch this, your finger will smell like it for hours later, even after washing with soap. It's definitely feet and b.o. But that smell promises a sweet, salty and slightly nutty opulence within that bathes your tongue in a triple cream bath. I hate it when cheese is described as having a hint of straw or hay because that just sounds like it'd taste bad. So this has no straw taste. and while it's often described as having a strong flavor, that also sounds scary (esp in conjuction with the smell!). So my take is that it's a wonderfully sweet and elegant taste, very rich, but not actually pungent tasting.

Humboldt Fog: The famous ashy chevre with a slight bit of liquidity in the center, at room temperature, when ripe. Very user friendly and a good cheese to wean the cheese phobic on to. Mild, creamy, and sophisticated. Distinctly American, and here in NoCal, it's fantastico! Very good for parties.

I'll introduce some more creamy and then some fantastic hard ones soon.