Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fudgy Blue Cheese Truffles

If I were to list some of my favorite foods (in no particular order) it would go a bit like this

  1. cheese
  2. salty goodness
  3. mashed potatoes
  4. spinach
  5. chocolate
  6. peanut butter  and...
  7. cumin (I know it's not exactly a food)
Sometimes these things mate and make delicious babies.  Peanut butter and chocolate is one of our best inventions as a species.   Pretzels and chocolate aren't too shabby either.  A few years ago there was a woman, nay Goddess who was working at Marion Street Cheese Market.  She was making a dark chocolate bar that was studded with aged gouda.  It was my precious.  Unfortunately she ended up leaving the shop and I have not been able to find her or her delicious chocolate concoctions since then.  For years now there has been a profound emptiness in my heart and tummy.    

Last month I discovered something delightful.  A treat that could possibly fill the void.  A chocolately treat of magnificence. 

Laughing Moon Chocolate from Vermont makes some very delicious chocolates and they have a bonbon/truffle/callitwhateveryoulikeitschocolategoodness that is blended with Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill.      As you all know by now, Jasper Hill makes some of the most delicious cheese around.  Their Bayley Hazen Blue is a natural-rind cheese with a crumbly dry texture that can make cutting it into pretty wedges a bit challenging at times.  It has a lovely butteriness to it and tastes kind of fudgy.  Yup.  It's a cheese that already tastes a bit like chocolate and has that dense, chewy fudge texture.

The combination of the cheese and the chocolate should be as symbiotic as any two foods can be.  And it is...mostly.  The chocolate shell is thick and has a great snap to it when you bite into it.  The interior truffle is luscious, silky and smooth.  It is by all counts a delicious treat.  There is just one itsy bitsy small problem.  It's not cheesy enough.  In fact, after eating one truffle I didn't get a lot of blue cheese flavor.  In the second truffle there was a bit more.  By truffle number three (I sacrifice so much for you guys) I was getting a bit more, but it just wasn't cheesy enough.  The texture is definitely dense and fudgy, but I need more cheese.

I had a few friends blind taste test the truffles, and they thought that there was something unique about them, but couldn't quite place what it was.  When I told them the truffles had BHB in them everyone was surprised and not one had guessed that was the magical ingredient.

Now don't get me wrong, the chocolate is freakin' divine.  The next time I get them I think I'll add them to my cheese board I'll just make sure there's an extra sliver of blue cheese nearby.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

First new cheese of 2012 is conundrum from Jasper Hill.  A washed rind cheese very similar to Moses Sleeper. Very buttery on the palate with a little funk on he nose. A good whey to start the new year!  More on Jasper Hill to come.

*this post is brought to you by the letter "i".  I wrote this on my brand spanking new iphone and realized a little bit in that although I like the fact that I can blog from the phone, the virtual keyboard makes it impossible to type as fast as I think.*

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I want goat cheese

As you know by now, I have an obsession with goat cheese.  Unfortunately for me-but good for the goats- many of my favorite cheesemakers let their goats take time off during the winter while they carry their kids.  I know that winter has hardly started yet, but I'm already missing one of my favorite cheeses.

Roasted garlic chevre from Rollingstone Chevre in Idaho. This cheese combines two of my favorite things: creamy, tangy, milky goat cheese and sweet roasted garlic.  Not only is there a garlic clove on top of the cheese, but it's also blended into the chevre giving it a mild-yet lasting- flavor.  the cheese is wrapped in a grape leaf and makes a delightful little cheese present.

This cheese is great to eat with a few crackers, when spread on a bagel or to cook with.  I love using it in macaroni and cheese, crumbling it on top of pizza or turning it into a garlicky, goaty sauce for pasta.  If you can get your hands on some, please do, it's divine!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Writing a Blog Gets Me In Trouble

*I first wrote this post almost two weeks ago.  At the time I was emotionally raw and angry.  Instead of posting it right away I sat on it.  I needed to be sure that I was ready to share and that I wasn't writing angry. Since writing this I have found a job, and have started working on a long-term goal of mine (to be shared at a later date).*

I started this blog almost three years ago as an outlet for my fast-growing love of cheese.  In that time I have been very careful to keep my blogging life, and my work life separate.  In the interest of full disclosure, I have let the two employers I've had since starting this venture know about my blog.  I have been very upfront about it, and have let them all know that I don't "name names".  I have not mentioned where I've worked, or any co-workers or bosses by name.  I even gave my brother a code name in a post I created in 2010.  I am not sponsored and I rarely accept promotional items from cheesemakers, or authors.  

By being a somewhat anonymous blogger I can be freer with my words.  I can write a post about a cheese that was so bad it hurt my soul and I don't have to worry about offending the advertisers, or getting my boss into trouble.  It's been a good run.  

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being a goat. I was venting my sadness, how I miss the cheese, and my general ennui.   I thought long and hard about writing that post because it was so personal, perhaps something that would be better shared with a shrink.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the people I really wanted to share it with were the people who read my blog.  I wanted to let people know the reason for my infrequent posts.  If I am honest about cheese, I have to be honest about myself.  

So I posted it.

Shortly after the post went up I was called in for a talk with my boss and I was fired.  Although we had had pleasant email exchanges just two days prior, my boss let me know that one of the reasons I was being let go was because I was "writing nasty things about us".  

To say that I was stunned would be an understatement.  I've never been fired before.  I was angry, and if I'm going to be honest, confused.  For a brief moment I even thought about shutting the blog down.  

That's not going to happen.

So yeah, like millions of other Americans I’m unemployed.  Instead of looking at this as a negative, curling up in bed and watching endless episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while living off of diet coke and chocolate I'm going to turn this into a positive.  The post I wrote about being a goat was about me feeling out of my element, floundering and being lonely without my herd.   It's time for me to go back to that world.  

When life gives you lemons, use the citric acid as a coagulant and make a fresh cheese.


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