Monday, September 13, 2010

Mozzarella Company

I know almost nothing about Texas. What I do know is based on my visit to Austin for the ACS conference last year and what I've read on the back of cars:

1. Texas summers are too hot
2. The tacos weren't as fantastic as I was lead to believe they would be
3. Although no reason has ever been given I believe I'm not supposed to mess with Texas
4. They make some tasty cheese

Today we're talking about a delicious goat cheese from the Mozzarella Company in Dallas. Inspired by the French cheese, Banon Hoja Santa joins my ever-expanding list of cheeses I adore.

Hoja Santa (translated it means "sacred leaf") is a plant found locally in Texas. It has a heart shape and can grow to be 1 ft in diameter. The best thing about the plant is the flavor profile. Sassafrass, eucalyptus and mint are all characteristics of this incredibly versatile plant that can be used as a wrapping for tamales, in sauces or in today's focus as a wrapper for cheese.

Fresh goat cheese usually has a citrus acidity to it, but I've noticed that goat cheeses from Texas seem to have a bit more of a peppery piquant flavor as well. This is where terroir comes into play. The grasses that animals are eating in dry areas is going to be different than the ones in New England or Wisconsin, so instead of a fresh grassiness, you get more dried hay, and toasted, flavors.

This slightly peppery goat cheese, when combined with the Hoja Santa leaf makes for a fantastic cheese treat. The texture is soft, creamy and moist while the flavor just explodes in your mouth. If you're thinking that root beer, pepper and mint sounds like it might be a weird combination in your mouth you're so wrong! Eat this cheese straight up, turn it into a savory flan, or pair it with horchata and a crust of bread. Any way you slice it, your tummy is in for a taste sensation!


Michele said...

I just got a job in the cheese department of my grocery store. I stumbled on your blog while doing some research and I'm loving it! I was wondering if you had any book recommendations that would help me get to know cheese better and develop a good vocabulary to describe cheeses. Thanks!

Cheesewench said...

Hey Michele-Some of my favorite cheeses books are Mastering Cheese, The Cheese Primer, The World Cheese Book and the Murrays Cheese Handbook. Another fun cheesy thing to do is watching the t.v. series and reading the book Cheese Slices. Have cheesy fun in your new job!

Michele said...

Thanks for your recommendations! I got a few out of the library. Then I started work and they had The Cheese Primer right in the department!

Cheesewench said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying the book and hope the cheesy life is goign well for you?