The past few days have been crazy here in Chicago. First, there's the Taste of Chicago.The taste is conveniently located a few blocks from the cta stops I use to get to and from work. This makes getting to and from work a hellish experience. Buses and trains are filled with people who think that spending an afternoon in the heat looking for the fried dough stand and the freakishly large turkey drumstick while being trapped and squished like sardines is fun.
This weekend was also the Chicago Pride Parade. Tons of fun a ridiculous amount of people, freely flowing beer, and overwhelmingly mediocre food for an inflated price.
As you all know, Michael Jackson died this week. My youngest brother and I are huge fans he's more zealous than I and we were both shockingly and surprisingly saddened by the event. I tried to think of ways to combine my admiration for the man's music, and my love of cheese. I came up with nothing. I mean honestly, if there was a cheese made in Gary, IN would you want to eat it?*
On to the cheese. Today's selection is a cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont and her name is Constant Bliss. Almost everyone thinks that this is a triple creme cheese. It isn't. Constant Bliss is a representation of the milk that's being produced throughout the season. You taste this cheese and it's creamy, grassy, a bit earthy, salty and delicious. Each batch of C.B. changes because the grasses the cows are eating is changing with the season and so their milk is different.
This is also a handmade cheese. What that means is that there is someone taking a ladle and filling the cheese molds by hand. Time consuming to be sure. The cheeses are turned methodically to insure proper ripening and balance. A lot of love and hard work goes into making this cheese.
Lovely white naturally occurring rind.
The interior. The cheese ripens from the outside in giving you a really creamy exterior surrounding a slightly firmer and less supple center.
*It's been almost five years since I moved to Chicago but I still remember Gary. I was driving through when suddenly a smelly smell that smelled smelly came rampaging through the windows. I was startled and scared. Later when I was relating my trip from the east coast out to Chicago I told my brother about the smell. His reply was, "Oh yeah, that's Gary." I find it hard to believe that good cheese can come from a place that smells so dang bad. Prove me wrong. If you tell me about a non-factory cheese made within smelling distance of Gary, I will buy it, try it and report back.