3.04.2013

Turophilia

I spend the majority of my days steaming milk, pulling shots and slinging lattes in a coffee shop; and I love it. I also usually spend about two days a week working as a cheese monger, where I often get to sample cheese with French ingénues. Okay, the French ingénue cheese tasting only happened once. Today, in fact, and it was rather thrilling. Usually the cheese sampling is with my boss and that’s pretty exciting, too, since we usually speak with French accents amongst ourselves anyway.  

The beauty of working in a gourmet food shop is the exposure to hard to find specialty products, wine, charcuterie and cheese. In the (almost) two years I’ve been with Butter's, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my wine and cheese knowledge tremendously. One thing I’ve learned on a personal basis is that I blatantly favor goat’s milk cheeses, from soft lemony fresh chevres to the beautiful wrinkled domes of Coupole from Vermont Creamery. It’s what makes my inner turophile sigh with contentment.  

One of my favorite creameries is Cypress Grove, located in Arcata, California. Cypress Grove exclusively makes goat’s milk cheeses, the most well-known being Humboldt Fog. A medium sized wheel of a soft ripened brie-like goat cheese, when cut into, it exposes a fine line of vegetable ash across the middle for an aesthetically pleasing paste. 

While I love most of the cheeses that Cypress Grove produces, what I hand sell the most in the shop is one called Midnight Moon, a nutty and slightly salty goat Gouda. I love it for its clean, subtle goaty taste; and it’s a great beginner cheese for nervous goat cheese eaters. My favorite way to eat it is straight up, maybe with a slice or two of baguette. It’s always the first cheese I pick for a cheese platter, its bright white color and distinct flavor profile makes it a great addition and its salty nuttiness pairs well with sweet accompaniments such as fig jam. It's also a fantastic cheese to stir into risotto, top on pizza or shave onto bruschetta, whatever you like, really. Go grab some and enjoy!  
 

Midnight Moon is available in specialty food stores such as Whole Foods nationwide, if you're in the Concord, NH area Butter's Fine Food and Wine carries it regularly, as well as other cheeses from Cypress Grove. 

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