I’ve had a couple Solano Cellars club members ask what the contents of their first “It’s Not You, it’s Brie” Cheese Clubs were. Love, pure love, I said. But they wanted specifics. Whatever. I’m including the write-ups of the August selections below.
Stay tuned until the end of the post for a little cheese love around the internet on a session of “Links du Fromage.”
It’s not only because they’ve allowed me to consume enough of their cheese samples at farmer’s markets to feed a French village that I love Redwood Hill Farm. They also make some of the most delicious, multi-dimensional cheeses in the country. Camellia, for example, crosses boundaries- a bloomy-rind goat’s milk cheese with delicate earthy, floral notes and a silky, velvety texture that demands to be devoured. And wine pairing with this cheese is a no-brainer. Camellia favors whites, but, like that naughty eighteen year-old cousin everyone had, can handle a hearty red surprisingly well. Eat at your leisure, at room temperature.
(The featured photo is not of the Camellia. But it’s lovely just the same and I knew you’d appreciate it.)
Crawford Family Vermont Ayr, Champlian Valley, Vermont
This is one of the most intoxicating expressions of cow’s milk I’ve tried to date, and certainly one of the best new cheeses I’ve sampled this year. Made with the raw milk from the Crawford Family’s beloved heritage breed Ayrshire cows (excellent pictures of brown and white Amy Jane and Dorie are available online),Vermont Ayr is made with as little intervention as possible, so the flavors of the local terrior shine in the final product. Earthy, slightly dirty, graced with scents of peanut butter and sweet butter, pair this semi-soft Ayr with a Rhone style white with a bit of funk itself- like the Qupe Marsanne or Roussane.
Pecorino Foglie di Noce, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Some of you may remember this sexy number from our Italian Cheese and Wine Pairing class. If not, let me introduce you to my favorite Pecorino (Italian sheep’s milk cheese). Ever. This raw-milk beauty is only made twice a year when the walnut tree leaves in Emilia Romagna bloom. Marked with the bright flavors of creme-fraiche, this cheese is unusually fresh-tasting for sheep’s milk but is also blessed with nutty, earthy flavors lent by the leaf wrapping. My favorite wine with the Foglie? Felsina Chianti Classico, or a spicy little Sangiovese.
Sharing the cheese love! Need more cheese posts in your life besides the ones featured on “Its Not You, It’s Brie?” I bet you do. I do too. Some of my favorite stories & recipes du fromage in the food blogsosphere I’ve found this month:
David Lebovitz’s Warm Baked Goat Cheese
Cheese and Champagne’s St. Marcellin
Cheese Underground’s look at Hidden Springs Creamery in Vermont
Wasabimon’s Gluten free Carrot Cake recipe (with cream cheese frosting, yo)
Next post: Gouda Ice Cream Cones: Possibly Real