Cato Corner- The Bloomsday Experience
Still inspired from the deliciousness of CheeseCon in Madison and loving new selections from one of my favorite distributers in Northern California, Cream and the Crop, I woke up wanting to tell you about Cato Corner's Bloomsday. With a grey, cold Oakland sky fueling my staying-in-bed-to-drink-cofee-with-my-laptop desire, I'm feeling very cozy, caffeinated, and as I haven't yet had my breakfast, very ready to think and talk about cheese.
I first sampled Cato Corner's cheese as Brooklyn's Prospect Park farmer's market on a trip to New York about a year ago. Back then, Cato Corner wasn't readily available in California and as I had seen wheels of it in some of my favorite New York cheese shops like Lucy's Whey, Eataly, and Saxelby Cheese, I was eager to sample. After tasting through three or four of Cato's selections, I could hear a familiar voice rumbling in my stomach again saying, "maybe you should move.... to New York."
Granted, this voice is generally quiet when I see weather reports about NYC in Febuary or August, when thinking about California's national parks, or when looking at rent prices in NYC on craigslist. Yet it gets a little loud and sassy after I had a beer or two that doesn't make it past New York, visit the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side, hit up an amazing art exhibit that keeps to Manhattan, go to Prune, or eat cheese that hangs out only on the east coast. Like one from Cato Corner.
Cato Corner is an itty bitty creamery in Connecticut with 40 cows. It's a mother-son duo. The son makes the cheese, runs farm operations, and the mama cares for their Jerseys.
Now you probably already know by now that Jerseys give super rich milk, but just in case you didn't, let's set the scene. Cheese made from the milk of this cattle breed has a higher butterfat content, meaning, take a bite from a cheese wheel made from this milk and you'll get a heck of a lot of sweet butteriness. To be precise.
Such is the case with Cato Corner's Bloomsday. Happy to see that this lovable cheese was now distributed by Cream and the Crop, I put it immediately in the cheese club I run at Solano Cellars. It was a big hit.
Semi-soft and as cheese board-worthy as it is fit for a mighty lovely dish of mac n'cheese, Bloomsday's tastes like fresh hand-churned butter, creme fraiche, and lightly of caramel. When it ages it develops a slight bite. Right now the only age available near me is 6 months, but I hear it shines even more at 12 months. To this I say, twist my arm and make me taste it to believe it (and contact me if you need my address...).
Cato Corner makes about a dozen cheeses, and so far we've been blessed with this one, and Hooligan here. Oh my gosh, if you haven't tired Hooligan, go get yourself a taste of this washed-rind cheese too.
What do you have from Cato Corner near you?