Sunday, August 28, 2011

This is cheesy

You might recall that a while back, I got chosen to be on a tasting panel for a new cheese being made by Point Reyes Cheese.

A whole bunch of people tasted the first cheese, then posted their findings on the blog at Culture (the word on cheese) Magazine and I'm guessing that bloggers also posted on their own blogs. I did.

Based on those comments, Point Reyes whipped up a new batch of blue, and there are currently 40 wheels of cheese currently aging. They'll be done in October, and then the tasters will get another sample.

Despite my participation on the tasting panel, I was a little surprised when I got an email from Culture magazine saying that "something perishable" was going to be shipped to me in August. They didn't say what it was, but they said that for sure it wasn't the test cheese.

Let's see, something perishable from Culture magazine. What on earth could it be? Let's see ... bananas? Parsley? Or maybe it would be cheese.

Wow, I was right. It was cheese.

The cheese came with a letter. This is part of what it said:

"... we wanted to share a sample of some VERY special cheese that our cheese maker, Kuba Hemmerling, has been working on. Enclosed you'll find a sample of our Point Reyes Tomme. This hard cheese is pasteurized, aged about 18 months and similar to Tommes you would find in France or Switzerland. The aroma is very citrusy ad the texture is crumbly with definite flavor "pops" that are a result of crystalized proteins that form throughout the long aging process."

The interesting thing is that Point Reyes Tomme isn't for sale. I'm not sure if it will be for sale, but for now I'm feeling very, very special. Mostly because I'm nibbling a bit of cheese while I'm writing this. The cheese is aged just enough so that it's firm, but it can still be sliced,

Honestly, I didn't notice the citrus note, but that didn't matter. This cheese is pretty addictive. We've nibbled our way through quite a bit of it already.

The interesting bits are really the crystallized proteins. I've noticed that in cheeses before and never thought about way caused it.

The effect is sort of like finding a chocolate chip in a cookie or finding the crunch of salt on a sweet or savory dish. It's that extra little present in the cheese.

If it ever goes on sale, I'll be picking it up. Meanwhile, it's good to be me.