Thursday, December 13, 2007

Say Cheese

Ok, I have to admit right off the bat that the title of this blog entry is really cheesy, and me using that word to describe it is cheesy, and I feel like a real dork right now. However, this is an entry about cheese, so I have no choice but to use these terms and hackneyed phrases.

I am wondering how hard it would be to learn how to make cheese. I always think of the cheese maker (fromaggier? what is the term?) Sara on "Top Chef." I feel like I know so many people who are DIYing their own food (so very Bay Area) -- everyone I know seems to brew beer, a ton of people at my work grow their own veggies, we have homemade yogurt at work (and Casey knows how to make it, and I actually would like to learn), people brew kombucha, Dan is making pickles... so why not cheese? It seems to be a frontier yet to be explored by the foodies in my life.

But cheese is so good. I am not kidding when I say it is my favorite food. Lately I've been ordering cheese baskets for holiday gifts for work folks and I got distracted on Cowgirl Creamery's websites by this... a dictionary of all the kinds of cheese you can special order from them. That led me down another path, which is trying to discover what kind of blue cheese I ordered with my friend Peattie at brunch at Foreign Cinema. (Yes, we ordered a cheese plate for dessert... after brunch. We are apparently ridiculously awesome.) I think it's St. Agur, a French double-cream blue (what does double-cream mean? I think it just means it's extra fattening and good, but I am actually serious, I want to know). I don't usually like blue cheese but this particular cheese won me over to the genre. Do you ever have that feeling, once you have had a particular food, that you just need to have it again, or else you won't ever feel quite contented? I have been experiencing this lately with certain foods I had in Italy -- the mozzarella burrata, which I wrote about recently, and all'arrabiata pasta. But I'm also having that feeling about this blue cheese. I bought a cheese that looked similar at Rainbow last weekend, but it isn't the same -- more crumbly, less creamy, and more blue-y.

All of this just means, in my opinion, that I need to become more of a cheese connoisseur. Perhaps I should just work my way down the Cowgirl list... Or maybe I should finally put my money where my mouth is and host a beer & cheese party (like a wine & cheese party, only, not). OR! Perhaps I should just buy this cheese-making kit and settle down with some recipes and try my luck at being a fromaggier... or whatever that word is.


Kim said...

Google should offer a CHEESE MAKING cooking class. Since they probably won't, let's research this. I will totally become a cheese connoisseur with you. I freaking love cheese.

Casey said...

When we made yogurt, we'd also make a very simple cheese--basically, we'd just strain the hell out of the yogurt until it was more solid-ish, and then add herbs. It made a very yummy spread. Also, there are Camphill communities that make cheese (there's one in Scotland, I know for sure), so uh, disabled people make it. I think mostly it comes down to having the equipment. Also, I think you may need fresh milk. I think that may be a bit of a hurdle. Hurdle and curdle rhyme, and I wish I had enough energy to create some play on words, but I was stuck at school for two hours during a lockdown, so...meh.

el super said...

ok so i dont like cheese so i think when i say a certain kind of cheese is awesome that should give it some kind of credibility as legitimately being good. or i mean it could just suck. BUT, you should totally buy some manchego cheese and eat it with dates and pistachios. yes, this sounds extremely random but all together it makes the cheese have this crazy awesome flavor. dry it!