Now that I’ve passed the intermediate certificate course at the International Wine Center for Wines and Spirits: Looking Behind the Label, the next goal is to learn more about cheeses. I jumped at the chance to try Cheese Ambassador’s Mediterranean package just to get me started at home.
I remember when I was younger (ahem) and I didn’t know much about cheese. My college professor brought in a platter of fruits and cheeses during the last day of Western Literature class and I mostly crinkled my nose at the stinkiest kinds. I was curious, however, how other people were devouring the wedges as if they were candy. I wanted to really like cheese and I didn’t know how to change my palate. Fast-forward several years later and I was in Amsterdam living with friends for a week. There was always cheese on the table before dinner. I knew I just had to try all of them to find out what cheese was all about. Back then, it wasn’t just Dutch Gouda I tasted; there was a crumbly blue, a creamy Brie and a few hard Italian cheeses. I ended up liking them all and proceeded to buy small wedges of them whenever we would go to the park to enjoy the last few hours of Dutch light.
Ever since then, I would stop by Di Palo’s for my monthly supply of cheese or pick up a wedge here and there from other stores whenever I see something I’ve never tasted before. But now that I work in Connecticut, it’s been difficult to run all over the city before the stores close. Enter the Cheese Ambassador where I can buy the Mediterranean Collection with three types: the Tipsy Goat from Spain, Port Salut from France and one of my favorite cheeses of all time, Piave from Italy. The American Collection includes an Aged Gouda, an Amish Cheddar and a Cave-Aged Blue cheese. Both packages sell for $34 on their Web site.
They make great gifts for both cheese beginners and fanatics. They’ve managed to package them nicely that when my box was delivered to work, I had to pull in several of my co-workers so we can do a fun taste test in the office kitchen.
Here’s the round-up:
Tipsy Goat from Spain:
– melts-in-your-mouth goat goodness
– sharper than your average goat cheese
– tastes like socks (I’d have to disagree, but this guy probably just needs to stop eating his socks)
– smooth, buttery and mild; reminds me of Laughing Cow
– smooth and simple;
– rich and creamy like Brie
– soft, spreadable, sweet and buttery; you can make shapes with it! (And he really did played with the cheese like Play-Doh!)
– nutty, robust, reminiscent of Parmigiano
– like a creamy Parmigiano
– even better than Parmigiano; rich and nutty
– savory; nose like Manchego
The Cheese Ambassador has your cheese!