Sunday, May 2, 2010

Adventures in Cheese-buying

Everyone in NYC told me I had to check out Pastoral when I travelled to Chicago, and they were right. Their selection of world cheeses is good, their American selection strong, but the best part is that they have cheeses from the Midwest that we normally don't get in NYC.

I visited the store twice, and while the first time the cheese selection was not as good. In my second visit, I got a great cheesemonger that was able to introduce me to great cheeses. Hail to the Savvy Cheesemonger! The second time I got:

Ewe Bloom - Prairie Fruits Farm (Champaign, IL) - Bloomy ewe's milk triangle made with pasteurized milk. Perfect gooey under-rind and chalking middle. Great for spring days. The taste as fresh, with a hint of pepper, but mostly really sheepy.

Little Darling - Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin (Wisconsin) - This hard cheese, is sharp to taste with a gorgeous cream color. The rind smells amazing, like walking into a moist cave and the texture is soft. This cheese reminded me of those small production cheddars from Ireland, it is made with cow's milk. Great cheese!

Marisa - Carr Valley (Wisconsin) - Sheep's milk cheese for those starting to experiment with non-cow's milk cheeses. This is a perfect example of what can be achieved if the cheese maker knows her trade. Flavor, smell and texture are perfect, creamy, and fatty. Wish I had bought more.

Cheese selection @ Pastoral Cheese - Loop (Chicago, IL)

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