Today, Saturday, the store opens at 10am instead of 11am, so I got to go in early. Just what does this cheesemonger do to start the day? Bake bread and cookies, of course!
Once that was done, I could get to my project for the day–mango apple chutney to pair with the cheeses in the evening. I managed to pass it to Paige and Cameron, our two kitchen wizards, for tasting, and they approved. That must mean something, since these two know their craft. Someone will have to let me know how it fares with the evening crowd, since I’m long gone by then. I did try it with some semi-hard sheep milk cheeses on my own, like the Ossau Iraty Onetik cheese, and the Abbeye de Belloc. Those pairings turned out all right, but I am still convinced I can find a better pairing. Carlos suggested a Manchego pairing. That was actually quite eye-opening; it created a whole new spicy sensation that each element lacked individually. There are so many other cheeses, though, maybe we can find something else exciting. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in customers coming in afterward that I forgot to take a picture to show you! I can assure you that the chutney is gorgeous, though, a rich golden color with flecks of scarlet. In Paige’s words, “it tastes like Christmas,” but, at least in my mind, it looks like a fiery sunset.
I also made a new friend today, my cheese wire. I just thought I could get away with using the knives for everything, but today, it dawned on me that I might just want to simplify my life sometimes. In a second round meeting with half of my old friend Mimolette, I managed to slice clean through. That was because there wasn’t so much rind, which is still difficult with the wire! Now I see–so, the next time I am faced with an entire ball of Mimolette, I think I will try to cut just beyond the tough rind with a knife, and then cut the rest with the wire.
Of course, you can’t be friends with everyone, so I found out what characters in the store I still haven’t mastered–that would be almost anything to do with the bar. I know, it will just take some time and patience to wade through all of the wines and beers and ales. One bottle of 4 Bears chardonnay protested loudly as I tried to open it, and I managed to nick myself for the second time this week. I haven’t even come close to cutting myself with a knife, it’s usually with something like the foil on a bottle, or paper. I will get it one day soon; I am resolved to get this right!