So much has been happening at the cheese shop lately. We are definitely preparing for the holiday season with tons of new items for retail and new shelving to display everything. One of the most exciting items is Culture magazine, which is devoted entirely to cheese. The other cheesemongers at the shop love it, the owner loves it, I love it. The publication is rich with addresses and recipes to test and stories to inspire the any turophile. Plus, the photography is fantastic. Receiving those packages of magazines and display cases was like having Christmas on Veteran’s day.
But let’s move on to the true subject of the post, shall we? I wanted to share with you two cheeses–the Sally Jackson goat cheese, and San Andreas–again!
A summary of the Sally Jackson story can be read in a previous post. She works on such a small scale, I am surprised the store managed to obtain two of her cheeses! The goat cheese is made from Alpine and Nubian goat milk, and these animals are herded by Ms. Jackson and her collie, Amy.
Sally Jackson goat cheese comes wrapped in grape leaves, which impart an earthy quality to the cheese, and keep the cheese moist. When placed side by side with the Renata, they look practically identical. Opening up the cheese, its paste is a dense, immaculate white. Really, though, this time, I jumped right to the tasting! It has a very creamy mouthfeel, and fills the mouth with a rich, lactic flavor. The tang that is often associated with goat cheeses was not present here. I was surprised at how much flavor was in my one little tasting morsel; it’s explosive, yet velvety.
Now, for the San Andreas, the cheese shop received a young wheel not long ago, and I only opened it last week. What a surprise the tasting yielded! Young San Andreas and older San Andreas are so different! The young San Andreas’s paste was a bit springier than the older one, and was a lighter yellow. Its aroma was more pronounced and more obviously pastoral. And the taste? The taste was much more lactic, with none of the tartness of the older cheese. It even had a hint of sweetness at first, before the saltiness developed. The young San Andreas seemed much more reminiscent of the Pecorino Toscano on which it is based. Young San Andreas’s mouthfeel was also different–it was much more creamy, although, like the older San Andreas, it had a short finish. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, but it is markedly different. I suppose it’s all in what you’re looking for in a cheese. Testing the condiments, I settled on the sundried tomatoes as an appropriate pairing.