Phew, a week after the wedding, and I still feel like sleeping all day. I came back to the cheese shop to find things pretty much the same, except we had a few more cheeses in the case. First, there was the Harlech, a cousin of the Red Dragon we always carry, but with an orange rind and delicious, smooth, horseradish/parsley flavor. We got some new half-wheels of Cocoa Cardona, and Fourme d’Ambert. We somehow managed to get more Mouco and two goat’s milk goudas.
What REALLY interested me, though, were the new pieces of La Tur–which is made of three different animals’ milks and melts like ice cream on your tongue–and the Brunet–a young, vibrant goat’s milk from the same dairy as the La Tur. MMMMM….it is like a bigger version of my all-time favorite cheese, Rocamadour. I got pretty enthusiastic, and managed to sell almost all of it today. That is great, but it also means there’s none left for me. :(
Country of Origin: Italy
Milk: Goat (pasteurized)
Surface-ripened cheeses are MY FAVORITE! This particular one is a creamy style one, with an extremely fragile, thin rind. The cheese comes atop a thin paper to protect the rind, which will tear if you do so much as pick it up. It’s made by the Caseificio dell’Alta Langa company in the Piemonte region of Italy, an exceptional little company that makes cheeses in the old style–artisanally–but with added scientific knowledge to maintain their high standards of quality. If you don’t believe me, check out their website. It’s like the Jetsons meet Little House on the Prairie.
The size of Brunet is about that of a bloated coaster (coaster, as in the kind you place glasses on), or a small puck. Its tissue-paper thin rind is covered with undulating folds of bright white to straw yellow. The paste is ivory. The young round that I opened was a little chalky in the middle, but notably smoother around the edges. The shaggy goat on the label none other than the famous Brunet goat itself.
I wonder if my nose is just growing desensitized to the smell of cheese. I almost don’t notice any smell anymore. I mean, I may notice a smell, but it doesn’t bother me, or leave quite as lasting an impression on me, as when I first began. I don’t even notice when I smell of cheese upon arriving home in the evening. Oh well. In any case, Brunet does have a distinct, marked smell–like that of mushroom and grass spread on sour cream.
Did I already say that this kind of cheese is my favorite? Because it really is. My true favorite, Rocamadour, may still be introuvable here, but I could be quite content with a round of Brunet in its place. The taste of this cheese is surprisingly strong for one that is aged so little. The average aging time before shipment is about 10 days, so it’s about 2 weeks old (maybe more), when it comes to us. That’s not a long time! Comparing this cheese with another young cheese, like the Mouco Company’s Colorouge, is like night and day. Mouco is quite mild, creamy and mild. Brunet just explodes on the tongue with bright sweetness, creaminess, and tang. In terms of texture, it’s as though the cheese wraps your tongue in silk chiffon, light and fluid. All of that finishes with a smooth finish that just leaves you wanting more.
*I thought it would be best to just post this now, even though I don’t have photos quite yet, since it’s been so long since my last post! I am charging my camera now, so once it’s charged, I can plug it in to transfer some pictures!