Hello, my friends! M. Cheesemonger and I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas and Zion National Park yesterday, and my legs are so sore! I’ll blog about it all, but first, a cheese pairing! Kirstin Jackson, one of my favorite SF Bay Area cheese educators and writers, and I are teaming up again after our paneer making day to bring you a cheese pairing for Bloomsdale by Baetje Farms in Missouri. She went for the alcohol pairing, while I chose a snack/condiment pairing!
To begin, we have the cheese itself. Bloomsdale, modeled after the famed Valençay, the original truncated pyramid cheese, holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite American cheeses. The name “Bloomsdale” comes from the town where Baetje Farms is located because that unusual pyramidal shape is evocative of hills. Can you imagine the rolling hills and green grass of Bloomsdale when you close your eyes or look at this cheese? I can!
This cheese, made of pasteurized goat milk, is covered in pine ash and salt before aging. Its fluffy, white coat grows with time. As it ages, the paste just under the rind gets softer and more runny, which is just how I love it—runny around the edges, with a slightly firmer heart. The piece I had to taste was getting there, although if I didn’t have to write this post, I would have left it a couple more weeks to go even further!
Bloomsdale has a rather mild perfume, only slightly musty—maybe like a damp sponge. Its flavor is on the stony side with a piquant touch at the rind as it ages. Its texture is Miss Cheesemonger’s dream come true: milky toward the rind (if it’s a mature piece), with a snowy, fluffy center.
As for a pairing, I happened to have some Opera Nuts within reach—roasted and salted almonds with some pieces of dark chocolate-covered almonds mixed in. They were a gift from my visiting friend and graphic designer (she designed Miss Cheesemonger’s logo!), and they paired perfectly with Bloomsdale. The dark chocolate toned down the cheese’s piquancy as it enhanced its long finish. The roasted almonds provided a satisfying crunch and laid down a nutty floor of flavor on which the cheese could patter across the palate.
Visit Kirstin’s blog It’s Not You, It’s Brie to see what she paired with Bloomsdale! Then ask her to teach you and your friends how to make cheese! You can purchase Opera Nuts on their website. And if you love handmade tablewares as much as I do, you can find the tea towel at Maker + Moss, an adorable San Francisco boutique, and the plate designer Linda Fahey at Yonder in Pacifica, CA.
See you soon!
Bloomsdale can be purchased at the Baetje Farms website.
It’s Not You It’s Brie: cheesemaking classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Opera Nuts can be purchased at the Opera Nuts website.
The tea towel was purchased at Maker + Moss, 364 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The blue and white plate was purchased at Yonder, 158 Reina Del Mar Ave, Pacifica, CA 94044.
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