Hello, my friends! Happy Labor Day! I went on a couple of gorgeous local hikes this weekend. You can see some photos posted below at the end of the article! Now, my legs are like jelly, and I’m happy to relax a bit today.
This week, I’m bringing you a cheese I first featured in my gorgeous cheese party collaboration with Petals of Love Floral Studio—Stawley. For that post, I had found a whole wheel of this luscious goat cheese imported from the UK. It was rather aged. After contacting the maker, Hill Farm Dairy, they told me that they usually sell Stawley much younger than what I tasted. I knew I had to see it for myself! Amazingly, a couple of friends who were visiting London brought back a half of a young wheel for me!
When I received it, well, it had been in a backpack for a trans-Atlantic, trans-continental flight, so it was a little squished. Apart from that, it had held up pretty well! There was some blue mold growing along the outside, which is completely normal and no cause for alarm. Wrinkly white folds across the rind’s surface caused by a colonies of geotrichum candidum fungus gently undulated across the cheese. Ahh. The paste was slightly whiter than the already snowy rind. There was a bit of a soft cream line at the edges, meaning the cheese was ripening a bit. Its aroma was sweet and grassy—with some sweet onion? It was certainly subtly different from the more bramble-y aromas we find in the Bay Area.
As I tasted Stawley (and then later went on to finish the half wheel!), I noted the texture of the fine, delicate rind, and fudge-like paste. Ahhh, this is how I love my goat cheeses. Its flavors wore new to me. I sensed chive, sweet onion, and—peanuts?—tucked among Stawley’s sweet grassy notes.
I tested this young Stawley with the honey pairing from my previous Stawley encounter. It was lavender honey from Provence, but it overpowered the cheese. I’d recommend pairing young Stawley with a more delicate honey—maybe orange blossom or soft wildflower.
I hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day Monday! Are you making a cheese plate? If so, post it on Instagram and tag me @misscheesemonger!
And here are a couple shots from our lovely Point Reyes National Seashore hike! I’ve been waiting for MONTHS to go hiking. Now that my operetta is over, I finally have the time to! We did a gorgeous coastal trail loop, then stopped for some burgers and ribs at Marin Sun Farms at 10905 Shoreline Hwy, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Thanks to my friend Jennifer for pointing out this amazing restaurant and butcher shop!
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