Friday, August 27, 2010

Whine and Cheese

In our gastronomical house, we have a love a cheese.  This can get expensive at times.  So in our search for edible cheese, we're trying big-box store food, in lieu of the boutiquie environment.  It helps us keep our costs down, but sometimes this doesn't help, because you get stuck with a big chunk of something you don't really like, then you have to find some other use for it, other than just eating it with crackers.

Our choice spot, the Costco deli for a pecorino and a blue cheese.

Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from ewe's milk. The word derives from pecora meaning ‘sheep’.  You may know it as Romano.  Pecorino Romano is not especially appreciated in Italy, where it can be hard to find, as it is considered too salty.  Italy's oldest cheese, Pecorino Romano dates back to ancient Roman times. This hard sheep's milk cheese is typically aged for one year and used as a grating cheese. Pecorino Romano is one of the oldest and most versatile of these cheeses.

Kirkland Pecorino
It was a mistake pairing this cheese with a saltine cracker. The Pecorino, a hard cheese, is too salty to place on a salty hard cracker, it would be better served with hot pasta or shredded as a topping in salad. The saltiness of the Pecorino is pretty overwhelming by it self. Pair this with a white wine to balance out the salt.

Blue cheese (or bleu cheese) is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk cheeses that have had Penicillium cultures added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, blue-gray or blue-green mold, and carries a distinct smell.

Point Reyes Blue Cheese

Point Reyes Blue Cheese is made from Grade A milk from Holstein cows that graze on the certified organic, green pastured hills overlooking Tomales Bay and are bathed in the coastal fog and the salty Pacific breezes.
Peeling the shrink wrap off the soft was like opening a present at Christmas. I took care to handle the soft cheese as not to let it crumble.

Although having some firmness, I chose the slices that were the bluest. Instead of fancy crackers, we used regular salted crackers, which in hindsight was a mistake. The saltiness of the crackers blending with the cheese, made it a bit too much. The cheese spread nicely across the cracker.

Tasting just a piece of cheese was smooth and tangy. The best is from the center of the wedge where the cheese is spreadable soft and has tons of bleu veins in it.  Visiting the Point Reyes site, you can see how the cheese is made, as well as find some recipes to use the cheese in.

Stay hungry my friend!