Monday, February 2, 2009

Say Cheese!

Daryl Wood Gerber is an aspiring novelist. She has won awards for her screenplays and was one of the creators of the popular sit-com, "Out of this World." Visit Daryl at to learn more about her.

I’ve recently gotten into cheese. I’ve always liked cheese, sharp flavors being my favorite, but I didn’t realize there was so much to learn about cheese. For instance, did you know that you could visit France and sample a different cheese every day of the year? Did you know that cheese and wine are soul mates? Also, if you eat a cheese from a specific region, usually the wine from that region is the best pairing. Why? Because both come from the earth. How does cheese come from the earth, you ask? Well, you probably know that cheese is made from the milk of cows, goats and sheep. Did you know that what the animals eat affects the flavor of the cheese? Did you know that the grasses of a season affect the flavors of the milk, and therefore, the cheese? A cheese made from milk drawn in the early summer differs from one made late in the summer because of the maturity of the grass. Makes sense, right?

I am not an expert in cheese, but perhaps one day I will be, all because of a visit to a cheese shop in Darien, CT [Darien Cheese and Fine Foods]. I had a unique experience. Tasting. And they like you to taste. A slice
of this, a nibble of that. My favorite cheese of the day was Tuscan Tartuffo, a pecorino cheese [raw sheep’s milk] from Italy, with real black and white truffles laced through it. Yummy, rich, melt-in-your-mouth musky. I’ve heard that this cheese drizzled with hazelnut honey is a flavor that makes people swoon. I purchased a jar of the honey, but I about fainted without it. Can’t wait to try the combination. I must warn you, this cheese was not cheap.

But for a budget-wise treat, here is a tip for the day. Did you know you can make a wonderful appetizer out of leftover cheese? That’s right. Never discard those little leftover pieces. The French call this concoction
fromage fort or strong cheese.

Gather one pound of leftover cheese, three kinds is enough but six kinds would be superb. Trim off any mold or rind or dried parts. Put the cheese in a food processor. Toss in three to four cloves of garlic smashed up. Chop for a few seconds. Add one half cup of dry white wine and one teaspoon ground pepper. Puree until creamy, about thirty seconds. Remove and transfer into a crock or bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Let warm to room temperature to serve with crusty bread or crackers. Yum!

I’d probably pair this with your favorite white wine. For an inexpensive treat, try Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Always consistent. Enjoy!

Daryl Wood Gerber


Kenna said...

That sounds wonderful!! We'll definitely be trying it. We own a small Market, and have 60+ varieties of cheese. We can usually scrounge up a pound of cheese that needs to be used.

I can't wait!!

Thanks for sharing.

Lorna Barrett said...

I'm not much of a cheese fan, but you've made me wish I was, Daryl. Excellent post!

Daryl said...

Kenna, where are you located? I intend to visit a lot of cheese shops!

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