While traveling in the Languedoc last week, I ate a LOT of cheese. The region produces mostly Roquefort, goat and Tommes. After almost every lunch and dinner, we were served a cheese course, like the one above featuring a disc of perfectly tangy goat with the Languedoc cross in ash. And every time, we were offered a glass of white wine to pair with the cheese, even with Roquefort. When one of my companions asked for red with her Roquefort, our host seemed genuinely confused. In fact, white wine is almost always a better pairing with cheese as it doesn’t overpower more delicate cheeses and provides a crisp counterpoint to rich and salty flavors. My favorite pairing was a slightly sweet muscat with Roquefort but I also loved the acidic and fruity white wines of the region paired with goat cheese.
Posts Tagged ‘goat cheese’
The man in this photograph nearly ended my parents’ marriage. His name is Ricardo Huijon, and he knows his cheese. For the past decade he was at Dean and Deluca in St. Helena, but last year moved over to Napa’s Cheese Merchant at the Oxbow Market, which features 100-some daily varieties of cheese. Ricardo is so exceptional at his craft that he sold my father a $300 wheel of hard-to-find Massipou sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées a couple of Christmases ago. One taste and my dad had to have the whole wheel, upon discovery of which my mother went ballistic. Over the next couple months, my husband, sister and I all eagerly volunteered to take wedge after wedge off their hands, but truthfully it was so good that the wheel disappeared pretty fast. The Cheese Incident is still a highly explosive topic, even though it was some of the most sublime cheese in memory—nutty, slightly salty, pure heaven. When I was at the Oxbow Cheese Merchant last weekend, I stopped by to see what Ricardo was recommending. He handed me a piece of creamy, buttery cow’s milk cheese called Tomme Crayeuse:
Sadly he had shared the very last bite of this exquisite cheese—more is coming next week—so we chose a triple cream instead. (Ricardo truly knows how to leave them wanting more.) Here are a couple shots of some other intriguing curiosities on hand like this sort of obscenely shaped Italian cow’s milk cheese with black truffles, or this girly “blonde” goat’s cheese covered in sultanas:
No trip to Napa is complete without stopping in to see Ricardo. And do yourself, if not your marriage, a favor and give yourself over to temptation.
Yesterday my friend Jill hosted a red carpet arrivals viewing party, for which the dress code was “tiaras and sweats mandatory.” (I dusted off my wedding tiara, but we ended up two tiaras shy so she found a couple of fezzes in her attic.) She put out a fantastic spread of cheeses, including Humboldt Fog, which always reminds me that even though I think I don’t like goat cheese, in fact I do. I love the vegetable ash ribbon running through the middle of Humboldt Fog. Jill had picked out a perfectly ripened piece, which was so tangy and creamy with oozy edges. It was particularly pleasant with the Perrier Jouët Grand Brut (toasty, spicy) served in these totally great Faberge flutes from her mother-in-law.