Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!! Celebrate with Caciocavallo Tartufo

Merry Christmas loyal readers!

It's hard to believe that this is the fourth holiday season I have shared with you all. Quite a lot has happened since November of 2012, when I first started this blog. I'd like to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the years. I am pleased to say that my ACS Certified Cheese Professional status was renewed this year for another three years! I hope to see this blog continue to grow and see my business flourish as well as I continue to spread the love of cheese. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Now, enough mushy stuff... on to the cheese!

I decided to feature a fun cheese that we received at the cheese counter this month that just seems to scream HOLIDAYS - the Caciocavallo Tartufo.

Cheese: Caciocavallo Tartufo
Region: Basilicata, Southern Italy
Milk: Raw cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

A fun fact I learned in researching this cheese is that Caciocavallo means "cheese on horseback", and it gets its name from how it is aged. The cheese is tied at the top (see the first picture above with the rope) and then dangled over a wooden board to drain and age. It is aged for 4-6 months in caves and is exposed to air and microbes at all angles, allowing it to develop a sharp, tangy, spicy flavor. I love how the Murray's website describes this cheese: " mozzarella on steroids or provolone with better manners..." ( 

The thing that makes this particular Caciocavallo so special, is the addition of the black truffles. I am normally not a fan of truffle cheeses because oftentimes, too much truffle oil is added. Not the case for this cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the truffle added a decadent flavor, not an overbearing one. I recently paired the Presto Prosecco with this cheese and it paired beautifully. 

Be sure to swing by your local Whole Foods Market cheese counter and get some of this tasty cheese while you can. It's only available for a limited time and it is well worth a taste. 

Until next time... eat, drink and be happy! From my family to yours - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tomme Fleur Verte

Well, it's been about a month since I blogged about a cheese I am excited about, so I figured I should probably do so today...

Today I want to talk about an old favorite that is usually highlighted during the springtime, but is currently on promotion at all of the Whole Foods Market cheese counters in Northern California, the Tomme Fleur Verte.

Cheese: Tomme Fleur Verte
Producer: Le Chèvrefeuille, S.A.
Location: Perigord, France
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

The name "Fleur Verte" means "green flower" and it is in reference to how the whole wheel of Tomme Fleur Verte is presented. It is a wheel with scalloped edges (like a flower) that is completely covered in dried herbs (green) and pink peppercorns. The herbs are mainly thyme, tarragon and savory. The picture shown above showcases the chalk white paste with the dried green herbs around the outside.

You will notice that I did not describe the outside edge of the Fleur Verte as a "rind". This is because the Fleur Verte is a rindless cheese that is only aged for four days before being wrapped for shipment. It is a very moist, flavorful cheese that is not over the top in the goat "barnyard" flavor because it is so young. The herbs along the outside are completely edible and add a nice touch to the creamy paste. They are the main reason why I featured this fresh goat cheese during the winter because the herbs just seem to fit during the holiday season. Many folks talk about gooey, melty cheeses or hearty cheddar or funky blues during the colder months, so I wanted to feature something a little different. 

I must admit that this was how much work station was right when I sat down to write this blog, but now that I'm wrapping up, the cheese is almost completely gone. It's so unbelievably tasty! When pairing a wine with this cheese, I would be sure to pick a wine that will play nicely with the cheese's acidity. My first instinct would be to pair a California Sauvignon Blanc with the Fleur Verte because they tend to have less of a mineral flavor and more of a fruit forward flavor which would balance out the tang of the Fleur Verte quite nicely. 

This cheese is available year round at our cheese counters at Whole Foods Market, so if you're not in a fresh goat cheese mood this month, be sure to get a taste when the weather warms up again. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!