Here we are at a time of the year when our appetites wane; itâ€™s just too hot. Maybe some watermelon, berries, or some other fruit, but other meatier foods? The heavier foods just donâ€™t seem so appealing in the summer months. I personally enjoy the warm weather, far more than the colder. A big part of what I enjoy about this part of year is that more and more cheeses are coming into their prime, cheeses that were not quite at peak in the spring.
The younger cheeses, the ones that are aged less than three months, are ones that were produced when the vegetation available to the animals was fresh and diverse. Some animals that may have had to settle for hay in the earlier parts of the year were allowed to roam about outdoors and choose from new sprouts, young shoots, green leaves and grasses. All this fresh vegetation spells full flavors in the milk, as well as in the cheeses that are crafted from that milk.
The young goat milk cheeses, or cheeses that have some goat milk in them, are showing so pretty now: the Coupole, the Cremont, the Nettle Meadow Kunik, the Petite Mothais, and the Roves des Garrigues. We always look forward to seeing these come into their primes. And with a side of fresh berries, these cheeses are all you may want to eat for lunch, or breakfast, or later in the day! The Abbaye de TamiÃ© is spectacular right now, to think of it: drawn from happy cows grazing on all types of flora in the valleys of the French Alps. Similarly, the Dorset suggests that the springtime in western Vermont was a good one. These two cheeses are available year-round but these two are primo now. Le Moulis is back, and like the previous two cheeses, this is a cheese that is delicious when it is at this age, and from cows grazing in the lush springtime of the PyrÃ©nÃ©es.
Apparently Utah had good springtime weather too, the Terraluna is magnificent. I have come to appreciate this cheese more and more. I look forward to seeing how its flavors evolve throughout the year. One thing I have always counted on this time of year is having the assurance that the Alpine cow cheeses are sufficiently aged. The Appenzeller has some of those sparkling tyrosine crystals developing and there are some in the Hoch Ybrig too. Having a little snack of these cheeses does the body good. And for that matter, I see no reason to ever refuse a little Carles Roquefort when it is around.
Summertime is a great time for cheese, cut back on the other sources of protein.