We could feel it around here the past couple of days: a little crispness and slight chill that stimulates our appetites. This works out well for cheese lovers, when there is a greater variety available in their optimal forms than at any other time of the year. There are still plenty of the fresher younger cheeses around as well as some of those cheeses produced earlier this year that needed a few extra months aging to reach their peaks. For the cheeses that are at their best at over one year of aging, those will have had ample time to come into their own. The stinkier cheeses are better tolerated now than when the heat index was over one hundred, and the blues are looking more attractive too.
A friend of mine invited a few friends over for fondue just a couple days ago, while it is still technically summer. I can make room for blues, the stinkiest, as well as fondue at any time of the year, no matter the weather.
We’re also headed into a busier time of the year, most of us. The days are becoming shorter and there seem to be more tasks to accomplish. This is another advantage for cheese lovers. With less time for other culinary endeavors we can assemble a little selection of cheeses and make it a meal, bread optional.
Rest assured, you have little to fear selecting your cheeses this time of year. It is almost impossible to go wrong, only that you may want to get a little more than you did in July; your bigger appetite is back. This time last week I had about 50 cheeses in my little cheese cave at home (a.k.a. the kitchen refrigerator) with the equivalent of around twenty pounds total. Today there are less than 20 cheeses remaining, and only about five pounds total.
The temperature is going to be pretty cool here tonight; I better stock up. Maybe I will make a little fondue too.
- Max McCalmanPosted by Artisanal Cheese