My Father’s Day Cheeses

These three fine cheeses have special Father’s Day meanings for me. The Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane is a style of cheese that delivers a lot of bang for its buck (something that my father has always cared about greatly) partly because it is an unpasteurized sheep milk cheese. This signals plenty of flavor and aroma. The olive oil and vegetal notes come through, even after the cheese has been cut and left out for hours. It is a “primordial” cheese, from a family of cheeses that have been produced for millennia around the Mediterranean. The Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane is very nutritious: chock full of protein, vitamins, minerals, as well as the cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid. I want all that flavor, aroma and nutrition for my father, for myself, and for my daughter as well.

The Sbrinz we have in our caves now is what I call the “grandfather of Parmigiano-Reggiano” because it is another ancient type of cheese whose recipe was the inspiration for the Parm. My daughter’s first favorite cheese was Parmigiano-Reggiano. She could nibble on a chunk of it for hours when she was a toddler. There are no better sources of Calcium than what is offered in those two cheeses.

One day I presented her with some Sbrinz, which until that day, I thought was merely a “nice” cheese. After tasting it, she said that she would like some more. I remember that morning well. It was eye-opening to me – how she helped me recognize its qualities, by simply asking for more. Having those two cheeses helped make her MVP of her sports teams while growing up in lower Manhattan: basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, and hockey. In her early years she enjoyed her Sbrinz in larger chunks, though it is a cheese that is best enjoyed when it is shaved thin.

The Geit-in-Stad is a Dutch cheese produced from goat milk. My father likes the goat milk. He had some when he was a young boy. He also has a sweet tooth, and sweet is part of the allure of this cheese. When we include Geit-in-Stad as one of our featured cheeses at events, it is often the favorite. And a tip of the hat to my mother’s side of the family, the Dutch part, for that country’s many centuries of cheese making expertise.

Max McCalman

Spread the curd!
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