The Cheese Diaries Week 3
Now that I’ve become pretty familiar with the cheeses and the daily functions at Pastoral, I’ve begun building catering trays. I’ve always been very creatively inclined and I’m finding a deep tranquility in the organizing of the cheeses, charcuterie and accoutrements about the trays. It’s not only about making the trays look pretty, but also about guiding the eaters, lining the blue crumbles with figs or surrounding a tiny jar of honey with the bucheron. It’s a way to communicate to a person through food that really appeals to me.
In addition to building trays, many of the cheese mongers are required to pair cheeses with whatever wine we’re focusing on. I’m not quite there yet, but I find pairings incredible exciting. When the flavors of a cheese co-mingle with the notes of the right wine, something miraculous happens. Even if you aren’t sold on the cheese or the wine, the way they interact can make sparks fly.
It’s German wine month at Pastoral and at our recent staff meeting, we tasted all of the featured wines. It was the best staff meeting ever. Anyway, perhaps it was my rapid yearning for the land of Deutsch, or perhaps it was my shamefully, non-German alcohol tolerance, but I decided to purchase the HM 16 by Weingut Keller and paired it with Anton’s Liebe Rot.
Anton’s Liebe Rot, aka Anton’s Lovely Red, is a washed-rind cheese out of Germany. Swiss cheesemaker Anton Holzinger named the cheese after the red-tinted rind, a result of the B. Linens. The soft, oozing paste tastes of soil and butter, leaving behind a thick aftertaste of slightly bitter moss. The rind has the pungency of salty feet and a faint note of lemon rind that melts away into the paste. Unfortunately, this wedge was a little overripe but it was still good. We ate it atop of black pepper Mary’s Gone Crackers.