It’s Fromage Friday,
And I Found the Lemon Meringue Pie of Cheese
Let me introduce you to this beautiful specimen, April Showers from Evergreen Lane Farm in Michigan. This little lady is based on the French brie-style cheese called Chaource. She’s all cow’s milk, with a delicate, tissue-like rind and a tangy paste that melts like fudge on the palate. I fell a little bit in love with her today. I couldn’t help but caress her supple rind and whisper sweet nothings while pairing her with only the most perfect of accoutrement. But I’ll get to that in a second.
I often complain about the lack of cut-to-order cheese counters in my city. Most retailers that sell artisan cheese aren’t aware that these products require love and care. They chop their luscious, untainted wheels into quarter pound wedges, wrap them in plastic, and leave them to die on display beneath fluorescent lights. Cheese is alive and needs frequent exposure to oxygen so it doesn’t suffocate and die. It also requires gentle handling and lots of love. Luckily, Local Foods has finally opened up shop in Bucktown. It’s a little market that houses my favorite butcher shop, Butcher & Larder, in addition to a café, and a cut-to-order cheese counter run by a monger named Colin, who’s spent time at both Pastoral and Eataly Chicago. This guy definitely knows how to care for cheese. If you live in Chicago, be sure to pay him a visit.
I’m so excited to have a supply of local cheeses to feature, like little April Showers here. Once that lemony paste hits your palate it melts like fondue. I didn’t have crackers on hand, but I did buy some bacon from Butcher & Larder. So, I cooked it until it was crunchy and made that my cracker. Then I drizzled it with honey. If I wasn’t going to work after, I would have made myself a lavender, lemon, and Prosecco cocktail. But I’m a wuss.
April Showers from Evergreen Lane Creamery
Provenance: Fennville, MI
Milk: pasteurized cow
Cost: about $11.00 each
Palate level: beginner
Profile: creamy. lemony, tangy
Pairings: champagne, marcona almonds, bacon, lavender honey