Don’t look in her eyes
You might fall and find the love of your life, heavenly
But she’ll catch you in her web
The love of your life, yeah
Feel the fire where she walks
Lola Montez, so beautiful.
I often compare wonderful food to beautiful women. An infamous Instagram post in which I compared a perfect quiche to Kate Upton’s voluptuous breasts actually dismantled a friendship – inevitable, but still sad. Anyway, I compare good food to sexy ladies because they combine my two most basic primal instincts: eating and fucking. So when other people make the same comparison, I get really excited.
A couple weeks ago, the following image of Lola Montez waltzed into my Facebook feed and I was entranced.
That mosaic of meadow flowers on her rind… Though I hadn’t even seen what lay underneath, I was overcome with a desire to possess her. So, I conducted some cheese business in the comments..
Social media is a beautiful thing… Thanks for the hook-up, Jordan!
Lola Montez is named after a raven-haired, icy-eyed dancer who ravaged the world with her beauty during the mid-19th century. She was famous for seducing great men of power, including King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Legend has it that when the two met, the king asked her if her bosom was real. Though they where in public, Lola tore off enough of her garments to reveal her very real breasts. A 16-month affair ensued, during which the King made her a countess. He also attempted to grant her citizenship, but an outraged mob drove Lola away from Germany and on to travel the world.
While that Lola passed many years ago, her namesake cheese is now wrecking havoc on the hearts of us turophiles. This dairy damsel is a classic Alpine style cheese enrobed in a flurry of mountain blossoms and herbs, creating a mesmerizing mosaic on her rind. Her American importer Columbia Cheese describes her as “a visual stunner with a rich, mouth-filling paste that is imbued with the fleeting scent of a summer mountaintop.” A whiff of her sweet paste reveals notes of lemony, spring honey. On the palate, she is surprisingly tangy, a trait that plucks at my heart like a harp. Her texture, while at first friable, quickly melts away leaving flavors of fresh green almonds, sweet hay, wild flowers and a kiss of caramelized white chocolate. Chew the rind, I Implore you, and she will transform into a puddle of perfumed pesto in your mouth. Catch me, for I have fallen and found the love of my life.
The real Lola is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn. Bruce Seymour, a San Franciscan lawyer who wrote her biography, dedicated a new tombstone in her honor to replace the decaying monument that lay since her death. To celebrate the new stone, Seymour threw a small soiree during which enthusiasts lay flowers at her grave while enjoying a picnic of wine, beer, and cheese.
Lola comes from Käskuüche Isny, a group of dairy farmers making organic cheese using sustainable practices (swoon).
Milk: raw cow
Maker: Käskuüche Isny
Cost: about $30/lb.
Palate level: medium
Profile: dense, sweet milk, spring flowers and meadow herbs,
Pairings: honey, thyme jams, floral Belgian ales