Saturday, October 01, 2005

CSI-Cheese edition

So what better way to spend a Saturday than to head down to the Embarcadero market and chat with some cheese people? Since we've been studying Scanlan's cheeses, we trotted over to the Andante booth. The helpful young woman guarding the baskets pointed out some mushy, gushy cheeses in the basket -- a disc of Pianoforte, which is the Saint-Marcellin style cheese, and then more Nocturne. Guess what we bought.

Since we were down there, it seemed impolite not to call on the Cowgirl Creamery counter, so we sauntered over and took a number. I had recalled seeing what looked like a fermier Sainte-Nectaire and lo! There it was-- a lovely looking hunk of cheese affined by the famed Jean d'Alos. Next to that was a chunk of gorgeous tawny Mimolette also affined by d'Alos. How could we say no? Just a teeny bit, please.

We take our cheese booty home, but my black puffball is less than impressed, and with good reason. We unwrap the newly purchased Nocturne and it's not just ripe, it's got the distinct odor of ammonia.

Damn. It just goes to show you that no matter what, you should never buy cheese wrapped up without smelling and/or tasting it. This one might as well go on the steel table in the CSI labs. It's apparently been sadly smothered and probably (since we got to the market late in the day) been out in the sun. Not necessarily the best advertisement for Andante Dairy unfortunately.

Still we did venture to taste some of the interior-- though not the rind, which we had previously found so yummy -- and went on to prepare one of our favorite kinds of dinners. The Metronome wasn't as ripe as we had hoped, but felt we couldn't wait on it any longer,and the Pianoforte, though not in the league of Saint-Marcellin, was quite drippily delicious.

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