Monday, March 31, 2008

Winchester Cheese, Twenty-Two Days Later

A long, long time ago, on Saturday, March 8th (she writes, while wincing: is anyone still out there?), I visited the booth of southern California's own Winchester Cheese, the only cheese vendor at our humble market. Manned by the friendly and generous Dan, Winchester offers a mouth-watering assortment of homemade Gouda cheeses.

On my visit, I saw mild, medium, aged, jalapeƱo, cumin, and garden herb, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be others. Dan has an organized selection of samples on offer; I had only the first three, mild, medium, and aged.

But before going on, I just have to remark on how wonderfully meticulous Dan was in meting out his samples: he'll make sure before you take your first test that you start with a milder cheese so that you don't sully your palette for these subtler samples by beginning with a sharp cheese. I thought this was so mindful, I couldn't let it go without remark.

Now, we can proceed with the more general cheese commentary. Though usually a fan of aged Goudas, like that sold at Dean & Deluca in NYC, I opted to purchase the medium, here. I found the aged to be a smidge too sharp, for me. Eaten alone, the semi-soft medium cheese is creamy, with a subtle, but still unmistakable bite at its end. I recommend eating it slowly and alone at first, then maybe adding a mild cracker or olive with it.

In browsing their website, I discovered that Winchester offers membership in a Cheese Club, which provides bimonthly shipments of two cheeses for an average cost of $20-$25. This seems about on par with the cost of cheese at the market, which can get pricey at around $10.

I will post my recipe from my cheese (Quiche with Mushrooms, Gouda, Shallots, and Fresh Thyme) and a post with Ha's Apple Farm and a general market report presently. Please don't give up on me readers! I'm here, I promise.

1 comment:

Alison said...

Your cheese-tasting recommendation reminds me of that delicious cayenne dark chocolate that you brought from NYC. mmm!