Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cheese Lovers in San Francisco

Not much to say on this rather sleepy Saturday in Macerata: it's grey outside, and we've spent the good part of today inside, watching really bad movies and getting some chores done. We're about to escape into the cold though--as it seems like it is quite cold outside--to head to a birthday party. We also need to get started on some Thanksgiving day shopping: it looks like we are going to have the dinner here at our house, and I'm already a little nervous about all of the cooking that will have to happen over the next week. Am I ready? Hmmm...that's a good question! I'm eager to get a menu set, though!

After starting these cheese of the week posts, I've noticed that The San Francisco Chronicle happens to have a lot to say about cheeses, and now I realize why: they seem to be doing a Cheese of the week themselves. It's called Cheese Course, and every week they talk about a new kind of cheese, many of them being American cheeses, which is kind of impressive. While American dairies may not be especially known for their cheese (and the term "American cheese" conjures up thoughts of yellow Velveeta style stuff), there are so many serious dairies cropping around the country, and, even as recently as our summer visit, I already felt like the cheese scene in America was starting to make a name for itself, as we visited Milwaukee in Wisconsin and were impressed by the cheeses we tried.

I came across this article, which talks about Trader's Point Creamery in Indianapolis, and it made me smile. I've been there before with Corrie--it's an organic dairy in Zionsville--a suburb of Indianapolis, and I've even bought some of their cheese (and enjoyed it!). I wish I had read the article above first, though, as I know I didn't try the raw milk Fleur de la Terre cheese, and I think I missed out! Based on what the article says, the cheese was developed by the Creamery's cheesemaker, Fons Smits, who hails from the Netherlands, and has developed excellent cheeses in the past. This one appears to be no exception, and Janet Fletcher of the Chronicle reviews the cheese as follows:


Finished wheels of Fleur de la Terre weigh about 11 pounds. They have a hard, dry, clean rind, and a firm, butter-colored interior with a few small eyes. The aroma, oddly, reminds me of the fat on a lamb chop - an unexpected fragrance in a cow's milk cheese, but appetizing nonetheless. The flavors are sweet, salty and mellow, the finish creamy if you let the cheese sit on your tongue. Smits has created a cheese with personality that doesn't resemble anything else. I like it immensely.


Sounds prety good, huh? Not only has it got the SF Chronicle's seal of approval, but it has also been winning awards, including first place at the American Cheese Society's Conference and Competition. Hopefully I can pick some up on my next visit to Indianapolis: luckily I'm planning a trip back to the states for Christmas! In the meantime, Corrie, you'll have to check this stuff out for us! Maybe it would make a good "cheese of the week" from Indy?

In the meantime, have a great weekend, everyone!

-Jackie

2 Comments:

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita said...

Here in NY we are able to source some wonderful sheep's cheeses. They are really doing a great job.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

Ciao Bella,

Can't wait for your holiday return to the States and a chance to introduce TP's Fleur de la Terre. I think it comes in two versions: raw and pasturized. We'll have to do some thorough tasting research together!

-Corrie

 

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