Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cheese of the Week: Fen

I didn't forget about the cheese of the week. Really--I didn't. While things have been busy, it doesn't excuse me from leaving you readers (all three of you :) ) in suspense for weeks, wondering what cheese could possibly come next (and wondering what the name of our last cheese was--that mystery has been solved. It was called Pincion). Part of the reason, though, is that WE haven't really found any cheeses that we liked enough to blog about. A few weeks ago we tried a really sharp pecorino that was extremely hard to cut into, and the most memorable cheese (which I WILL blog about in one of these cheese-of-the-week posts) was a delectable mozzarella di bufala from nearby Mogliano in Le Marche (a rarity, since most all mozzarella di bufala come from the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is) that I discovered at a wonderful little fruit and veggie market near my husband's work.

Fen cheese, from Piedmonte

So, as one cheese discovery begets another, it was just a few days after that delicious mozzarella di bufala that I came across Fen in that favourite cheese shop of mine. It was actually pure luck that Fen and I found each other, because the lady who took my order ended up showing her lack of cheese knowledge by pronouncing Gouda Gow-da (I know, it's an honest mistake). Also, "luck" was aided by my asking to try a sample of the cheese (a little sliver), and my being pleased with the results.

I think you'll be pleased with Fen as well--it's a great cheese to eat by itself (in fact, I've been busily snacking away on it all evening). We even had to buy another hunk of it since we ate the entire first hunk before I even had a chance to snap a photo. Fen has its roots in Piedmonte, and it's kind of unique because it is wrapped in hay (in Italian fieno, hence Fen) and aged that way. The cheese is a perfect blend of nutty and sharp, and the best time to try it is at room temperature, letting it sweat a little. It's also not that hard of a cheese, making it easy to slice and eat. Fen is a really likeable cheese, and I think it's a great find. It's one of my favorite new discoveries.

On to look for another cheese to talk about next week. In the meantime, check out my brother's newest American cheese of the week, Mobay.

- Jackie


At 5:57 AM, Blogger pgoyette said...

actually i'm told the correct pronunciation for gouda is something like HOW-da. or at least, that is what the cheese book you gave me says!

At 2:48 PM, Blogger rowena said...

You know you've lived in Italy long enough when you can already figure out why the cheese is called Fen. Never heard of it, but sounds like something that I wish was sitting in my cheese box right now!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger r said...

It looks great. Glad you are back with the cheese of the week. You have to bring them all home!

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Gouda is pronounced HOW-DA, see

which would be acceptable as GOW-DA, which is better than goo-da as most people say it, so why are you claiming this person is demonstrating ignorance?


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