cheese from spain
Mike, Joy, Lisette and I had glorious cheese this evening. We enjoyed some selections I have mentioned before (goat gouda, Pierre Robert) and some new cheese I have not yet discussed. In the latter category were two nice offerings from France: St. Nectaire, an uncooked, semi-soft monestary cheese made from the milk of cows that graze on volcanic flora at an elevation of 3000 feet; and, Mimolette Isigny, an aged hard cheese similar to Dutch Edam but with a sharper flavor and a distinctive bright orange color. But, the stars of the evening were two from Spain: Monte Enebro and a young Mahón.
Monte Enebro is a creamy, soft-ripened goat's milk cheese created by legendary producer Rafael Baez. Limited in production, it comes from Avila (south-west of Madrid) and is made from the milk from the valley’s goatherds. It is inoculated with penicillin mold and cave cured, added steps that produce an extraordinarily rich and tangy flavor. The Oakville Grocery stocks it, and I imagine other fine cheese stores do as well.
Mahón is a cow’s milk cheese from Menorca, one of the Baleraric Islands. Made using traditional methods from milk that is naturally acidic, the semi-firm cheese is fruity and intense in flavor. Finished with a paprika and oil rubbed rind, the cheese also has slight saltiness making it wonderfully versatile . The Mahón we had is younger in age and was obtained from Piazza’s Fine Foods.