More Cow Pie, please.

25 04 2007

Cheese Close-Up
I attended my second all-cheese-tasting tonight at Tria Fermentation School. If you’re keeping track, and I hope you have better hobbies than that, tonight’s class makes 10 beer-tastings and two cheese-tastings for me. Apparently, I love to eat and drink.

Tonight, we tasted cheese from Pennsylvania’s Hendricks Farms and Dairy. It was all pretty much downright delicious. My favorite cheese of the night was Hendricks’s Cow Pie. Yup, Cow Pie. It’s the farm’s take on a Camembert; it was all gooey and earthy. As I understood it, the sample we had was about as old as the Cow Pie gets…. The farm’s executive chef, Phil Falsone, explained that the Cow Pie is made from the cows’ evening milk, which is fattier (since the cows have been eating all day). I couldn’t get enough.

Coming a close second for me was Hendricks’s Grass Stains cheese (great names, huh?). It apparently starts life similarly to the Cow Pie, but it gets seriously jacked up with salt, herbs, and pepper. A lot of pepper. I could go for some more of that right now, too, in fact.

I also enjoyed Hendricks’s Telford Tomme, a mild, creamy cheese. Really, there wasn’t a cheese tonight that I didn’t enjoy. Hendricks’s blue cheeses weren’t quite as, um, smelly and blue as I sometimes crave, but the Dirty Laundry blue cheese was certainly tasty. I wouldn’t hesitate to have it again.

Hendricks Farm, by the way, isn’t that far from Philly. Since I first read about the operation in Cheese By Hand, I’ve been thinking I should drive up and check things out. Now, I absolutely want to do that—and soon. A springtime visit sounds nice….

Tria served an apple cider and two wines with the cheeses. The cider, Farnum Hill’s Extra-Dry, was amazingly tasty. I don’t know enough about cider, but it definitely left my palate ready to try the cheese…. I also have nice things to say about the white wine we tried—Standing Stone Vineyards‘ 2006 Riesling. (I didn’t really like the pinot noir we had, but I think that probably says more about my palate than the wine….)

What else can I say about tonight? Well, there weren’t many men at the cheese-tasting. Is cheese not manly? That said, Falsone, the chef from Hendricks, was 100% cute and adorable. Is there anything sexier than a man who could feed you well?

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