This weekend the taste buds stumbled hard all over the place, ending up fortuitously in figurative Italy and figurative Vermont. TL;DR cheese from all the places was eaten! I stopped by Foster & Dobbs in Portland and spent a vunderful 30 minutes sampling cheese and charcuterie and working real hard to not drop the entire paycheck. The first selection of the evening was the long-awaited Moses Sleeper from Jasper Hill, here portrayed in all its macro glory. Note the divinity that is a mossy, yielding, ivory bloomy rind. Also the little midsection paunch that demonstrates the dynamism of cheese acclimating to room temperature.
Taking a chunk out of this is exposing your mouth to buttery globs of smooth elastic velvet. Pure, refined cream and calm, bright notes of sweet dairy and veggie. The favorite part surprised my mouth, as in the gustatory experience several seconds post-eating was marked by umami and mild mild hints of mushroom fungal flavor. Like so thrilling and so sneaky! Thank you Vermont, thank you Jasper Hill, thank you dairy cows.
Round two though, stuff gets real here. I asked the very helpful Foster & Dobbs cheese worker for a cheese that could confound and bewonder, which is usually the type of request that will get me stares and hesistant "Uhh what" type of responses at most cheese counters. In any case F&D cheese man pulled out this Blu di Bufala, a blue from Italy with serious zzzzzing. Made from water buffalo milk and aged 2-3 months to a delicious point of volatility, Blu di Bufala could be dessert.
So much is right about this wedge; so much serious harmony in this product. The croûte pulls out all the stops, namely dense garlicky savour and tasteable lasagne sensibilities. The meatiness that exists here is uncanny/not safe for vegetarians. As you work your way down to the buttery, high-fat interior, the strong exterior transitions to a tangy violet roasted vegetable-something profile and a texture/consistency not dissimilar from a fine foie gras. The blueness is noticeable throughout, and serves as a constant high/low note that gives definition to the other outstanding characteristics. Absolutely decadent and absolutely perplexing, also floral notes aplenty. We dined on spiced coppa and fennel salumi and were satisfied and sated before our bellies were even full, which means we were gourmets and not gourmands. The cheese dream lives on!