Sunday, November 18, 2007

Etorki (Brebis)

"It is truly a treat if you've ever had the opportunity to taste true is nutty, mellow, and fruity with a beige to gold paste and a rind that ranges from orange-yellow to brownish-gray. The prominent feature is the texture, which gives an almost taffy-like feel to the tongue." - Di Bruno Bros.

Since I live very close to Basque country, I constantly find Basque treats in most of the stores in my city. Like the delicious cheese I finally decided to taste, I have also enjoyed Basque Gateau (like a cherry pie), Basque sausages (a bit bloody), Basque-style dishes (lots of tomatos), and Basque beer. It seems that sheep and black cherries are specialties in this part of France and Spain, so I am looking forward to trying some black cherry jam, preferably homemade. So far, the Brebis is my favorite of all the Basque treats I've stumbled upon.

It's saltier than the other cheeses I like, which adds variety to my life, but also reminds me of the comfort of aged cheddar from home. I try not to shovel it into my mouth; instead, I eat little pieces with crackers. Dave and I have been enjoying it as an aperitif before we start cooking dinner. A little plate with some crackers, bread, peanuts, and brebis warms me up, especially when accompanied by a glass of red wine. I'm glad I have finally started to see the genius of the French aperitif!

The other day, we stepped into a small Basque store around the corner from our apartment. The man had aged brebis, mixed brebis and chevre cheese, mixed brebis and cow milk cheese, a bunch of different sausages, and other Basque specialties. We had just bought a block of brebis from the supermarket, but next time, we will certainly go to this man for our brebis.

I would recommend this cheese to anyone, even if they don't particularly like cheese. (Just take a lactaid pill beforehand, if lactose-intolerant. I promise! It's worth it.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

While in France... (Intro post)

This afternoon, while devouring a few pieces of Brebis cheese with lunch, a wave of clarity splashed me in the face. I decided to create a little blog about my adventures with cheese. And how appropriate?! If I have finally returned to the eden of cheese, then I should take advantage of it and share some of the notes that pop into my head when I taste this delicious penicillin-producing delight. I can't claim to know much about cheese or how it is made or even what beverage is best paired with it, but I can still use my taste buds to tell other average-tasters what I think about le fromage.

Thus, if you find any interest in what I just stated above, have a look at the other entries and please return for a visit.