OK, so in a recent post I may have spoken poorly of the style of cheese known as Bergkäse. Just like with most any other non name-controlled cheeses, there's a few gems out there and a lot of lemons. Or, like, ducks. End-tables? Whatever the accepted stand-in term is for something that is not good in the greater category of cheese.
Today, though, we are not dealing in ducks. We are dealing in high grade curd. AAA. Top Shelf. Handcrafted. Seasonal. Holiday themed.
Yes, dear reader, you read that right. We have here an Easter special! More specifically, today we have a Beaufort Été from the summer of 2017, cared for and watched over just to be ready for Easter 2019. This is, in any case, what my local cheesemonger said. Sounds good! How does it taste?
Origin: Savoie, France
Milk: Cow, raw
Notes: As everyone knows, there are three different kinds of Beaufort: Normal, Summer, and d'Alpage. This is the Summer variety, so the milking was only from the summer pastures between June 1st and October 31st in 2017. That sweet sweet summer grass, those fresh herbs and flowers? You had better believe they'll show up in the cheese.
Thoughts: The smallest piece of this is a smack in the face of flavor. Truly every crumble of this packs a whole meal's worth of complexity. Starts off surprisingly sweet, grassy sweet like your favorite cheddar, but the longer you enjoy it the more layers reveal themselves. As the cheese breaks down on the palate it quickly becomes hauntingly dark, with hints of garlic shoots and raw notes playing off each other, the end of the flavor even teasingly toasted. The texture is perfect, full fat and the odd crunch here and there. This is as near as I know to a perfect cheese. This is art that you can eat. This is luxury, decadence, the absolute height of cheese indulgence, such that it seems a bargain at eur 4.80 for 100g. For the price of one gross Starbucks coffee drink, you can be transported through your tastebuds to a high meadow in the French alps. In Summer.
Coasters? It's a spare tires? Shirt collars? I don't know much about this, but I feel like calling an automobile a fruit is one thing but calling a food a food is just crazy. Clearly a cheese cannot be a fruit. That's absurd.