Friday, March 03, 2006

Cheese: Cacio di Bosco al Tartufo

Here's something new for HFF, cheese reviews.

First, let me say that I enjoy cheese quite a bit, that being said I don't really "get" cheese. Then again, it could be said that I don't really "get" wine either. What I mean by that is I love the range of flavors, textures, and sensations that both good cheese and good wine offer, but I don't experience anything transcendent or orgasmic in the process of such enjoyment. The single food/drink items that have moved me anything close a transcendent culinary experience are: some really good dark chocolates, Laphroaig Cask Strength scotch, and Cesar's orange bread pudding with caramel sauce.

BUT, cheese is still good and worth spending money on. So, on with the cheese.

I was at A.G. Ferrari to purchase some pasta and decided to get an inexpensive pecorino or asiago for grating. I found a nice pecorino and figured I'd head out, but the tattooed gentleman behind the counter suggested I try a cheese that they were offering. After tasting the Cacio di Bosco al Tartufo--described as "basically pecorino with white truffles"--I was hooked. It definitely has pecorino's characteristic saltiness, there is also a nice creaminess that I was surprised to get from such a hard cheese. The distinctive feature of this cheese however is the white truffle flavor. This is not just a "truffled" dish or a cheese imbued with a whiff of truffle oil. This cheese tastes like motherfucking truffles. I'm by no means a fan of truffles, but I found the flavor of this cheese incredible. It's only downside is the cheesy-truffle aftertaste that lingers for a while and will color anything you eat or drink for the next hour or so.

I only ate the cheese out of hand (lightly chilled and at room temperatre), but it would also go well with some fresh fruit, candied nuts, or honey to temper the strong saltiness of the cheese itself. It would accompany pasta well but that could be construed as a waste of a not inexpensive cheese. Whatever you do with your money is your business.

Country: Italy
Milk: 100% Sheep
Firmness: Hard
Price: $27.99/lb
Purchased: A.G. Ferrari Foods, Piedmont Ave.

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