Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cheese Help

I enjoy eating cheese but I am the first to admit that I don't know that much about it. I grew up on regular grocery store cheese, like cheddar, provolone, pepper jack, munster, mozzarella, American cheese, string cheese. I try different cheeses from cheese plates but often have no idea what I'm eating. (It doesn't help that most cheeses look the same and that cheese platters aren't labeled.) The first time I saw the lengthy cheese menu (a menu!) at Artisanal, the adjectives used to describe cheese both amused and confused me. Who chooses cheese that is "unctuous" or has a "yeasty aroma" or is described as "lactic" or "pungent" or has "hints of sour milk"? What do some of the descriptions even mean? It was like a different world.

Maybe the reason I don't eat a ton of cheese is the lactose intolerance that runs in my family (and that I'm hoping to avoid by continuing to eat cheese). Or maybe it's because one summer day five years ago, I went to Artisanal with some co-workers and all we got was fondue and cheese plates, and later that day, I was laying on the bathroom floor with severe stomach pains and cheese coma. I had been running around and cleaning the apartment after our late lunch unlike the rest of the group which just went home and slept off the cheese coma. I learned some lessons that day - cheese in moderation and nap (don't go for a run!) after eating a lot of cheese.

But what cheeses did we eat that day? No idea. There were some runny cheeses and maybe a Spanish cheese. That's about all I remember. Generally, the only cheeses I remember the taste of right now (outside of the "common" cheeses) are Greek cheeses, like anthotiro and mizithra. So good on salads. And gouda. Good memories of Holland. I realize this post makes me sound a little ignorant about cheese, but it's true. I am. After all, most of us can't really know everything about everything.

I go through all of this to explain why I need your help - what is the cheese on the left side of the picture? The cubes were pink and yellow marbled and I have no idea what they were! I am so curious and keep wondering about it, but don't know where to research it. I ate the other two cheeses on the plate (cheese platter we got at work) (honestly, can't remember what those were either). But the pink cheese? First time I've ever seen that. Can anyone tell me what that is?

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