Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day One Ninety One - Adventures on "kitchen island" - Corrected

First off, let me apologize-- my iPhone decided to have a mind of it's own and publish a post that barely had two words in the title, technology you can live with it, can't live without it!!!

Needless to say, let me start by saying, why can't all islands be like Corsica in certain respects? Most islands feast on tourism and are able to maintain a somewhat stable economy due to their visitors. Granted Corsica has it's visitors but it also has an extreme concentration of food and wine production -- from wines to beers to cheeses to confitures to biscuits to chesnuts and chesnut flour to charcuterie to olive oil to herbs, this small island really spans the gamut. Each of the products I've tried has been completely artisanal and delish while maintaining the rugged rough side of the island in which they were produced -- they are quintessential examples of their unique terroir.

To give you a more indepth example and since this is a blog about cheese, I thought I would briefly discuss the six cheeses we tasted at last night's dinner:

1. Fresh brebis coated with local maquis herbs - a rarity to get such a fresh sheep's milk cheese treated in the same manner you might find a young goat's milk cheese treated. Just as creamy as a young goat's milk cheese but with signifcantly more heft and a depth of body. The interesting thing though is it is by far the lightest sheep's milk cheese I've had! This cheese is perfect when paired with a crisp glass of fresh Cap Corse rose.
2. A young goat's milk tomme - This extremely fresh, lactic, grassy tomme had a light hay and green citrus side - you could taste that the goats whose milk went to this cheese ate well - truly an embodiment of summer in Corsica!
3. A young sheep's milk tomme - Equally as fantastic as the goat tomme with just as much of a

fingerprint of terroir as the goat tomme, however this had a greater barnyardy, farmy, earthy side to it.
4. An aged goat tomme - Drier and pastier than it's younger cousin, this was a cheese to savour and pause on to reflect its delicacy while maintaining that classic aged goaty tang. Here, one certainly tasted mineraly grassy notes reminiscent of the hills where these goats graze.

5.An aged sheep tomme - Definitely significantly stinkier than it's younger sibling on our tasting plate, but not as old as our final cheese. This was an excellent example of the nutty earthy characteristics of simple small production sheep's milk cheeses, yet utterly fantastic and full of notes of its terroir.
6. Lastly we had a very aged sheep's milk cheese - Stinky, barnyardy, and supremely delish!!!! Definitely a nice note to end on!

You might be wondering why didn't they have any cow's milk cheese? Well that's because there are no cows on the entire island of Corsica.

Each cheese was so delish and special, you could tell that they were made by farmers who loved and cared deeply about their products. The nice treat was that you could tell that there was little to no preservative added to any of them -- they were presented with their flaws and short comings if they had them but also with their strengths and high notes. Personally, I felt there wasn't a sour one in the bunch!!!!

All were worth a taste, each different than the last!!

Check back tomorrow for a GCF and a special Corsican cheese feature!

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