Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Fifteen : A Local's Market

In most New York City neighborhoods these days, you can find your occasional Greenmarket on particular days of the week, but there really is nothing like the New Amsterdam Market. Previously somewhat of a quarterly pop up market, the New Amsterdam is here to stay on a weekly basis starting this Fall. Designed to promote a locavore way of life, promoting local producers, stimulating the regional economy, this market is modeled on the old world markets of yesteryear. A mixture of fresh produce, cheese, meats, wines, cider, pasta, prepared foods and more, the New Amsterdam Market holds a special place in my heart.

While there on this particularly dreary Sunday morning, I picked up Cooperstown Cheese Company's version of a Pepato cheese. I've had their Toma Celena before, their take on a classic Alpine cheese but from New York state but had never had their take on Pepato before. Pepato is typically made in Italy with a pecorino style paste -- that is a semi-firm sheep's milk cheese, with black peppercorns scattered throughout. This version keeps the main elements intact -- sheep's milk and black peppercorns, but it has a buttery, creamy, nuttiness that simply is not present in its Italian cousin. Its got almost a Parmesan sort of nuttiness to it, great when grated over fresh fettuccine or when paired with a nice Pinot Meunier from DuckWalk Vineyards on Long Island. A true local find! They also have a cheddar infused with garlic scapes that was pretty fantastic, heavy on the garlic, light on the cream, but with a nice cheddary bite.

I love trying local interpretations of the well known classics  from across the pond, they are always imbued with quintessential regional terroir and a certain specific oomph found here in the Northeast.

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