Monday, October 4, 2010

Day Two Thirty Seven : Pecorino Tartufo Marriage Mondays

Yes, I'm going a bit more obscure today but I thought why not, reading my blog is about learning about what to do with cheese and sometimes it sure is nice to treat oneself, right?? I view an indulgence in a truffle infused cheese as one of those nice little treats, nothing you have to feel super duper guilty about the next day. There are quite a few different cheesemakers that insert of black truffle shavings into their cheeses to dress up their creamy product, making it more aromatic and earthy.

For today's blog post, I thought we would adopt Pecorino Tartufo, an Umbrian pressed sheep's milk cheese. Many of you are familiar with the buttery creamy nuttiness of a classically delish Pecorino and for this cheese imagine that coupled with the excellence of black truffle shavings. Semi firm with a fantastic melt in your mouth sort of consistency this is a cheese that is well rounded and smooth with that certain "je ne sais quoi" to stand out in a crowd. Great to dress up a cheese plate -- elementary and advanced cheese lovers alike will enjoy this cheese, that's for sure!

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I debated for a little while whether today's contestants should be beverages or foods and I decided, let's go with beverages and then I will suggest a nice recipe as well tomorrow after our results!

Contestant Number # 1: Prosecco - Italy's classic bubbly option, more economical than a bottle of champagne, but just as celebratory if you ask me! Traditionally this is a dry sparkling wine made from a grape varietal known as Glera, found in the Veneto region. What could be better than some bubbly and a truffle cheese right? Does that spell New Year's or a special occasion to you? Certainly does to me! Will it be the right celebration for our Pecorino Tartufo this week or should you save it?

Contestant Number # 2: Oktoberfest - Yes also the name of a huge beer drinking festival in Germany that takes place yearly from mid September through early October; this is also a seasonal lager style beer. Originating in 1872 by the then brewer of Spaten beers, Josef Sedlmayr, it is modeled on the traditional Vienna style lagers of the time. Now, Oktoberfest beers are made up of at least 20 % Vienna or Munich malts and malt is certainly the shining star of the beverage, so enjoy it! Bready, nutty and satisfying, this is not an overly heavy beer but sure announces its presence upon scent. Will the nuttiness of the beer be the perfect counterpart to the aromatics of the Pecorino Tartufo?

Contestant Number # 3: Zinfandel - Thought to be the classic American red wine grape, this grape actually originates from the Eastern European country of Croatia. That being said, now this warm weather growing grape is found throughout California. Traditionally meant to be drank young, Zins tend to be dry to medium bodied wines with a fantastic breadth of flavors to them. Yes they are very fruit forward, specifically with an emphasis on dark red fruits -- blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries. However you will find nice black pepper, clove, and herbal notes as well. I wonder will these nuances be the ticket for our cheese?

Stay tuned to find out tomorrow.

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