Monday, June 09, 2008

Leonora Cheese From Spain: a Tasty Semi-Aged Goat

Well its summer.  Time to cook a little bit and time to eat some cheese.  Not in the bad sounding, mob rat kind of way, but in the tasty, cheese is a real nice thing in the summer kind of way.  I am always looking for something new, and the lovely wife and I have an affinity for goat cheese.  Boucheron is good, but I feel like I've been eating it week after week...I think I've had more Boucheron than Parmesan.  So I was looking for something similar, but different.

I found what I was looking for at Zabar's.  There, in the cheese counter, was Leonora Cheese, a brick shaped goat cheese aged covered in a grayish, moldy (in a very good way) rind.  There is a translucent layer under this, which reminded me of boucheron and reminded the 365 cheese guy of Humboldt Fog (me less so).  The cheese is quite tangy, and a bit acidy.  Janet Fletcher of the San Francisco Chronicle (link below) noted that this acidity made the cheese a bit hard to pair with wine, but it was fine with crackers, grapes, and a little bit of good scotch. According to Ms. Fletcher's article, there is also significant batch variation, so my experience may not be the same as yours!   My suggestion would be to have it closer to the end of the cheese plate.  Its good as an appetizer.

Leonora is not my first choice for semi-aged goat cheese; that distinction still goes to Humboldt Fog.  But its good, and adds some variety to the same old cheese course or pre dinner appetizer. 

As usual, one of the better reviews I found was written by Janet Fletcher of the San Francisco Chronicle.  

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