Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Cheesy Harmony that is Mélodie

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to talk about a cheese that I "rediscovered" while attending the American Cheese Society in Raleigh, NC last year. This cheese is the Mélodie from Laura Chenel. When I was cheese buyer for a different Whole Foods location, we brought this baby in when it first came out in 2011. It was and still is so delicious - delicious enough to win 1st place in the "Open Category - made from goat's milk" category at the same conference that I attended.


Cheese: Mélodie
Country of Origin: United States
Producers: Laura Chenel in Sonoma, CA
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Rennet: Microbial
To see a short, fun video on how Mélodie is made, click here: http://laurachenel.com/resources/chefs-videos/making-melodie-goat-cheese/


The Mélodie is named for its resemblance to piano keys with it's black/grey rind and pure white paste. As I've discussed in previous posts, goat's milk does not retain any of the carotenoids that come from the grass they eat. Because of this, their milk is always pure white - not yellowish as seen in most cow and sheep milk cheeses. The black on the rind is actually a layer of vegetable ash that is used as a natural preservative that keeps unwanted bacteria away. The ash is applied right after the cheese wheels are removed from the forms. After a while, the beautiful white bloom breaks through the ash forming the lovely black/grey rind. 

I like this picture because it shows how white the paste is as well as the outline of the vegetable ash and rind.
Tasting the Mélodie today was awesome as always. It is pleasantly goaty, but still lactic, creamy and clean. The flavor is relatively mild yet wonderfully balanced with the creamy goat tang and earthy mushroom from the rind. One of my coworkers had not had the opportunity to try this cheese yet and we tasted it together. He commented on the fact that you could tell that it was goat cheese, but was not overly gamey. He went on to say that he really enjoyed it and I'm sure he will be recommending it to many a customer in the future. 

Pair this cheese with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or as the folks at Laura Chenel suggest, an unoaked California Chardonnay. This would also be a cheese that I serve with plenty of fresh fruit to serve as a clean acidity that would "harmonize" with the creamy, lactic nature of the Mélodie. 

Come by the cheese counter and experience the tastiness of the Mélodie yourself! I hope to see you soon and as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at Leah.McFadden@wholefoods.com or leave a comment below. I appreciate you all for supporting my blog and for helping me reach 2000 views! I'm also pleased to announce that I won a blogging contest through Culture magazine and will be featured as a guest blogger on their blog in February. Keep an eye out! Until then, eat, drink and be happy!