Good evening everyone!
Being the cheese dork that I am, I get really excited when I try a cheese that really blows me away and when I decide to blog about it, I see that one of my food idols has already done so! This is the case with the Nerina from Alta Langa. I found in my research that three days ago, Janet Fletcher had already written an article on the Nerina. You can find her much more articulate article here: http://www.sfgate.com/food/cheesecourse/article/Ash-coated-Nerina-tantalizes-the-senses-4793694.php She is one of my idols for a reason, she knows her stuff!
I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to seem like I'm ripping off any information from Janet, but I did want to get you all excited about this cheese because it is currently on special at the Northern California Whole Foods!
Producer: Agrilanga - a creamery recently inherited by Alta Langa
Location: Piedmont, Italy
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal) rennet
Nerina means "little black one" which is appropriate as this cheese is dusted with vegetable ash. You can see in the picture above that there can be some other mold growth that occurs, but this is totally natural and helps make the cheese even more tasty!
When left to sit, the paste starts to yield a bit and become a bit more ooey-gooey. Like all goat's milk cheeses, the paste is bone white and while it smells a bit gamey, the flavor is more mild than you would expect. The ash helps to cut through some of the acidity, while the mold growth on the outside adds an earthy, grassy, mushroomy flavor to what would otherwise be a pretty intense goat cheese. When these flavors combine, you get a much more approachable and absolutely delicious goat cheese.
Be sure to swing on by your local Whole Foods Market cheese counter and ask for a taste of the Nerina. It's a great addition to any cheese plate and if you're a goat cheese fan, you're bound to love it.
My next post will be about the most recent seasonal cheese that Cowgirl Creamery has just released - Chimney Rock! It's super tasty and I'm really excited to try this year's batch. I also recently received some more pictures of when I was making Mt Tam at Cowgirl Creamery that I will share on that post as well. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!!