First of all, I have to tell you all that I'm really excited about tomorrow... we're having a massive sale (20% off!) on all cut in house cheeses at my store and all other Northern CA/Reno Whole Foods Market locations. I will be working during the day from about 8-4:30pm and would love for you to stop by and talk cheese with me! I'll be buying plenty of cheeses myself tomorrow... it's such a great deal! If you can, swing by the Los Altos Whole Foods Market location at 4800 El Camino Real and say hello.
Now, the cheese. We just got this cheese in a couple days ago and it's quite a fun one. The Valsassina Robiola.
Cheese: Valsassina Robiola
Producer: Dairies from the Valsassina. Aged and cared for by Guffanti.
Location: the Valsassina region in Italy
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)
The Valsassina Robiola is a younger, smaller cousin to the Taleggio. It is a washed rind, uncooked, unpressed cheese. Because of its size, it is supposed to age much quicker than it's relative Taleggio allowing it to soften and develop more complex flavors I think the square that I cut open was a bit on the young side and hadn't had much of a chance to ripen. BUT, from what I tasted, I can't wait to see what it will taste like after a couple more weeks of aging!
When I first unwrapped the Valsassina Robiola, I was surprised with the subtlety of the typical washed rind smell. It was very earthy and dusty smelling with a hint of funk. The paste is very mild with tastes of yeast, cream and salt. I can only imagine what it will be like in a few weeks! Both the smell and flavor will become more intense as the cheese ages. I'll probably buy a square for myself tomorrow during the sale and age it in my vegetable cooler myself to see it reach its potential!
As it was a little young, the salt was a touch overpowering... and all I could think about was how tasty this cheese, at this age, would be with a beer. I bought a piece for myself and paired it with the Hopocalypse Black Label Triple IPA from Drakes brewing. Unfortunately, this beer isn't available currently. My amazing beer buyer, Matt, bought me a bottle at the brewery during their Hopocalypse release on my birthday - thanks Matt! But have no fear, any other hoppy, delicious IPA would go amazingly well with the Valsassina Robiola.
Like I mentioned before, I would love to see you all tomorrow at my cheese counter! Be sure to swing by and try some yummy cheeses with me! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!