Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Persillé du Malzieu

Hello everyone and happy tax day to all of my American readers!

Today started off a bit crazy for me as I was one of the thousands of Americans running frantically to the Post Office to make sure my taxes went out on time. Glad that's over!

It was nice coming in to work today as I found a much awaited treat from France - the Persillé du Malzieu.

Cheese: Persillé du Malzieu
Affineur: Hervé Mons
Location: Produced by a cooperative in Malzieu Ville, France
Milk: Pasteurized sheep's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

This particular cheese was recommended to me by a customer. He said that he had had it at a different Whole Foods Market location and that we should bring it in. I asked my buyer very nicely to bring it in so we could try it. After waiting 8 weeks (that's how long it takes to get cheese shipped from France), it's finally here! I was very excited to try some. 

As I crumbled a little piece off I could see that there was a lot of mold present, which means more flavor! The smell wasn't particularly strong, but the taste... oh, the taste. Strong and spicy with a nice salty, creamy balance. It walks a thin line of being too potent, but the balance in the cheese makes it amazing. 

I love how Murray's cheese shop describes this cheese: "Spice is the variety of life, which is why we hunger for this rare, powerfully spicy blue. Produced just beyond the legally protected limits of Roquefort, this cheese is made of Lacaune sheep milk, like it's more famous neighbor, but captures a far greater flavor spectrum. Texturally, Malzieu sits heavy on the tongue, only to dissolve into a milky skim within seconds. The threat of excess salt, razing sharpness, and intense moldiness is present but always at bay. Beautifully balanced with rich, fatty milk, mushroom, and a long sweetness that should be complemented by a rich, oily dessert wine such as Sauternes or tawny Port." 

The other difference between the Persillé du Malzieu and Roquefort is that Persillé du Malzieu is made with pasteurized sheep's milk instead of raw sheep's milk. For those folks who prefer their cheeses pasteurized, this is a great alternative. But if you're not keen on blue cheeses, I would recommend steering clear of this blue "giant". Lots of delicious flavor, but really quite strong.

If you'd like to try a piece, come on by the Whole Foods Market in Los Altos where we just freshly cut a wheel of this delectable cheese. I hope to see you all soon. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mediterranean Raclette

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and/or Passover. I've been busily planning my wedding as well as working with Business Insider on an article called: "What it's REALLY like to work at Whole Foods". If you're interested, you can find the link here:

I was very honored that I was asked to do this interview and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. A HUGE thank you to all of my loyal readers who have helped make this blog what it is today.

Today I wanted to talk about the Mediterranean Raclette from Emmi Roth USA.

Cheese: Mediterranean Raclette
Producer: Emmi Roth USA
Location: Monroe, WI
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

The flavored cheeses are not cheeses I typically blog about. But, I am always impressed with the innovations the folks at Emmi Roth come up with for traditional recipes of cheeses - in this case, Raclette. Besides the Mediterranean Raclette, they also have a Roasted Garlic Raclette and a 5 Peppercorn Raclette. I have had the opportunity to try them all at ACS Conferences past and boy oy boy, are they delicious.

We just recently received the Mediterranean Raclette at our cheese counter and I decided to try it just on its own, without being melted. This version of the Raclette has a tomato basil garlic mix, sundried tomato and black olives. I was a little nervous about the black olives at first, but they added a nice tangy acidity without being overly salty. The paste was very smooth and creamy, not as "stinky" as some of the other Raclettes I have had. Needless to say, this cheese is AMAZING melted. Whether you use a Raclette machine, or if you just melt it into your pasta, you will thoroughly enjoy this cheese.

Two of my rockstar team members, Ernest and Ian, both enjoyed the tasting of the Mediterranean Raclette as well. The folks at Emmi Roth USA recommend that you pair this cheese with olives and peppadews, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or a Lager or Pilsner. All of these pairings sounds very appealing...

The Mediterranean Raclette is on sale for the month of April, so if you want to have a little fun with melted cheese, come pick up a wedge! I hope you all have a wonderful week. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!