Love for Food + Whole Foods

For the Love of Cheese!

I love cheese. But good cheese. I'm not talking Kraft Cheddar or American Singles. I'm talking Triple Cream Brie, Manchego, fresh Mozzerella, fresh Chevre, Tallegio (very stinky!), and oh my goodness La Tur. When I eat a good cheese, I don't want the bread or cracker to get in its way. I just want to taste the cheese. Sure, there are nice flavor combinations like goat cheese with fig preserves, or cheddar with a slice of tart apple, but if you just want to taste the cheese, one that is soft and can't be sliced, what you really need is something to put it on that's good in it's own right but is only really there for support... like a good backup singer or a t-shirt bra. No frills, no fuss, nondescript. I'd like to introduce the Kavli Crispy Thin (from Norway but found at Whole Foods). It's thin (creating a lower non-cheese item to cheese ratio), nearly calorie free – as if it has the power to subtract calories when spread with triple cream brie) and has the flavor of cardboard without the corrugated texture. I'm joking about the cardboard, it's better than that. Think flattened rice cracker made of wheat. It's just so wonderful because, like an edible utensil, it lets the creamy and pungent goodness of a cheese like La Tur be the main event.

Speaking of carb and cheese pairings... I also enjoy a baguette. Who doesn't? But a baguette, even when thinly sliced, raises the non-cheese item to cheese ratio much higher – so the baguette should be high quality. And if it's good enough, the baguette can be eaten alone or spread with butter. Bread shopping is sadly hit or miss... depending on the freshness of the loaf you find. Most grocery store loaves leave much to be desired and you're lucky if you can find a reliable local bakery. I recently discovered a new option from my old friend Trader Joe, heard of him? It's a bake-at-home Ficelle (apparently a thinner version of a traditional Baguette). Just preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake the Ficelle for 10 minutes and voila! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There's nothing like a loaf of bread straight from the oven to make your butter melt!

On a local note, I have much to explore in DC and NOVA in the way of cheese purveyors. At the moment, Whole Foods is my main source. However, I did stumble across La Fromagerie in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on a Saturday stroll with my mom (a fellow cheese lover – the cheese bin in her fridge is always full when I visit). We purchased a local fresh Chevre that was unlike any goat cheese I've ever had, probably because I'd never had it farm-fresh. La Fromagerie hosts cheese classes (Yes there is such a thing! More samples for homework please!) and cheese and wine tastings. I'm drifting into a dreamworld of cheese... ricotta clouds and fondue fountains... eh hem. Anyway, it's great to be able to buy cheese from local farmers like Firefly Farms (I love their Goat's Milk Brie). Goat cheese by the way is a great alternative to cows milk cheese because it is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol. Many people, including some who are lactose intollerant, find that goat cheese is easier to digest than cow's milk cheese. I love to put Goat Cheese in salad, especially with halved red grapes, candied walnuts, a leaf lettuce mix and raspberry vinagrette. It's also delicious spread on toasted rye bread with smoked salmon, chopped green onion and fresh dill. I think I just planned my lunch for tomorrow!

Alexandria, Apple, Baguette, Cheese, chevre, DC, Dill, Firefly Farms, Food for Conversation, Goat Cheese, Ice Cream, La Fromagerie, La Tur, NOVA, product recommendation, Rice, Trader Joe's, Virginia, and more:

For the Love of Cheese! + Whole Foods