I don't pick up cheese very often, unless it's for my husband who likes to have a few thin slices of Pleasant Ridge in his omelet. Cheese aficionados are probably shaking their head right now. I've tried to steer him many times to substitute another cheese, telling him that this particular cheese is best consumed at room temperature not melted! But I don't know enough about cheeses to suggest a substitute. Needless to say I've been trying to broaden my palate.
On a whim this past weekend, I picked up a very pungent smelling, orange-pigmented, washed rind cheese from Murray's Cheese Shop at the Grand Central Market. It was so stinky that it reminded me of another odoriferous cheese that my husband brought to his parents' house one holiday, the Epoisses. Apparently, a few minutes after he broke the seal to the cheese, his mother pointed to the door and commanded, "Out!" Confused, Stewart responded, "B-b-but..." And before he could articulate another word, his mother glared at him, "Out!" For this Christmas, I may need to bring this cheese again, who knows I might just get kicked out with the cheese this time! Yipee!
According to Murray's, this is an artisan cheese from the plains of Langres in Champagne, where it is traditionally served with Champagne poured over the top. How was it? Pungent, rich, dense, spicy like paprika, salty and beautifully complex, and strikingly similar to the Epoisses, but more delicate. It was very good!