So, my sister has jumped on board with the whole "cheese exploration" thing whole-heartedly; she had some great suggestions, including eating every cheese from every village of every type in a particular area of a particular country (like, I enjoy mountain sheep / goat cheeses from southern France, so I should start there and sort of spiral out), and I think she even suggested going there.
Now, this is a great idea. Sadly, I'm not independently wealthy nor do I have that kind of time - so you're subjected instead to another entry about cheese purchased in Philadelphia. Maybe when we travel on vacation we'll try to sample local cheeses, and build from there. Philly has some wonderful local-ish cheeses, and I tried this great mountain cheese from Vermont this past week. You'll hear about that soon(ish).
My mother has also supported the cheesings, and when she came for Jakey's birthday she brought a very different, very tasty, aromatic cheese with her. I'll get to that one next time.
For now, I was going to talk about a really good cheddar. I figure it's best to talk about a variety of cheeses, and not just share the slight nuances of cheeses that are similar to others I've already discussed. Cheddars have a distinct flavor, and you probably all know what cheddar tastes like. Now, there are some award winning English cheddars that run >$35/lb (or 24 pounds/lb, if you're buying it in London). Apparently America has a sort of bad reputation worldwide in terms of the quality of its cheese. Maybe this just needs a sort of blind-taste test, a la the Judgment of Paris (we enjoyed the recent movie, Bottle Shock. Regardless of reputation, there is a cheddar, made here in America, that is considered America's best cheese, and the World's best cheddar.
Cabot's Clothbound Cheddar ($25/lb) - from Vermont (Awards page).
I think this slightly crumbly, pale orange/yellow chunk of cheese is simply heaven - it has flavor, but not too much, and just lingers and lasts and really was a wonderful treat this morning. I realize that long blocks of words aren't as interesting as photos, but cheese doesn't tend to last too long around here; I snapped this pic w/ my iPhone this morning, then promptly devoured the plate. And then fled indoors as my allergies apparently decided I shouldn't enjoy Memorial Day Weekend!
Happy holidays, all.