Wait. Yeah. We have. That's just exactly what we're doing here in the food blogs, and in the newspaper food sections too.
We're all recycling one another's group knowledge.
Pimientos de Padrón are fun because every now and then you get a really hot one and that's — fun.Well, I'm guilty of some of that groupthink myself.
Bi-Rite Creamery is oh, so, you know... What, you haven't been there yet?
Maldon salt. Yeah, baby. That's the shiz.
But there are other purveyors that just get overlooked, or even dissed, and I don't understand why. Maybe they got a bad review. Maybe they've never been reviewed. Does that make me wrong for liking them?
If I fall in love with a "shunned" cheese, is it like having a crush on the pimply nerd in 7th grade? (Oh, you picked the ugly one! Ha.)
A bunch of years ago I was with a gathering of food literati in the Bay Area, and I mentioned liking Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese. Everyone else at the table chanted in unison, "It's too acidic." As if they were reading from cue cards. Frankly, I believe they were mentally reciting a review they'd all read, and had never bothered to form their own personal opinions on the cheese, or to even trust their own opinions. I have a fairly fine-tuned sense of taste, and I happen to like the Point Reyes blue. Not too acidic for me.
Another cheese I've been enjoying for years comes from the Bodega Goat Cheese company in Sonoma County. I couldn't tell you the exact variety I usually buy, even though I'm looking right now at a list of their products, but I can always recognize it on sight. It's good, fresh, a little — well, the words I'm about to use sound negative, but they're positive in your mouth: bouncy, spongy, even rubbery. Let's say bouncy. Also very milky and pure white. Sweet. Salty.
But. I never see reviews of this cheese company. Has the proprietor soiled his reputation by getting a divorce? Are they too far away from the Ferry Plaza (120 miles)? Is it simply too goaty? (And for that matter, whatever happened to Laura Chenel? Oh. She sold her outfit to a French corporation. Still, she "invented" goat cheese for Americans, and I can't believe we never hear about her stuff anymore.)
So, anyway. Back to Bodega Goat Cheese. We found a little tub of their requeson at the market yesterday. It's a lot like ricotta (but don't let the phonetic similarities of "requeson" and "ricotta" fool you... one has the root word for "cheese" and the other has the root word of "cooked").
It's mild, slightly grainy, and very fresh and milky. Spreadable, though not creamy. It's girly but butch.
Cranky thinks it's goaty, and I don't. I can be very sensitive to goatiness, but this struck me as just — nice.
Here it is on a slice of wheat levain, topped with sliced radishes, a grind of pepper, and (sigh) Maldon salt.