Sunday, November 09, 2008

If You Like Truffles, You'll Love This Cheese

A little over a week ago, our local paper ran a story about an imported French Camembert. You might enjoy reading it, but here's the gist: The U.S. forbids imported raw-milk cheeses less than 60 days old. Camembert does not have a 60-day shelf life. Pasteurized Camemberts aren't very good.
So, cheese affineur Hervé Mons persuaded a French producer to step up to the cheese plate and knock one out of the park. And the resulting (pasteurized) Camembert is only available (in this country) at Whole Foods.
Cranky went to Whole Foods three times, and each time, the Camembert was sold out. I mean, deliveries came in, and customers simply scarfed them up.
Finally, after leaving his name with the cheese department, Cranky scored a box (it comes in a cute, flimsy wooden box). We let it sit in the fridge, double wrapped (because it's STANKY) for a couple of days, and finally succumbed to it today.
It could have been riper. It still has about a month left of viability. But the flavor was insane. It will probably only get better.
Do you want to try this cheese?
Only if you like the taste of gymnasium. Halothane. Feet. Neck-snapping swamp funk.
Ohgod, it was good.
OK, here's the funny upshot. The story in the Chronicle caused such a stampede that Hervé Mons flew to the Bay Area for a visit to Whole Foods. Or maybe he was already planning to visit, but such a coincidence.
Yup, a vice president of Whole Foods (they have a lot) lives in my town — I think — and he escorted M. Mons through the store for a cameo appearance.
I really hope nobody took his picture and said, "Say cheese."


The Spiteful Chef said...

OMG, Cookie. That was a hella cheesy joke.

peter said...

Your title should be like "If you hate America, you'll love this cheese." More like that. Since you obviously do.

Anna Haight said...

Ooohh... this sounds like a find!

cookiecrumb said...

Spiteful: Darn, I wrecked a whole blog post with a cheesy joke.

Peter: I want America to be as tasty as this cheese, but not as stanky.

Anna: I'd be interested in your opinion of it, should you find some. We might buy it all up, though!

jill elise said...

I'm sold. I love cheese. I'll look for it tomorrow!

Dagny said...

Ain't nothing wrong with a little stank in your cheese. And you're just an agent of Whole Paycheck, trying to lure me in there with the promise of yummy Camembert, aren't you? Because you know my weakness for all things cheese, especially Camembert. You knew that I was already thinking, "How will this hold up to the skillet?" (Dip round in egg wash. Dredge in Parmesan. Brown in butter. Serve with chopped scallions and baguette.) Yep. You're just an evil enemy agent.

Nancy Ewart said...

I'll leave the stinky cheese to you - my preference is for Le Petite Basque or a Spanish cheese (name begins with M) but I'll be darned if I can spell it. But the cheesy joke - that was a hoot!

cookiecrumb said...

Jill: Yeah, and good luck. We're planning on grabbing some whenever we see it. Let me know.

Dagny: Naw, I think Whole Foods is a good store. The expensive reputation is not totally right, in my opinion.
But JEEZ, what you do to a round of Cam!!! You might not do it to this one, because it's so good on its own. But fried in butter and Parm? Eeeek! Mmm.

Nancy: Manchego.
If you like Manchego, I recommend you try some cheeses from Andante (you'll find them at the Ferry Plaza market). xoxo

Anonymous said...

Do you know by any chance if this cheese is available at all Whole Foods? Or was it a California only sort of thing? I don't have much experience with stinky cheese, but I think we could be good friends.

michael, claudia and sierra said...

can't get it at my whole foods
tried twice
they only get it sometimes....

Sweet Bird said...

I can't do stinky cheese. It makes me gag. Anything that smells like dirty feet and bellybutton gunk does get put in my mouth.

Sweet Bird said...

Heh...I'm a tool. It does NOT get put in my mouth.

I suck...

Also, Elk Creamery makes a bitchin' goat camembert. You should try it.