Sunday, December 03, 2006

In Vein (Morbier)

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region: Roanne, France (Jura Mountains, near the Swiss border)
type: cow's Milk

Perhaps it is my imagination, but the "Cheese Plate" seems to be on restaurant menus everywhere. Trendiness has often spurred feelings of repulsion in me (most recently induced by the unfortunate revival of 80's fashion), however, consuming cheese on a regular basis is a trend I will not only blindly participate in, but I will pressure my peers to do the same.
Morbier is a cheese that I often see on the menu, and over time I have come to realize that a trend requires the presence of two things: One, it must appeal to the masses and two, it must be widely available. Haute couture-turned-Prêt-à-Porter, you will find the goods are an adaptation in order to accomodate these two factors. This from Murray's Cheese, in New York....
"Legend has it that Comté cheese-makers with extra curds at the end of each day sprinkled them with soot to protect their bounty from flies until they could add milk the following morning to complete a smaller wheel of cheese for personal consumption. Thus, semi-soft, pressed and uncooked cheese with pronounced aroma and hearty flavor, which is Morbier. Today the layer is one of vegetable ash, usually decorative, and the paste remains supple and sweet. " 


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