Ode to a Cheese: Monte Enebro

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. ~G.K. Chesterton

Silly poets.

Did you know that cheese predates Christ? Its storied history stretches back to the Greeks who molded curdled milk in holey boxes to let the whey drain- a possible precursor to the brie box. Legend has it that the first cheese was accidentally fermented in the saddle bags of a travelling Arab who was taking a jaunt across the desert with saddlebags full of milk. When he discovered the milk gone and replaced with white, lumpy mush, he ate the curds, drank the whey and thanked Allah for his lucky mistake.

Louis Pasteur, aka The Prince of Pasteurization, made it safe in the 19th c. and from then on we’ve never looked back. Hello (and goodbye) American, Camenbert, Stinking Bishop, a wedge of brie on fig bread, Neufchatel, Wallace’s Gorgonzola, grilled Cheddar sandwiches, Goat, Laughing Cow and thousands more. All hail cheese!

A few weeks ago, both to repay the lovely man at the grocery store who made my manchego wishes come true, and to satisfy a sudden urge to explore the cheese aisle, I went on a cheese ‘spedition.

Goat’s milk cheese is a favorite of mine, so I was particularly pleased that they had a large section, dominated by wedges of Monte Enebro. I asked my Cheese Guide about it and he was enthusiastic, saying that it was tasty on crackers and in salads (something I’ll have to try next time). Monte Enebro is a creamy, mild, raw milk goat cheese with Spanish origins, coated with a rind of rennet and ashes. Like most raw milk cheeses Monte Enebro really shines when left at room temperature for a few minutes, becoming spreadable without being runny. A few seconds in the microwave or toaster oven and it melts beautifully.

A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. ~James Beard

Hmmm… is it time for more cheese?


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