Close friends of mine know that I have dragged back some of the strangest, smelliest, yummiest, heaviest, juiciest, and the â€œhardest to find in Manilaâ€ foodstuff in my luggage. This last trip was no exceptionâ€¦ over 10 pounds of delicious cheese (vacuum packed, thank goodness!) was in one of our suitcases. First, a creamy, rich and â€œstuff of dreamsâ€ triple cream cheese that has 75% butter fatâ€¦this particular one from Le Delice De Bourgogne but an Explorateur or Pierre Robert all have the same impact. I only discovered triple creams last year and they are heavenly. In warm weather triple creams soften rapidly, and spread generously on a cracker, they are superlative. If you have never tried a triple cream, please do so the first chance you get. Triple creams are buttery, mild and smooth. We brought back a whole wheel of this cheese that weighed about 5 lbs and shared some of it with friends.
We also brought back a half wheel of delicious Roquefort (the traditional size in which it is sold whole) from Societe in France. Made the same way since 1863, this cheese had heady veins of emerald green mold (doesnâ€™t that sound unappealing but for some reason once it grows on you youâ€™re hooked for life). Still manufactured the traditional way, the mold is developed as the cheeses are aged in well ventilated cellars. I have always found blue cheeses and Roquefort a bit too smelly but because my wife loves them I have slowly learned to love them as well. Now I cannot imagine an occasional tomato salad without bits of Roquefort, bacon or pancetta bits, thinly sliced onion and a vinaigrette dressingâ€¦yum.
Finally, we brought back a whole wheel of Coach Farm goat cheese. On the milder side as far as goat cheeses go, this one was smooth, mildly pungent and delicious. Made on the farm owned by the folks who originally owned Coach brand bags and belts (since sold to some huge conglomerate that has them in every mall in America and now has their leather goods made in India and China), the farm has over 800 happy goats that provide the milk for several spectacular goat cheeses. Goat cheese is great on its own or as part of a salad.