Saturday, June 7, 2008

The one that got away

I sold the last one 30 minutes ago

Sometimes the cheese stands alone because all the other cheeses know they aren't worthy.

Yesterday, Erin trend-scouted and shared an amazing cheese sold at the Union Square Greenmarket. Her cheese instincts are good. My sample revealed I've found a new love. This (pictured above) is literally the spiciest cheese I've tasted to date -- a truly hot pepper jack cheese with bits of red pepper and other spices I can't identify. Made in Lancaster County, PA, it had a lingering fresh-cheese sourness and bright bite supported by a slightly vinegary tang. The heat lingered and burned at the back of my throat, but the flavor was also rich and warm. Erin said that she was told the batch had turned out spicier than intended this week; next week's batch won't be so hot.

I thought about my slice for a while after I ate it, foolishly asked myself if I really needed a brick of the stuff myself, sat wanting some more for a little too long, then got up and walked briskly across the street to try to buy some I could take home. Locating the table in the middle of the market, I could see no spicy cheese in the case before me. My heart knew. I hardly needed the (Amish?) gentleman behind the table to tell me that he'd sold the last brick of it thirty minutes before. Alas. It just wasn't meant to be.

As I returned to work empty-handed and dejected, he called after me, "I guess your hair will have to stay the same color for another week!" Well, that's really up to me, sir. Not the cheese. But I will see you next week.

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