Loki and I have been talking a lot about eating better. A lot of this was triggered by our trip to Paris and Ireland, where the food was uniformly terrific and corn syrup (high-fructose and otherwise) free.

I'm the primary chef in our house, and while I'm nearly obsessed with food (reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows, subscribing to cooking magazines, eating), I'm basically a lazy cook. I have a few recipes that I can do in my sleep, and I tend to lean heavily on them.

And I'm atrocious about side dishes. We usually don't have them at all. I have resolved to do better.

So I found a recipe from a food blog (although I sadly cannot remember which one) for a side dish that sounded great and reasonably healthy. I had to stop in my local market to pick up some ingredients, and then I hit the cheese section of the store.

Right around Easter, Sio and I picked up this amazing sheep's milk cheese, and I have been checking every cheese section in every store ever since, trying to find it again (and, thanks to my early onset Alzheimer's, I cannot recall the name of the cheese). I had no luck yesterday.

But there were several interesting cheeses available, and I pickup up one from a local cheesemaker, Cato Corners Farm.

Cato Corner Farm is a small family farm in Colchester, Connecticut, where the mother-son team of Elizabeth and Mark raises 30 free-range Jersey cows without the use of hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics.

I picked up a wedge of their Hooligan cheese.

Hooligan is our signature strong, creamy cheese that many food lovers consider to be our best variety. Made in 1.3 - 1.5 lb wheels, Hooligan is a ripe washed-rind cheese, moderately stinky, with a soft creamy interior and a gorgeous orange rind. Its smooth creamy texture highlights the richness of our Jersey milk. Hooligans are bathed twice a week in a mixture of buttermilk and brine. They ripen quickly, developing a full flavor at 2 - 3 months of age. The Hooligan melts beautifully for a fabulously stinky toasted cheese (a bit like raclette). This is a sophisticated cheese for a sophisticated palate! Sold whole in small wheels with basket lines on the rind.

I don't know about the MODERATELY part of the stinkiness - it was pretty damn stinky. It was very creamy and had, at first, a mild taste. But it had a nice, sharpish aftertaste that is making me crave more. It was the first time I've ever had cheese made with raw milk, and I have to say, I was impressed. I'm not a foodie - for all my obsession, I don't have a sophisticated palate, and some foods that are very popular I can't eat because there is too much flavor (oranges, for example) - but I know what I like when it comes to cheese, and I would highly recommend the Hooligan.

ETA: In the world of food blogging, May is "Eat Local" month, so I feel even better about taking a chance on a new cheese. Cato Corner Farm is about 15-18 miles from my front door.

No comments: