Another year, another chance to take a new bite out of life. For motivated foodies looking for the latest and greatest edibles to sink their teeth into, this approach translates literally. The food lover is ready already to start planning their 2010 eats.
The perfect place to start, like with any meal, is cheese. With cheese– the culinary craft oozing with artisanal, unique flavors, enticing and funky aromatics and textural bliss– there is so much potential to try something new and tantalizingly tasty. After asking our top Los Angeles cheese experts and shops for their picks for the new year, this is more than true. Take a look at this list of beauties and start eating immediately.
The Top Cheese Picks for 2010
Andrew's Cheese Shop of Santa Monica heralds Avonlea, a new cheese from Prince Edward Island, as addictive. A clothbound cheddar, it boasts butterscotch and toffee flavors and goes perfectly with apple based Lambics. Another fave for the year: a goat's milk cheese called Etude, made by an extremely small batch producer Adante Dairy in Pataluma, CA. It's firm texture has a creamy finish and tastes great with unoaked Chardonnay.
Adding more irresistibles to the list, The Cheese Store of Silver Lake suggests, for the Manchego lovers, a spanish cheese called Zamorano, made of milk of Castilian or Churra sheep with a nutty taste and a tangy undertone. Try this with a good guava jelly. And for an oh so good blue, try the completely hand made Rogue River Blue, a raw cow's milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in brandy. This world competition winner pairs well with pears, honey and walnuts.
Laurent Bonjour's Cheese Corner has one masterful pick. The Brillat-Savarin, or “White Ecstasy” as it's referred to by customers, is the first triple creme ever made in 1930. Also called the “King of all Cheeses” it's a mild, finely acidic, tenderly sweet cheese with a very very creamy texture. It's best match: champagne. “Treat the king with respect.”
Say Cheese of Silver Lake has their mind on Pierre Noel Comte, which is a sharper, dry and nutty raw cow's milk cheese but extra special as it's one of 25 wheels made and the only wheel on the west coast. Say Cheese also loves the Beaufort, a french and earthy raw cow's milk cheese that european expats seek out to go perfectly with an Alsatian Pinot Gris.
And The Artisan Cheese Gallery in Tujunga Village is ready to ring in the new year with Caroline Hostetler's Wildspitz of Switzerland, a semi firm blend of raw cow's milk and goat's milks with an earthy flavor and smokey finish, and a Reblochon worth coming back as in a second life. This Reb' by Luigi Gaffonti is Italian, sweet and milky, and tastes excellent with whiskey or bourbon as well as beer or an Alsatian.
Andrew's Cheese Shop, 728 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310)393-3308., The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, 3926 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323)644-7511., Laurent Bonjour's Cheese Corner, (check website for Farmer's Market locations/times) (310)678-6898., Say Cheese, 2800 Hyperion Ave., L.A., (323)665-0545., Artisan Cheese Gallery: 12023 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818)505-0207.