Monday, March 26, 2012
Two 'drunken' cheeses
By chance I've come across two cheeses lately that are both matured with the by-products of red wine. The first, last week, was at Al Pompiere in Verona where I tried a Monte Veronese Ubriaco (above, front) a local hard cows' milk cheese that had been soaked in grape must, and which was served with a sweet red onion marmalade.
Then back home I came across a fantastic cheese called Testun (pronounced tess-toon) at Zucca in Bermondsey Street - a smooth, tangy cheese which is apparently wrapped in nebbiolo vine leaves. I think it must be similar to the Testun al Barolo which is described here on the US cheese retailer Artisanal although the rind didn't have the same craggy appearance.
What this type of ageing process seems to result in is a more pliable consistency and a deeper more savoury flavour than you would find in a conventionally matured cheese and one that gives it a greater compatibility with red wine (although this article by the San Francisco Chronicle's cheese writer Janet Fletcher, suggests the contrary).
Both come into the category of ubriaco or 'drunken' cheeses, a description I must say I rather like.