Consumed in moderation, and with the force-multiplier of a good piece of cheese, beer can be quite the frugal beverage, turning a modest investment of money and a small amount of preparation into an outsize portion of happiness and health.
It began with this tweet:
@CurdNerd 47 different specialties using Meiji Hokkaido Tokachi Cheese.
It lead to a strangely beautiful site from Japanese cheese manufacturer Meji. I have no idea what's going on, or what I'm supposed to do, but clicking around the map seems to pull up regional dishes prepared with Meji's products.
Honestly, I get a very "Everything goes better with Jell-o 1965" vibe from the site: here we have some clear soup, spiked with tiny white cheese cubes. Here it's pieces of fish and pickles interleaved with cheese. Pretty, but sometimes dubious combos, put out by a company trying hard to find new niches for their product.
My apologies for this late post. I’ve been on a self-directed tour of Rocky Mountain goat dairies to get new ideas for my goat cheeses and to learn new techniques. In other words, I’ve tasted some excellent cheeses. If you have access to the cheeses from Amaltheia Organic Dairy in Belgrade, Montana, grab some, for goodness’ sake.
My tomme awaited me in the cooler of my son’s little bakery when I returned. Luckily, no one investigated the package or I wouldn’t be writing this at all. The cheese is the color of straw with a buckskin colored rind. Usually when I smell hard cheeses, they remind me of a cheese cave or cellar—dampish and sharp. The tomme, when held up close, fell into that category but when I held it farther away, it smelled mushroomy, like a forest floor (in Montana). When I tasted the cheese with the rind, I also definitely detected the sea.
It was Christmas in August when I received my Tomme from Point Reyes Farmstead in the mail. It is a hard cheese, not usually one of my favorite kinds of cheese but when paired with the suggested scotch (not a scotch fan, but the cheese made it very tasty, indeed), we found doing the research a real pleasure. My wing man (also known as the husband) and I had no trouble enjoying our task. Although this is a much milder cheese than the blues, the Tomme has its place in gastronomy. We liked the subtle after-bite when savored with a red wine. The crystals in the cheese definitely gave this cheese an extra zing. It was my favorite part of the cheese.