Like a diva, this cheese announces its presence loudly—both in appearance and in smell. Washed periodically over its one- to two-month aging, Arethusa Diva has the orange hue of a washed rind, and the heady smell to boot. Aromas of cooked onions and nuts are immediate, but the flavor is much milder than the smell suggests. Arethusa Diva is sweet, but with a balanced saltiness and a slight tang; all divas, after all, temper their sour with a little sweet.
When the Arethusa Farm management team asked their staff to name this new cheese, Arethusa al Tavolo restaurant server Jenya Fraga had an inspired moment: “The cheese sang out to her like a great opera singer,” says manager Erin Hubbard. “Like a diva!” Glance at the voluptuous cream-colored paste oozing out of this cheese, and Arethusa Diva’s name will make perfect sense.
To imbibe, go for something that’s also kinda funky like a sour ale or a yeasty farmhouse ale, though a light-bodied, semi-dry red pairs just fine.