This blog is about cheese that is so divine you have to eat it by itself using a fork. We believe the flavor need not be dwindled by bread or crackers. Disclaimer: I am not a cheese connoisseur; just a city lady with a European mother and a passion for consuming good coagulated milk.
We visited Pen & Quill and ordered the St. Stephen cheese ($5), made from the milk of jersey cows by the Four Fat Fowl creamery in Stephentown, New York. The very small wedge, which we split with a friend, was enough to satisfy our craving (though, if we're being honest with ourselves, we could have eaten an entire wheel and not blinked), because the taste was transcendental. The super-soft rind opened to the tangy cream, almost immediately melting away in our mouth. It was like stepping into a hot bath outside during a gentle snowfall while petting a silky, dignified dog who is pampered with a shampoo that is more expensive than your own, and listening to Chopin playing from your neighbor's kitchen. We thought back to when we lived in Florence where it was nearly impossible to find soft creamy cheeses like this—though, obviously, the percorino and mozzarella were life-changing—and the longing for a good brie or chèvre started to become painful. Which led us to thinking, America is beautiful because we can eat amazing cheese of all kinds, and also Kraft.
Anyway. The St. Stephen was served with the Longaniza sausage charcuterie ($8) which included spicy pickled papaya. The sausage, though delicious in its own right, was probably not the best choice on our part to pair with the cheese, which was more dessert-y. Next time, we'd get it with the black forest ham and brandied cherries. Or just five more wedges.
The reason behind the deliciousness of the St. Stephens comes from this tidbit of research: To qualify as a triple cream, a cheese has to have a butterfat content of at least 75 percent. So it's essentially butter to be served with wine—which could be an alternative definition for cheese.