Eating Cheese With a Fork: The Dutch cheese Ewephoria is, well, euphoric

This morning we were eager to start our day with the most important food group, so we popped into Cross Street Market to visit Cheese Galore and More. As we carefully scanned their varieties of cheddars, blues, chevres, and stiltons, we came across a peachy orange cheese labelled "Ewephoria," a semisoft made from pasteurized sheep's milk at a family-owned farm in northern Holland. Gratified by the knowledge that there are other people out there who experience sublime ecstasy from eating cheese, we asked for a sample. Upon laying the breath strip-sized shred on my tongue, we were initially underwhelmed. We take cheese puns very seriously. We expect a seismic burst of scrumptiousity from a cheese called Ewephoria, but at first bite we tasted little more than you might taste in your average Gouda. But like a color-field painting, this cheese is meant to sit with you for longer than the brief seconds that we too often spare on taste.

Through the velvet, almost fudgy texture emerged sweet and slightly tangy notes that became nuttier, almost mushroomy, near the rind. Like the label teased, it was "almost like candy," specifically a multilayered caramel or a crystallized honeycomb. So we purchased a block ($25.29 per pound), eager to get to know this specimen a little better.

If you were to enter slowly into a dense forest where the trees oozed butterscotch instead of sap and the leaves and branches fragmented the orange sunlight so that tiny rays rushed over the alarmingly friendly critters scurrying toward you, until the rays themselves drew in to your position and you and the animals burst into song (probably Cat Stevens), you might experience something close to letting a chunk of Ewephoria melt slowly on your mouth. The taste is complex but not overwhelming, so you can absorb its flavors and go on your merry way.

Apparently, the ewes living on the Dutch farm from which Ewephoria hails are treated and fed as well as people, so one would imagine and hope that they are in their own state of Ewephoria—whatever that means for sheep (we're picturing their heads retreating into their thick wool, like turtles or a stoned person wrapped in a fleece blanket). So whether or not our own experience of their cheese is slightly exaggerated, you can take comfort in the happiness of its source.

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