I woke up this morning thinking of the semi-soft white cheese sprinkled with celery salt that we enjoyed on a bike ride through a small town in Belgium. Talk about a craving... I think that my thoughts began very subconsciously because on Tuesday I tasted some flavored salt at a shop in the Ferry Building, one of them was a fennel pollen salt, and it was delicious. It must have reminded me of celery salt, and so a memory of celery salt was bubbling up... Also, on Tuesday I was on my way to an event where I tasted an incredible cheese (almost like mimolette), and so the two food thoughts were swimming around together.
Last October we visited J&V-T in Belgium at the end of our Italian cycling and amalfi trip. We went on a fun bike ride along a waterway to see an incredible boat lift and we stopped for delicious beer at a local fisherman bar. We had our beer outdoors and I ordered a cup of instant mushroom soup, which was not too bad and much needed at the time. They also gave us a couple of small bowls of cheese topped with celery salt- one of the tastiest snacks I have ever had. We asked for what kind of cheese it was, they said it was "just cheese". I need to have some of that soon...
According to this travel site it was probably either Damme or Gouda. And I can't stop thinking about it-- I don't think it warrants a trip to the ferry building's Cowgirl Creamery shop, but I wonder if it means I can go to Pt. Reyes (ride out there?) to the CC shop there. I could just go to the cheese counter at the MV Whole Foods, they might have something good.
We got home last night from from a fun night out with J&E-W where we did a non-happy hour at Hog Island in the ferry building for Sweetwaters and cocktails, then had ice cream from Humphry Slocomb (I had the secret breakfast with caramel and frosted almonds- lots of bourbon in that..) and went to the Off The Grid in the Presidio and capped it off at the Buena Vista. They gave us an awesome 2nd wedding gift of beautiful cheese knives and all I wanted was to get home and use them on the contraband cheese in our fridge!
When we got home I ate a few pieces and it was all I could stuff in.
This cheese was discovered at a LMU alumni and friends event a couple of nights prior, held at One Market where they had overflowing bowls of it. I felt determined to figure out what it was so I could find more later. Thankfully, we found it right away on our little stop at the CC shop.
More info on L'Amuse aged gouda at the bottom of this post
The other cheese I have not been able to stop thinking about (yes, Bay Blue, but that is a constant background thing) is the Point Reyes Mozzarella. I picked up some at the Farmer's Market recently and we ate it with some tomatoes and red pepper. It tasted so incredibly delicious, exactly like the cheese we had in Positano from this shop:
I will need to find an excuse to buy more at some point soon
APPENDIX: INFO ON L'AMUSE AGED GOUDA
L'Amuse Signature Gouda
Unlike other goudas, this cheese is never matured in cooler temperatures, allowing it to develop fuller flavors. Made in the Netherlands with milk from Holstein Friesian cows, it is aged for two years. Because this cheese is made year-round, the flavor, as a result of the varying milk, will change slightly with the seasons.
Typically, the paste is a deep amber color with well-distributed protein crystals. The aroma shows roasted notes of hazelnut and caramel. It is always creamy with slightly salty, nutty notes and a very deep, complex, long finish.
Farm / Company: Essex Street Cheese Co.
Affineur: Fromagerie L'Amuse
Milk Type: Cow
Milk Treatment: Pasteurized
Aging: 2 years
Size(s): 35 pound wheel
L’Amuse Signature Gouda is made at the Cono cheesemaking plant in Northern Holland. The wheels are hand-selected and shipped to the maturing facilities of L’Amuse cheese shop in Santpoort-Noord, where the are matured under the specifications of Betty Koster, cheesemonger extraordinaire and the owner of L’Amuse cheese shop.
Unlike most Dutch Goudas, L’Amuse signature Gouda is not matured in cooler temperatures. This mid temperature affinage (cheese maturing) in the cheese cellar allows the carefully selected cheeses to develop a fully rounded flavor. The cheeses are matured for 2 years and are sent to us at their optimum age.
The paste color is a deep amber, with well-distributed protein crystals. The aroma shows roasted notes such as hazelnut and caramel with some meaty and cellar notes. This hard cheese has a spectacular texture that is velvety and melts in the mouth. The flavor is nutty and salty with hints of burnt caramel ending with a complex, long finish.
Wilde Weide Gouda is a farmstead, organic, raw milk cheese, made in very small quantities. The dairy farm is situated on a small island in South Holland and is owned by Jan and Roos van Schie who make the cheese from the organic milk of their herd of Montbeliarde and red Friesian cows. We bring in the cheeses at 15 months, when the flavors have developed complexity and depth. Hints of Bourbon laced with butter are unmistakable on the palate.
- Fromagerie L’Amuse lamuse.nl/lamuse_content.html
For many more photos of L’Amuse Signature Gouda and Wilde Weide Gouda, click here
Beer and Cheese Pairing