I can't believe it's September already. The summer flew by. We were busier than expected and lots of things were changing and evolving. We finished book two, though most of you won't get to see it until next August. It was a great project that expanded and contracted over the course of several months. It took a lot of hard work from us and our editors to get it to where it is now and while we did have to cut a lot of recipes in order to fit into the allotted number of pages we are happy with the way it turned out. It's not entirely done yet but the basic structure is finished and any additional work is fine-tuning.
Of course as freelance artists we certainly had a few other projects going along the way. Our photography work is picking up again and we were excited to spend some time working with MouCo Cheese. They are a favorite of ours and cheeses like the one above just make us happy. Serving cheese is a process that evolves from the moment you choose your piece and bring it home. Hopefully you've already tasted it in the store but each time you unwrap a new piece it is a revelation. The aroma hits you first, slowly unfurling and gathering strength. On a good day it complex and earthy, slightly sweet with faint hints of musk and meadows. This particular cheese was soft and velvety to the touch with a gentle flexibility that hinted at the creamy center. We let it sit out for about half an hour before cutting it open and it didn't disappoint. Runny and slightly chewy at the same time, it melted on the tongue and washed over my palate leaving layers of sweet milk and ash balanced by a hint of acidity, a touch of soil and a slight bitterness from the edible rind. It's a seductive mouthful that leaves you wanting just a bit more. Apparently we aren't the only ones who think so because it just won a gold medal from the American Cheese Society last month.
One of the things I like about cheese is that a good cheese demands your complete attention. Much like a good wine, a great cheese involves all of your senses and makes the rest of the world disappear for a brief time. It can teach someone how to taste because it illustrates the difference between eating blindly and tasting thoughtfully. Eating great cheese makes me happy. Cheese isn't the only ingredient that can do this but it is one of the most easily accessible. Great ingredients treated with respect by the diner are all you need to appreciate why we aspire to become chefs in the first place. It's the total experience.