Speaking of my top five, here's my five faves when it comes to the kind of cheese you serve up with only crackers and wine, the kind you have as your ENTIRE meal cuz it's just THAT good, the kind you swoon over for months to come until the NEXT time you eat just cheese as your entire meal.
1. St Agur. Made in France, this blue is not the kind of blue that KNOCKS you off your feet and leaves your ass and breath all stinky; it's the kind of blue that's milder and richer. It's the kind of blue that's so damn good, you can eat it purely on its own, thrown into a salad, or MY favorite way - on some cranberry bread, followed by a good swig of red wine of course.
2. Cave-Aged Gouda. Yea yea, Gouda SOUNDS boring, but this one, it's unlike any other Gouda you've ever had. Made in Ireland, this slightly orange and slightly salty cheese is really light, it melts in your mouth, and will leave you screaming for more.
3. Fleur d'Aunis. Made again in France, this cheese is really soft like a Brie but not as creamy and heavy. It's got this crazy nutty after-taste that left us debating whether or not we even WANTED to swill wine after, just in case it took away from the cheese flavour. It didn't...
4. Manchego. Made in Spain, this sheep's milk hard cheese is similar to the Gouda in that it's slightly salty, but different in that it's much sharper and goes extremely well with meats. We sometimes have it as a side with lamb or chorizo sausage, and good GAWD, when you mix the two together (the meat and the cheese), it's like a little piece of heaven for your mouth.
5. Tiger Blue. Last but not least, I need to cover yet another blue - partly cuz I love blue so much, partly cuz this one's from British Columbia, Canada. Similar to the St Agur, this one's mild on the scale of blue, but is much more easily found in (Canadian) local grocers, and mixes just as well in both salads or on its own.
As for where to buy these, I'd recommend your specialty grocers or cheese shops. For the most part, the regular supermarkets don't carry these.
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