Raw Milk Raclette ($9.99 /lb. at Fairway)
Origin: France and Switzerland
Type: Washed Rind—Washed during aging in salt and water (a brine), beer, wine or spirits. Pungent, stinky, fruity, meaty, intense, and aromatic with a vibrant pink to orange edible rind. (from The Murray’s Cheese Handbook)
On the package: “Aged for 60 days, raclette has a full, fruity flavor and a golden, buttery body. The name raclette in swiss dialect means ‘to scrape’ and applies to part of the method for preparing the famous swiss dish raclette.”
So often it happens. I buy a golden creamy looking cheese from the grocery store, only to be knocked over by the smell when the wrapping is removed. I usually try a sliver, but I know what’s coming: Yuck-ville—the gag-inducing flavor of smelly feet and body odor. I throw it out (or feed it to Geoff) and wonder where I went wrong. A few months later, I’ll buy a similar cheese without even realizing. Guess I’m a sucker for the golden color.
Then I bought this Raw Milk Raclette from Fairway. I opened it up, smelled the tell-tale hint of feet and prepared for the worst. But, with the first cautious bite, I was surprised by the deep complex flavor, not at all foot-like. The cream made it luxuriously heavy, so bits caught in my teeth and the flavor coated my mouth. Every once in a while, a bite of rind would make my nose wrinkle (but in a good way!). This intense cheese pushed my stink tolerance to the limit and I loved it.