Just got back from a great Australian cheese and wine tasting event sponsored by the Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills. The DH and I were in need of a date night, and I was so excited to get a space for us at this event. I learned/relearned a few things this evening:
#1 Cheese is so much better when you share it with friends! We were seated at a table for four, and were a little nervous about who our table mates would be, but E2 (for the purposes of anonymity) are our new friends, courtesy of a little Seal Bay triple creme from King Island (off the coast of Tasmania - an island off the coast of Australia), and a little Boarding Pass Shiraz. Thanks to both of them for a great, fun table!
I think that my favorite description of a cheese taste tonight was courtesy of one of our new friends, who described the Red Square Tasmanian washed rind cheese as tasting like "metallic rain," and not in a bad way. It definitely had a minerally saltiness to it, but I just loved the visual - it got me thinking of cool rain on hot asphalt on a summer day. Comparing preferences and ideas with new taste buds is a great way to see past your own tongue!
#2 The wine/cheese producing area of Australia in the south of the country/continent has a climate very similar to Normandy, France. Thus, it totally makes sense that the wine and cheese from that area should be just as delicious, yet with its own flair.
#3 Australia is a continent built on old salt beds, and thus, everything is a little salty. The grass that the cows dine on has a little extra salt in it, which is transferred to the milk and then to the cheese. The Seal Bay triple creme, for example, has an amazing smoky, rich, creamy, saltiness that is just amazing.
#4 The cheese of Australia is so diverse that there is no way to fit it all into one posting, so you'll just have to wait! Amazing blues, sophisticated cheddars, irridescent double cremes, a sneaky, nutty Swiss...did I mention the Seal Bay triple creme?
#5 Cheese people officially rule!
Cheese dreams all. I know I'll be dreaming about a conversation with an Australian cow!