Cheese!Of!The!Day! No. 2: Barba Buch


The official Cheese Shoppe of the Games: La Baita del Formagg.
This cheese's name must come closer to that of a former American First Lady than any other cheese in the world. It was another recommendation from Teresa, when I asked for nice local cheeses.

Incidentally, I have some photos of Teresa and Angela, but they're a bit blurry. I'll bring the camera back to the Alpine Hut of Cheese and post a photo of my cheese guides eventually. Names with faces, and all that.

Barba Buch strikes me as a washed-rind goat milk's cheese. I have never heard of it, and my googling skills were unable to come up with much more than that. I have already e-mailed my former boss at Whole Foods, Will Betts, who spent six months turning wheels of cheese at Neal's Yard Dairy in England. Maybe he'll provide some guidance. One thing I did learn through google translator: Barba Buch should be paired with The SAUCES OF FRUIT of GRANDMOTHER GIOVANNA. Either that, or apples and walnuts.

If you have any insights into how or where Barba Buch is produced, please e-mail me here or comment below. Incidentally, I received a biting e-mail from a reader, "Marina, a Torinese," who notes that every single bit of Italian I have attempted to translate thus far has been incredibly wrong. If so, many apologies. Blame it on GRANDMOTHER GIOVANNA.

"Marina, a Torinese" also argues that " you can not taste cheese without wine , what were you guys thinking ?" A daily vino commentary is a distinct possibility, pending expense account approval from above. Especially since it turns out that Figure Skating wizard Amy Shipley is also a wizard of wine.

One last thing. A reader asked whether we're having as much fun as it sounds. Liz Clarke responds:

No. Blogs skew reality. Very entertaining, but they tell only the good times. People wouldn't want to hear about the bad times.

On to the cheese! And our comments! Which are again so varied that I wonder whether we're eating the same thing!

Style writer Libby Copeland: "Goaty and bitter. You haven't quite gotten it right yet. But much better. It tastes sweet and bitter. [How can something be sweet and bitter, you ask?] Lots of things are sweet and bitter. Like burnt sugar.
Brilliant columnist Sally Jenkins: "Creamy. It's bland and shapeless on the palate. Odor without reward.
Brilliant sports writer Liz Clarke: "I really, really would never buy this cheese. It's texture and no taste. There's nothing there. It has no edge."
Figure Skating wizard Amy Shipley: "Strong, powerful. I liked it a lot."
Nut case Mike Wise: "New cheese is nice-a. It don't-a smell-a like Kornheiser's socks. The flavor? It taste-a like, hmmm, it taste-a like, eh, Monterrey Jack with very bitter aftertaste. If no like bitter aftertaste, why you no buy-a the Monterrey Jack? Maybe if you buy-a the Monterrey Jack, Whole Foods no charge-a so much, eh?"
Me: Very pleasant. Semi-soft texture, sweet flavor reminiscent of goat-milk gouda, if that rings a bell. Chop up a chunk of this and put it out for samples at Whole Foods, and you'd instantly sell the entire wheel. Price a bit high (25 euros per kilo). It really would go well with apples and walnuts. Not sure about The SAUCES OF FRUIT of GRANDMOTHER GIOVANNA

By Dan Steinberg |  February 10, 2006; 10:53 AM ET
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Tell Liz Clarke to go to J.A. Adande's blog at the L.A. Times if she wants to hear about the "bad times." He's very whiny and sounds like a grouch.

Posted by: Nancy | February 10, 2006 12:32 PM

"Goaty"?

Posted by: Marie-Reine Le Gougne | February 10, 2006 12:51 PM

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