This Week At The Food Counter
SAVEUR DE MAQUIS
Our favorite Corsican cheese is back in stock in all of its fuzzy, savage glory. Saveur du Maquis $35/lb is a semi-firm sheep’s milk cheese coated with maquis–the wild scrub-brush the clings tightly to Corsica’s rugged island terrain.
On my last trip to the island, I remember trekking through this bramble, with aromas of wild thyme, rosemary, and savory wafting through the briny air. Rich in texture, wildly aromatic, bright and saline–Saveur du Maquis craves the full-bodied, herbaceous red wines I love to drink in cold weather.
The wines of Léon Barral in the Languedoc immediately come to mind: his 2014 Faugeres $34.99 made from old vine Carignan is juicy and animal with loads of dark fruit.
After an evening of caviar and bubbly, I took advantage of a quiet (and frigid) New Year’s Day to visit a new cheesemaker and set some intentions for 2018.
Providing you with the most compelling cheese selection and service in this region is at the top of this list.
Each morning when we set up our Counter–cleaning, rewrapping, and tasting the cheeses we present to you–I ask myself what we can do better? How can we find the cheese that will help you win the potluck, make that perfect pairing, build the most beautiful cheese board, or change your life???
Seeking out cheesemakers and bringing new products to our store is the most important and rewarding part of this quest.
This past Monday I embarked on a journey across the Vermont tundra to Highgate Center, just minutes south of the Canadian border. The Boucher Family have farmed here since the 1940s, and brothers Daniel and Denis represent the 14th Generation of Boucher farmers–emigrating from France to Vermont via New France (Quebec).
Today Daniel and Denis manage a herd of 140, a mixture of among Guernsey, French Normande, Jersey, and Brown Swiss cows raised primarily for fluid milk production. Since 1999, Daniel’s wife Dawn transforms one-morning milking into award-winning raw milk blue cheese. Green Mountain Blue Cheese is Dawn’s passion project–between three recipes (all blue), she makes just 12,000lbs of cheese annually. To give you a sense of scale, Cabot, considered to be small by midwestern standards, produces roughly 200,000 lbs of cheese daily.
As one of our smallest producers, each wheel from the Boucher family is precious–and hand-delivered directly from the farm to our counter.
I picked up a few wheels of Dawn’s flagship Boucher Blue $22/lb and was thrilled to cut into one yesterday. This August 16th batch is bold and buttery with a remarkable sweetness. Like a firm Stilton, Boucher Blue has a dense, fudgy texture with flavors of roasted nuts and barnyard. Come to the Food Counter for a taste while supplies last.
Join us on Saturday from 1-4pm for a tasting of our January Cheese Club offerings, featuring Boucher Blue. In addition to the tasting, we’re offering a special signup offer for Cheese Club: buy 6 months of Dedalus Cheese Club and get a free bottle of Marquiliani Corsican Olive Oil ($38-42/bottle). These rare grower oils are verdant, spicy, and intense–great for dipping or finishing. Ask us for a taste at the counter!
Artisan Food Manager