September 19th, 2017
The joys of splitting a fresh wheel of Marcel Petite Comté, finding the perfect anchovies, remembering a trip to Tomales Bay, and the return of Biellese Hot Coppa.
MARCEL PETITE 14-MONTH COMTÉ AOC $22/LB
Beneath the Alps in the French Jura, a converted military fort houses some of France’s greatest cheese. Of the 160 Comté cheesemakers, or fruitières, only the best are selected to make cheese for Marcel Petite’s prestigious Fort Saint Antoine. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Philippe Goux, the exuberant French gentleman who supervises this operation, who shared his passion for this remarkable cheese. We received a 65-lb wheel of his 14-month Comté this past friday, splitting it to reveal incredible flavors of roasted hazelnuts, crème fraîche, and chicken stock. We’re thrilled to have this cheese back on our counter, which pairs beautifully with the oxidative umami-laden Domaine de Montbourgeau 2011 L’Étoile Savagnin ($43.99).
As cooler nights arrive, I find myself lusting for the summer in all of its warm splendor–imagining those sun-soaked beach days drinking rosé and fresh, mineral whites. Even in the dead of winter, it’s easy to escape to the French Mediterranean with these stunning anchovies from Collioure. They’ve been making these the same way since the 1500s, taking advantage of the warm coastal waters that attract the fish to the shores just north of Catalonia. The Roque Anchovies in Salt ($11) are salt-cured for three months, and require a quick rinse and deboning before use in everything from tomato sauce to anchoïade. The Roquerones ($18), a play on the classic Boquerones, are fresh cleaned filets marinated in white vinegar and ready to eat. I love these on a crusty baguette drizzled with new harvest oil, washed down with a glass of Clos Ste. Magdeleine Cassis Blanc ($29.99).
TOMALES FARMSTEAD CREAMERY ATIKA $38/LB
A few winters back, I was north of San Francisco looking for cheese on the Point Reyes National Seashore. I had the great fortune of stumbling upon the lush pastures of Toluma Farms, home of Tomales Farmstead Creamery. A farmhand introduced me to their small herd of sheep and goats, walking me through the undulating hills that provide the diverse forage necessary for great milk. Once a conventional cow dairy, it tooks years of land restoration to grow quality organic feed for cheesemaking. Their work has paid off, and we are excited to bring Tomales Farmstead cheeses to Vermont for the first time. Atika is a Basque-inspired sheep and goat’s milk tomme with a crumbly texture with notes of lemon peel and earth. Look for it on the Food Counter and featured in our October Cheese Club.
SALUMERIA BIELLESE HOT COPPA $29/LB
Those of you who have shopped our Charcuterie Case know that I’m quick to recommend products from Salumeria Biellese. This Piedmontese family has been curing meats in the New York City area since 1925, earning a Slow Food “Snail of Approval” for their contributions to sustainable and traditional foods in the region. They source Berkshire pork and Pennsylvania Angus for their whole-muscle cures, taking their time to coax out complex flavors rather than over seasoning or rushing the process. I’ve waited weeks for their Hot Coppa to finish drying and the results are fantastic. Rich, melt-in-your mouth fat carries the delicate spice of Calabrian chiles.
Artisan Food Manager