I typically don’t buy cheese via mail order since I prefer to support my fabulous local shops, but recently Artisanal Cheese has been running a promotion offering a percentage off your order as a countdown to the Super Bowl. Never one to turn down a deal – or a chance to taste cheeses that I don’t usually see locally – I placed a large order and have been enjoying the fruits of FedEx ever since. My favorite from the box was this goaty beauty, Laurier.
Laurier is the delicious result of a collaboration between Vermont Butter and Cheese, makers of C+C favorite Cremont, and Artisanal’s director of affinage, meaning you can only find it at Artisanal (that’s where mail order comes in handy). An aged goat cheese adorned with a simple bay leaf to add a spicy flavor, Laurier bowls you over with its dreamy creaminess and full-frontal flavor. How goaty, you may ask? Well, my husband, well-known for his goat-cheese aversion, walked out of the room, and my sister, who prefers goat cheese to all others, found it to be overpowering. Of course, I loved it – mild, delicate chevres are wonderful, but it’s nice to have a button with some heft and spunk underneath that innocent package. Eating it was a – dare I say – sensual experience.
A sophisticated cheese that begs for a glass of wine, Laurier pairs nicely with a white Bordeaux, Gamay or Champagne. No other accompaniments are necessary beyond a knife. This is a cheese that demands to be enjoyed straight up.