Happy new year, cheese lovers! Hope you’ve had a wonderful start to 2013 – hopefully with a glass of bubbly in hand. Colleen and I toasted the new year twice – once on Eastern time and again on Central – via Skype, and while it wasn’t the same as being together in person, it was better than texting. Anyway, our first featured cheese of 2013 is the perfect accompaniment to any leftover sparkling wine you may have in the house (if that’s possible). Raise a glass to Torus.
If you can remember back to January 2012, we were intrigued by a new Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery offering called Laurier, developed in partnership with Artisanal Cheese. Vermont Butter & Cheese must be spreading the love among New York’s powerhouse cheese shops because it created Torus exclusively for Murray’s Cheese (aka “the mothership,” as Colleen recently deemed it). A small doughnut of goat’s-milk goodness, Torus is shaped like a crown (or couronne, if we’re being fancy) so it offers a higher rind-to-paste ratio than your typical goat-cheese bon-bon. Rind lovers will go nuts, but if you’re the rare type who scrapes the interior from its bloomy overgrowth, you’ll want to find an alternate cheese to get your money’s worth of paste.
Despite the promise on the label of a yeasty bite, I found my Torus to taste like pure, buttery silk without a trace of yeast – perhaps it hadn’t spent as much time in Murray’s cave as the others? But that lack didn’t deter me from enjoying my cheesy doughnut. Instead, I appreciate each bite for its cool, pleasing creaminess and gentle salty undertones. Though not as mushroomy as a cow’s-milk bloomy, I detected a hint of earthiness in each schmear. The pumpkin seed-rye biscuit pictured above wasn’t the ideal choice as a cheese delivery vehicle, however – select a sweeter or more mildly flavored cracker to enjoy with Torus.
Which cheeses are you looking forward to tasting in 2013?