Valentine's in April

When one finds oneself in New Seasons with no shopping list but definite calories needed, it only makes sense to base all purchasing on the cheese selection. I had quite the oscillating difficult time deciding between the several of the cheeses from Ancient Heritage Dairy nearby in Madras, Oregon, but eventually chose the Valentine. The man behind the cheese bar said the Adelle at this time of year was funkier, but the Valentine was RARER and in like perfect conditions so hence swooped that up. Check it aaout:

 Sheepy goodness waiting to show itself to the world

Sheepy goodness waiting to show itself to the world

 Sheep goodness showing itself to the world

Sheep goodness showing itself to the world

The first thing I noticed about this bloomy rind sheep's milk cheese was the earthy, cool, ammonia emanating from it. Upon cutting into the valentine, there was massive drip pooling out of my slice. Like someone put vanilla pudding in between the rind (which was almost raw pie crust-like in savour and texture) and the interior pâte (which was just past the point of velvety crumble). I tasted some hints of fungal notes but mostly a deep, satisfying cream. The cream running out of the cheese was a little saltier and faintly acrid and a little perplexing. It's always so exciting when someone can make a soft product with sheep's milk, and I wish more farms dared to venture in that direction. When you get those little indications of the lanolin musk that is so evident in aged sheep's milk cheese, it's really thrilling to let your taste buds explore milk in all of its forms.