The Gastronomical Me / Mystery Cheese

I spent the weekend in Wenatchee about a month ago, and made a stop in the Pike Place-modeled Pybus Marketplace that opened several years ago. It’s a great open air space that has been so prevalent on the East Coast and in the Midwest, and is now spreading outside of Pike Place and the Ferry Building Marketplace.

I was obvs so enthused to see a new location for the Cheesemonger’s Shop that has been in Leavenworth since I started visiting in the late 90s (??!!) We did some tastings, including a very nicely handled Délice de Bourgogne, and decided on a local chevre with an ash center. I’ve done literal hours of research, but I can’t seem to find the actual name of the cheese. Regardless, it was tasty and intriguing, so I write.

The cheesemonger told me it was usually aged for 2 weeks, but they had had this round for another 2 weeks, so it had continued to age a little. Holding it, I noticed that it had a sort of curd-esque resilience (hinting at its youth). The ash and some mold development added an interesting complexity to what would have been earlier a clearer dairy flavor, but instead it savoured as an acrid, malty, soy-laced piece of taste. I really enjoyed the bitterness of the ash and the smoked meatiness that bloomed. The goat flavor, alongside the bitter-savory interplay, provided a head tilting experience that’s like everything I search for in the aged dairy products I come across. Like what’s the point of eating cheese if it doesn’t taste like death a little?