Tronchetto Al Firoi di Primavera
Last November, while in the France 44 Cheese Shop looking for the youngest Epoisses possible, the cheese buyer, Katie was behind the counter and asked have you tried this cheese - we just got it in. The cheese was Tronchetto Al Fiori di Primavera and it is a goat milk cheese covered by ripped wild flowers and aged by La Casera in Verbania, Italy. Eros is the cheese affineur a professional cheese ager. His mom Carlana dad Giuseppe opened a small cheese shop and Eros took it to the next level, scouring the Italian country side for the best local and national dairy producers. He has added an aging cellar and a tasting room. Tronchetto Al Fiori di Primavera comes from Eros' aging cellar. the, name in my rough translation means "log of blossoms of spring." It is covered with dried ripped up flower blossoms. The paste has a cream to dulce de leche look and smells faintly of flowers with cream and mushrooms. It has an initial dry note and them mushroomy Camembert to Brie flavors come through delightfully flavored with flowers. There is a pleasant, faint smokiness. The cheese has a rich, creamy texture that is almost spreadable. The cheese is world class. It is like having spring in the middle of November. I am drinking a Sho Chiku Bai Nigori with the cheese and the cheese dominates the sake but the sake does soften the taste. The creaminess of the sake and the cheese go very well together and the sake brings out a hint of tartness in the cheese. The wild flowers are chewy but add nice flavors and textures. The nigori sake and cheese are a decadent pairing - like cream and cream with some flowers thrown in. A dry cider, mead or Saison might provide a better pairing. I would also consider a Gose, Berliner Weiss or Belgian Wit. Tronchetto Al Fiori di Primavera is a perfect example why you should always be nice to the people behind the cheese counter.