Purchased at Big John's market in Healdsburg, CA, this was one of my few encounters with a soft-ripened sheep's milk cheese. The bulge of the paste's ooze caught our eye in the case. Noting the ruddy hue of the rind, I thought it might be a Taleggio lookalike. But turns out that the color comes from a rub of annatto for color rather than b-linens.
The aroma was more in the mushroom vein of a white bloomy cheese rather than the pungency of washed rinds. The texture's remarkably silken and feels very luscious on the palate, more akin to cow than sheep milk. It spreads beautifully. Rather mild with a sweet buttery personality, we expected more gaminess at this level of maturity. An understated and polite cheese, for sure, with just a bit of lactic tang and grassiness revealing sheep origins.
From the region near Lyon, France.
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