Friday, February 6, 2009

The Ultimate Quest: Finding the Perfect Cheeses and Dips

For those of you who haven't noticed, Erik and I have a certain love for food. Unfortunately, it's making us both fat. Fortunately, it has resulted in the discovery of some fantastic eats.

Let's start with a little background.

This is how I feel about cheese. I have an obsession. I can eat a full pack of string cheese in a single sitting. To me, pizza is not pizza unless it comes with extra cheese. Melty cheese, sliced cheese, grated cheese, grilled cheese, any cheese! I heart cheese.

While Erik doesn't share my zealous devotion to all things cheesy, he does have a fondness for the king of dairy. What he loves better, however, is the king of all snacks: dip. Good thing for me, lots of dips also include...guess what?

Come on...give it a guess!

Does it start with a che and end in an eeeeese?


Sadly, not all dips - and to my shock, not all cheese - is made of perfection. We've had a really bad run with picking out not so stellar cheeses and dips from the local Freddie's and PCC (a speciality food store with a wider selection and lots of organic stuff) so we decide to start keeping track of our quest for the ultimate yum-yums. What better place than on my blog? I'm already flooding it with my gourmet cooking, why not share more about food?

I like brie cheese. I'm not a fan of the crusties that come with it, but the creamy center has always been something I enjoyed. The above cheese goes a slightly different route, moving away from crunchy and into...furry. The white you see was a fine coating of fuzz. It was a little disconcerting, but I tried it. I must say, the inside reward was worth overcoming the creepy feelings I felt when I touched it. On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I'll give this a 3. While tasty, it was a bit expensive and furry cheese is just not on my top ten list. I'll try something new before buying it again, but I plan to finish the rest of the package - sans the fur coat, of course.

Good old goat cheese. When I went to Leavenworth with my parents, we found a great little cheese shop with an amazing herb goat cheese spread - it was similar to Borsin cheese, but much creamer and smoother and, well, yummier. The package led me to believe this cheese would be the same as my Leavenworth dream cheese. It fell short. The cheese had a lot strong of a taste, and the texture wasn't very smooth or creamy. It had a little funky cheese quality to it. I'd have to give this one only a 2. I'd guess the rest of this one might end up in the trash and I don't have plans to get it again.

On to the dip section. This was from PCC, one of their organic products. Erik and I were on the same page about this one. Blech. Though the ingredients listed other things besides artichoke, this really just tasted like artichoke pate. This was a defiant no for both of us, likely no stars, and went right in the trash after we tried it.

Another dip - a cheese one! Again, just okay. It was a bit overwhelming, and something that you could only eat a tiny bit at a time. Both Erik and I like to take big scoops of dip, so this one isn't quite our style. I guess I'd give it a 1 star rating. I think it's still in the back of the fridge...but I have serious doubts we're going to open it again.

This batch was a no good as whole. Perfection, why do you elude us so?

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