Posted by: lisetta | July 12, 2009

Pantaleo formaggio caprino

Hot damn. I found a good one. A really good one. Thank you Carlino’s. I stopped by today dreaming of prosciutto I could wrap around the super ripe melon I bought this weekend, but made a few impulse buys while browsing: a bag of Macine, an issue of La Cucina Italiana, and a piece of the best ‘new’ cheese I’ve tried in months.

The sign in the case read “goat cheese from Sardegna”.  I chose the smallest piece I could find and tossed it into my basket. What risk is there in a $6 ($18.29/lb) piece of cheese? It’s a bargain considering it’s travelled across the world, for goodness sake*.

I lack the vocabulary to describe the sensations I experienced while eating some this evening. Meadows. Mountains. An odd buzzing/opening of my sinuses (seriously). WTH?

Janet Fletcher, a fabulous food writer for the San Fransisco Chronicle, describes her experience quite eloquently:

My first aromatic impression is herbal, the fragrance of dried mountain herbs like rosemary and thyme. Behind those aromas are some caramel notes that remind me of cajeta, the Mexican goat’s milk candy. I don’t find any of the animal scent that turns some people off of goat cheese.

On the tongue, the cheese delivers that perfect balance of salty and sweet that keeps me coming back. The finish is faintly lemony, the texture crumbly as the cheese dissolves.

Forever Cheese describes it:

A unique goat cheese from Sardegna and a rare find as there are few aged goat cheeses in Italy, Pantaleo is ivory in color with a pale rind. The cheese is aged a minimum of 100 days and it is full flavored, sweet with a clean, floral finish; it almost doesn’t taste like goat cheese.

Hmmm. One more reason to daydream about my next vacation. Sardegna is one of three Italian regions I’ve yet to visit. Have been enamored with the idea of travelling there after buying Bugialli’s Foods of Sicily and Sardegna years ago. I so wish I could sneak away and visit in September.  (Wanderlust is strong this month, fueled by my time in California.)

*I can’t imagine willfully choosing to adhere to ‘buy local’ dogma, though I wholeheartedly support sustainable agriculture. It exists worldwide; I bet the goats grazing on Sardinian mountaintops live happy lives. 🙂

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