The tulips are peeking out, cherry blossom trees flowering, and Brooklyn is officially in full bloom.
We thought it'd be appropriate to put our best bloomy-rinded cheese to use in celebration of Brooklyn's spring! But before we give you the low-down on our current bloomy cheeses, we'll give you some pointers on what we mean when we say "bloomy rind".
A bloomy rind refers to cheeses that have a soft, fuzzy, white rind. The color and texture is the result of the bacteria (like Penicillium candidum) used in the cheese making process. Bloomy rind cheese are surface-ripened, meaning that the cheese ripens from the outside-in. This results in a cheese that's firmer in the center and more runny and aged towards the edges. Bloomy rind cheeses are known for their softer textures and mushroomy flavor notes.
Now that we have the basics down, onto our favorites!
1.) Kunik Mini
This little guy packs a punch. Dense like a decadent slice of cheesecake and so creamy it’ll just melt away in your mouth.
The maker, Sheila Flanagan, starts with pasteurized goat’s milk for a slight lemon-tang and adds in Jersey cow’s milk for that iconic buttery, mushroomy quality. This triple creme wheel has won over the hearts of so many- it boasts numerous awards (2010 Triple Creme Blue Ribbon, 2016 World Cheese Championship, and 2016 Gold Medal at NY State Fair). But it’s hard to convey just how good the Kunik is without trying for yourself.
The Kuniks come in an adorable mini size, which are perfect for adding onto any cheeseboard, or a large, so you don’t have to worry about sharing or running out. The kunik pairs wonderfully with a bright, crisp rose and a handful of fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.
2.) Lake's Edge
This bloomy, ash-veined beauty is a long standing favorite at BKLYN Larder. It's made from goat's milk and aged for three weeks. The makers, Blue Ledge Farm, named this cheese after the stones found along Lake Champlain in Vermont.
The cheese boasts a rich, fresh goat's milk flavor and a creamy, flaky texture. As the cheese ages, it becomes runnier underneath the rind. The cheese is pleasantly lemony and tangy in the middle and adopts a stronger mushroomy flavor closer to the rind.
The makers suggest pairing with a light red wine such as Pinot Noir. We say: add a crunchy baguette and it’s a dream meal.
3.) Moses Sleeper
Moses Sleeper is made by Jasper Hill Creamery. This cheese is a Jasper Hill Creamery classic, inspired by classic, French Brie. This cheese’s historic namesake, Moses Sleeper, and his compatriot, Constant Bliss, were Revolutionary War scouts killed while defending a blockhouse along the Northeast Kingdom’s legendary Bayley Hazen Military Road.
Moses is an approachable and nuanced brie-style cheese. Beneath its thin, bloomy rind lies a gooey, milky core showing a complex array of flavors at peak ripeness: cauliflower, crème fraîche, and toasted nuts. A bright, clean finish with a hint of white mushroom aroma follows the rich flavors of the paste.
Moses is perfect for a festive cheese board or for baking en croute for an elegant dessert. At room temperature, this cheese is pliant and decadent without being runny. Seek out a farmhouse saison, country pâte, pickled carrots, and a crusty baguette to bring together a satisfying ploughman’s lunch.
Come stop by the shop to shop these lovely bloomy cheeses, grab some baguettes and a bottle of cider while you're at it, and head over to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden or Prospect Park to take in the beautiful Brooklyn Spring!