Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blaak Is The New Black

How do you pick out the New Yorkers in a crowded party? Look who’s wearing black, of course! New Yorkers know that one can never go wrong dressed in black. It is always sleek, right for any occasion, and frankly downright chic. Not surprisingly then, cheese-makers Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of Beekman 1802 in Sharon Springs, NY, chose to stylishly outfit their first released cheese, fittingly named Blaak, in a handsome overcoat. The semi-hard, Italian style cheese made from a blend of 60% raw goat and 40% cow’s milk is popping up all over the city. Its black coating is an edible ash rind that is applied during four months of cave aging. It is truly stunning.

Like any self-respecting New Yorker, this cheese has attitude! It’s sharp, salty character left my mouth itching for minutes after I’d sampled. The blend of milks is just right, unmistakably an aged goats’ milk cheese but with a rich and mellow quality that only cows’ milk brings. Dr. Brent Ridge has been quoted saying, “its both dramatic and delicious,” and it’s true!

One of my favorite qualities of aged cheeses, like Blaak, is its durability. Ash acts as a natural defense against oxidation and it is nearly impossible to find this cheese "off." This is the perfect choice to have wrapped well (no plastic please!) in the back of the refrigerator, as it will stand the test of time. Just a little edge trimming and you’ve become the fabulous NY hostess with the very elegant cheese plate at a minute’s notice. And better yet, it will undoubtedly match your Louboutins!

You can buy whole 2-3 pound wheels direct from Beekman 1802 or smaller pieces are available at Murray's Cheese, Garden of Eden, Saxelby Cheese, and Stinky Brooklyn.

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