Monday, June 1, 2009

Simple Pleasure #1: Whitestone Windsor Blue Cheese.

So if I've learned one thing in the last month, it's this. You can't do something that's AWESOME!!!!! every single day. But you can enjoy simple pleasures, and they can be a small nugget of awesome in one's day.

So here's one, that's largely available to Kiwis: Whitestone's Windsor Blue Cheese. Now, this isn't my favorite pleasure of all time, or even my favorite cheese for that matter; it just happens to be something I enjoyed today.

(Incidentally, that Whitestone site has an amazing cheese FAQ, with more information than I could ever want to know on the topic.)

A few of you are recoiling; blue cheese haters, no doubt. I feel your pain. Until recently, I was one of you. I thought it was nasty, vile stuff. Why would you eat mold? (I recall a similar, embarrassing memory of refusing to eat raw fish, once upon a time.)

And then, not quite by force but reasonably close, I tried the Windsor Blue. First is the texture - unlike the average crumbly blue, it's a creamy texture. Then the taste - that characteristic blue cheese taste, yes, but melded with a much richer, creamier taste as well.

"It was ... okay, I guess." I think I said that, and then that night had some more. And some more. And some more.

And so, here we are, me enjoying NZ's most awarded blue cheese (despite what those sneaky Fonterra bastards would have you believe). It's a pricy cheese, but you see it on sale sometime, and I got a 1/4 wheel at Foodtown near its "Best Before" date for only slightly more than a wedge a quarter of its size would have cost. And so I'm working through it as quickly as possible, and with every nibble feeling grateful that I bothered to try something I spent so much of my life so opposed to.

And if you're ever in Oamaru, drop into the cheesery directly for a tour, a tasting, or just to stock up. (And if they have the Island Stream cheese? Send me some. Please. Now THAT is my favorite cheese of all time, albeit sadly unavailable these days.)

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