Let’s start with cheese, where all things good begin.
1. Buttermilk Bleu Affinée, Roth KÃ¤se
The cheese aisles of the Fancy Food Show are legendary. Booth after booth of master cheese makers showcasing their best; wheels upon wheels of creamy bliss in all forms imaginable – aged, fresh, sharp, mellow – it’s a cheese-lover’s paradise. I have my favorites that I really love, and look forward to tasting again every year at the show, so it takes something special to steal my attention.
The Buttermilk Bleu Affinée from Roth KÃ¤se succeeded in doing just that. Insanely creamy with an easy sweet finish, this blue stopped me in my tracks and had me coming back for seconds and thirds, dragging friends with me each time so they could experience this magnificent cheese for themselves. As my friend, Michael observed, “It looks intimidating, but it’s really approachable.”
To make the Buttermilk Bleu Affinée, select wheels of Roth KÃ¤se’s standard (very good) Buttermilk Blue are identified as having the potential to be obscenely good. Those special wheels are hand-picked to be the true crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me, the all-stars, the special ops team of blue cheese. Where the Buttermilk Blue is aged 60 days, the Bleu Affinée is cured for a minimum of six months. If I had some right now, I’d make some crazy good mashed potatoes, or stir it into risotto, or melt it on a steak, or simply spread it on a slab of hot bread with some sliced pears…