Episode 15 – A Walk in the Woods

Well – since it’s blizzarding outside, and in this video we’re leaf peeping at Ward Reservation – it gives you some notion of how behind I am on posting to this blog.  Never fear dear readers/viewers/whoever is actually paying attention; I’m determined to catch up over the holidays!

First up – if you watch last week’s post, we collected three very yummy cheeses from Las Ventas in the South End.   Then, bff’s Megan and Seth invited us to go on a hike in a purdy park just north of Boston.  I was nerdy enough to bring along the cheese.

Since this is Massachusetts, there’s all kinds of weird land-use/zoning/ preservation groups and laws that control our ‘traditional way of life.’   Massachusetts is a weird mix of old skool (towns where you can’t change a damn thing without a permit) and very new (gay marriage, health reform), which makes it a damn good place to live (outside of the weather in Jan in Feb – hurry up global warming 🙂 ).  I’ll take our well -planned towns over suburban sprawl any day – this means you hometown-Charlotte, NC.

One of the best of these preservation groups is the Trustees of Reservations – i.e. a bunch of rich folks 200 years ago started buying up land to preserve it for future enjoyment and cheese blogging.  It’s privately held land and all over the state. They’re usually old farms and forests.  The one we went to – Ward Reservation is like 45 min from Boston and a world away.  It was one of those perfect New England fall days that people romanticize in movies about kids going to Harvard, or whatever.  We stopped at Elephant rock to eat the cheese and drink Fresca…mmmmmmmm Fresca….

Here’s what we ate:

2. Castellano – a cow, goat and sheep’s milk combo cheese from the Castille part of spain which borders Portugal’s NE border.  The area is a rugged treeless plain – you know Don Quixote land…

It’s a name controlled cheese, but it is made across the region.  It’s basically the Manchego of Castille; same recipe even.  It has a nutty flavor, and is supposed to be good with ham, melon, pears, tomatoes and crusty bread.  All we had were some crackers.  It was pretty good, kinda meh on its own.

2.  Aged Mahon.   This is – guess what – an aged version of the Canary Island’s Mahon Cheese we review in episode 1 of this stoopid blog.  I must say the aged is every damn bit as good as the young – definitely add this cheese to your party list.  The books say that the aged version (12 months) is good with beer, and is ‘one of the best aged cow cheeses in the world.’ It’s been made for over 100 years by recogedores-afinadores (gatherers-ripeners).  It  is the 2nd most popular cheese in Spain.

3.  MitiBlue – It is a sheep’s milk blue like a Roquefort.  Hard to find info about, but damn tasty – STRONG!


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