Week Two Tasting Notes
So the Redskins were watery and flavorless, but how about our cheese and beer picks? Well, some technical difficulties prevented the cheese and beer from being sampled at actual tailgates, so I figured I'd bring the samples in to The Post for some pre-Monday Night Football refreshment, but I was cruelly advised to leave the Hop Pocket Ale at home. So what we have instead are tasting notes on Montasio Festivo, sans beer, courtesy of your friendly local sports staff. Montasio Festivo, you'll recall, is an aged goat cheese rubbed with a bath of olive oil and ground ancho chiles.
Fantasy football guru Gene Wang: It doesn't taste like anything. I'm serious. There is no taste.
Keeper of strange information Jon Goldberg: I'll say that's a fine piece of cheese. It tastes like seafood; it's seasoned like seafood.
NBA writer Michael Lee [as he grimaced]: It definitely doesn't taste like goat cheese. I really can't compare it to anything, but I'd eat it again. I wonder how it is melted?
NBA editor and lactose intolerant Alexa Steele: Better than I expected. It was worth risking my health for, how's that? If I call in sick tomorrow, you'll know why. [Many lactose intolerant people have an easier time with goat cheese - ed.]
NFL editor Cindy Boren: You can eat [the paste] and then get the nice little kick [from the rind], as you like. It's delightful. Deliteful.
All-purpose editor and beer snob Matt Rennie: I'm generally not a goat cheese fan, but the chiles--while not exactly spicy--seem to offset the goatiness of it. In fact, Kornheiser might use ancho chiles to remedy what he would term the "goatiness" of Feinstein. I have to confess that the lack of Hop Pocket Ale really hurts this pairing.
Deputy sports editor Matt Vita: Very nice. I prefer my goat cheese softer, but it has a little kick. Must be those ancho chiles taking hold.
Copy editor and wise guy (although not in the mobster sense) David Larimer: Nutty. I think the rind elevates it above the more pedestrian cheeses I had yesterday. I think it's nothing special, actually.
College sports writer and budding gourmand Adam Kilgore: Am I gonna want to throw up after I taste this? I feel like I'm in the 3rd grade; somebody was like, 'Here, eat this cracker, it has chocolate on it," and it was Vegemite. Somebody's parents took a trip to Australia and brought back Vegemite and I got punked. [Tastes cheese.] It's pretty good. I'm by no means an expert--I can't give a qualified opinion--but it tastes all right. Do you have any crackers? The rind doesn't add as much flavor as I thought it would by appearance; it tastes the same as the other chunk. It's also greasy; I can't open this bag of pretzels. [Struggles with bag of pretzels.] Some beer would definitely be good with this.
High school sports writer and budding gourmand Rich Campbell: Tastes a little like a stale Swiss with some chile powder rubbed on the outside, and a little spicy aftertaste too. It definitely made me reach for the water. If there were a few more little blocks I'd definitely eat them, but I don't like anything from Dallas right now.
Sports editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, the man responsible for paying me to write about cheese tastings: It's a poor man's Manchego.
Me: That's sheep, this is goat.
Sports editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz: Don't edit my copy, son. Why does it make your fingers turn red? It tastes like Manchego, the exact same taste. The rind covers for the fact that it's a poor man's Manchego. Get the greasy rind out of there and it's just fine.
Navy scribe Melanie Ho: The chile rind is good, but the consistency is like when you leave cheese out and it gets cold. That's what it tastes like, melted cheese gone cold. If you take a hot piece of pizza and put it in the fridge, the piece that falls off the plate and turns kind of rubbery, that's what it tastes like.
Layout editor Danielle Newman: It's a goat cheese? It reminds me of Manchego. The chiles add a sweet, smokey sort of flavor. The rind makes it, I think.
Taste bud-deprived editor Micah Pollack: It tastes more like bread than cheese. Disappointing. I prefer a good Parrano.
Official Bog wife and business writer Annys Shin: It tastes like Manchego. Does that mean I have a bad palate?
Business editor and guest taster Howard Schneider: Well, it has the personality of Bill Parcells: dry, uninspired, crumbly. It's not very flavorful, actually, which could probably apply to both the Cowboys and the Redskins at this point.
September 19, 2006; 9:21 AM ET
Categories: Beer and Cheese
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