Saturday, August 29, 2009


This morning, I had a revelation. There were fresh peaches on the counter, a basket of figs in the fridge, and a tub of mascarpone soft cheese had just arrived at my door. In five minutes, I was singing "Là ci darem la mano" and tossing together a gorgeous breakfast.

I can’t think of too many cheeses that I’d want to eat first thing in the morning. Maybe a Cashel Blue after a night of debauchery, as long as I could scare up some pears and good bread. Maybe a shmear of Tomme Fleur Vert, a Loire-Valley chevre rolled in herbs and pink peppercorn.

But ideally, if I’m going to eat dairy at dawn, I’ve decamped to the yogurt department, or I’m staring down the Neufchatel that has been sitting in the crisper for far too long. Now I have a new darling, a true breakfast cheese: Mascarpone.

This is the cheese you know from too many leaden Tiramisus, but no, in small doses, with fresh fruit, honey, and a little nutmeg, this cheese is perfect to wake up to after a rainstorm. It’s mild, creamy, and the mouthfeel brings to mind certain mousses I have eaten that made me tremble, a particular pots de crème that never leaves my mind.

Monsieur called it “cocoa butter and cream cheese.”

In Italy, people serve mascarpone with anchovies, mustard, and pickles—or so I’ve read. I can’t imagine dubbing over the sublime notes of flowers and grass with anything so harsh. With berries, it would be beautiful. Slathered on scones, too. Or any sweet bread. I’m already thinking of how I’ll eat it tomorrow for breakfast, maybe on top of raspberries and a waffle.

Mascarpone and Peaches for Two

1 sliced peach

3 figs


Toasted pecans (optional)

Mascarpone (I used Crave Brothers)

Wearing your nicest bathrobe, descend the stairs and slice peaches. Ask your boyfriend to halve the figs. Toast the pecans, together. Take turns with the mascarpone. Fight over the honey. Eat it on the back stoop or in bed while listening to a scratchy recording of Don Giovanni.


  1. I love mascarpone, Madame! One use I make of it is impressive, easy-to-make desserts topped with fresh berries or rum-soaked bananas or...