What is this heaven? Why, that’s a wedge of goat's milk blue with a shrapnel shard of chocolate-covered bacon, atop an oaty biscuit. It’s what I ate for breakfast yesterday, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Call it the new oyster shooter.
I first read about Bleu du Bocage in a column by Janet Fletcher. Janet writes a brilliant cheese column for the San Francisco Chronicle, and she is my oracle. If Janet finds “toasty and faintly meaty aromas” in a cheese, I know that I will be able to find them, too. She has an astonishing nose.
About Bleu du Bocage, Janet wrote: “Note how pleasantly the cheese dissolves on the tongue, melting like butter.” She also smelled “roasted nuts and bacon.”
Oh, Janet, yes!
And so, this beautiful cheese needed a porcine accent, me thought. Plus a little dark chocolate, and yes, some walnut-flecked oat cakes. Fan me now, I can’t think about this pairing with out sweating just a little.
I bought this wedge at Fromaggio Kitchen in Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. Bleu du Bocage is not easy to find, so once I saw it – I knew it was the one, my breakfast blue. The cheesemonger, Jor Kane, formerly of the Almanac Market in Philadelphia, told me he could taste creamed spinach on the finish.
I took a whiff and a nibble. Spot on! Creamed spinach, there it was. Meaty on the front end, vegetal on the finish – the Loire Valley has blown my mind again.
Incidentally, this blue also danced along nicely to port-fig truffles.
Note: These little treasures, like the bacon, came from Roni-Sue (also in the Essex Street Market). The Walnut Oat Crackers, mentioned above, come from the Fine Cheese Company. They are extraordinary.