For our second week of World According to Cheese on the Road, we find ourselves in America's Capital,Washington D.C. Here, wandering with my childhood friends Francesca and Mia among the presidents and "malls" where you can't shop, I was surprised to come across the famous Cowgirl Creamery, which I believed only to exist in the Bay Area of California! Once in the shop, I learned that the location was thoughtfully chosen by Cowgirl Creamery's founders, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, both originally from the D.C. area.
The Cowgirl folks were quick to share this fact with me, as well as their own opinions of and experiences with the cheeses. I always enjoy this tell-all quality in professional cheesers. After all, I'm not just visiting the shop to buy cheese, I want to learn something while I'm there! When I finally left, I had in tow an unassuming cheese named Cumberland and a smile on my face.
This cheese is a simple tomme, a general word referring French and Swiss cheeses that use skim milk or milk left over from making richer cheeses. It is produced at Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee, (although the cows come from Maryland), and is named after the plateau surrounding the farm. The cheese, though simple, packs quite a punch. When I first bit in, I feared that the farmy taste would be too strong for my liking. But the flavor stopped right at the edge of too farmy, creating a delightfully unique experience.
Oh Cumberland, I hereby crown ye Cheese of the Week.
Here's to a week filled with stories and cheese that are inspired with flavor, firm with a hint of wild, while remaining very simple.
Cumberland is inspired by the famous French tomme de Savoie. Just as Cumberland was inspired by a great cheese that came before it, this week hundreds of Indian girls chose names inspired by Bollywood idols and Hindu goddesses to replace their negative birth names.
The Indian girls called 'Unwanted': Children branded by their families chose new names for fresh start (dailymail.co.uk)
Cumberland boasts a firm interior as a result of its 90 day aging. And now individuals who couldn't walk before can stand firm too, as a result of the new bionic exoskeleton introduced by Ekso Bionics this week.
Producing a scary haunted house becomes quite a challenge as people become desensitized to scare tactics. At Universal Orlando, employees spend months developing new ideas for Halloween- making it more wild every year. Cumberland fits perfectly with this spooky theme- some of the organisms contained in the cheese aren't inoculated, meaning they're wild!
Simple: This cheese has a no frills type flavor that is intriguing in its simplicity. I was similarly intrigued by the stories these young adults chose to tell, simplifying the complicated lives of their subjects through striking photographs and captions.
Bright Young Things: Andrea Morales Wins TIME’s Next Generation Photography Contest (lightbox.time.com)
Now go out and eat some cheese.