Monday, February 13, 2017

Purple Haze

It's no surprise that my new favorite cheese, Purple Haze, comes from one of my all time favorite cheese companies, Cypress Grove. What is surprising is just how much I love this cheese. Dare I say it's addicting? It is, even after one bite. The unexpected shower of subtle but enticing herbs combined with the sweet tang of the goat cheese makes this little beauty both puzzling and remarkable. It's one you will want to keep exploring. Each bite seems to evolve as the flavors build and change on your palate. 

Purple Haze is a brilliantly thought out product. Reading the ingredients, I wouldn't have thought it would be something this extraordinary. It contains simply pasteurized goat milk, salt, fennel pollen, lavender, cultures and enzymes. That's it. I'm not a huge lavender fan and fennel isn't a flavor I often rave about, though I don't mind either one. I just didn't realize how delightfully these flavors would pair with a fresh goat cheese. If anyone was wondering, fennel pollen comes from the flower part of the fennel plant. It's an exceptionally aromatic perennial herb, and the pollen has a nice, slightly sweet and powerful flavor. A little bit goes a long way, and there's just the right amount in this cheese. Purple Haze has won many awards for good reason. It's a unique cheese with an exceptional taste. 

The beauty of Purple Haze is that the flavors are balanced perfectly. The herbs don’t overwhelm the cheese and visa versa. The flavor is outstanding, almost otherworldly. While the flavors are subtle at first, there's no denying the lovely but unexpected lavender and fennel accents. And these flavors build to a gorgeous crescendo. This is a cheese you will want to keep coming back to. It’s incredibly memorable. This beautiful cheese transports you into a sunny, fairy tale afternoon. You can picture yourself strolling through a charming garden on a warm, spring day.

Someone suggested caramelizing the top of this cheese before serving. That sounds divine!

Purple Haze
Purple Haze on toasted rye bread.

As far as pairings, make sure whatever you put the cheese on isn't too salty, too sweet or too aromatic. You don't want anything competing with these lovely flavors. For wine, a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Reisling would do well. Most red wines will be too strong, but you could also try a light rose.  

You can read about Cypress Grove's sexy Truffle Tremor or their wonderful everyday cheese the Lamb Chopper in my other blog posts.

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