Friday, December 5, 2008

"Cheese, Gromit, delicious cheeeese!"

We got some artisan cheese in this afternoon, four varieties of Sartori Reserve BellaVitano: a few small wedges of their Merlot, Black Pepper and Gold, and a 20 lb. wheel of their Raspberry BellaVitano. I had to cut that big mutha of a wheel so I could better fit it in the deli case and have it ready for smaller cutting (the smallest we cut to sell is half-a-pound). Naturally I had to taste it.! This stuff is absolutely freaking awesome. I swear I could have just locked the front door, grabbed that 10 lb. half-wheel and just gleefully munched the rest of it in the back room for a couple of hours. It's a semi-crumbly Parmesan-like cheese, a tad moist and cream colored like vintage porcelain, with a nice yeasty aroma. The yeast aroma no doubt comes from the New Glarus Raspberry Tart Beer that the cheese is soaked in. The taste is unbelievable...slightly fruity, just a hint of saltiness, creamy and subtle.

This is a dignified cheese, well-mannered and gentlemanly, complex but quiet...not the kind that knocks you over like a heavyweight roundhouse punch,
but rather like a series of those quick Bruce Lee short jabs that made the bad guy look confused ("I think I just got hit...a whole bunch of times") right before he drops to the ground. Even the rind, purpley from the raspberry beer, is dang yummy. I've found at least a few of my Christmas gifts this year.This Raspberry BellaVitano is so good that you'll want to Google it just to find out more. That's how I felt anyway, so let me save you some trouble. Here's a couple links with raves from another cheesaholic (she's right on the money):

Best New Cheeses in the World
Sartori Reserve Raspberry BellaVitano - one of the best new cheeses I've tasted so far this year -- took gold for Best New Cheese with additives. This is the same cheese I raved about at July's ACS contest -- where it also took a blue ribbon.

On Location: Meet the Cheesemaker
This little treasure won't be available in retail stores until October, but I suggest you purchase a wheel as soon as it hits the market...It boasts an amazing, almost cravable taste reminiscent of an aged, premium Cheddar balanced by a full flavored Parmesan. One word: wowsers.


Lee Brocher said...

I just put some of the merlot, and rasberry bellavitano cheese in the retail deli case at Marettis, you are correct, it is FABULOUS!!!!

David said...

Right on, Lee! I'm going to link to your site once we get the new format up and running on here, in the next couple of weeks...Maretti's, the best deli restaurant on the lakeshore!

bpowell said...

We've had some BellaVitano cheese that we've been nibbling on for the last month or so and we thought that was awesome. We sampled some of the Reserve Raspberry BellaVitano last night and that was unbelievable.

Seemed a little moister (could be due to the freshness) than the regular BellaVitano I've sampled, but still had that rich bite and crumbly nature, with a mild raspberry flavor if you hunt for it. Well balanced and not overwhelming.

I'll also second that vote on Maretti's being the best deli restaurant around this area.