Monday, December 15, 2008

More Fun Playing Slowly with Baricelli Cheese

Saturday December 13, the Northern Ohio Convivium of Slow Food hosted its Second Annual Wine and Cheese Tasting at The Baricelli Inn in Cleveland's Little Italy. Chef Paul Minillo treated us to an amazing buffet of 18 cheeses!

We began with a choice of red or white wine; I actually preferred the white with the cheeses.

I went through and photographed the cheeses before we started, which is why several of them are still whole.

We began with an introduction from one of our Slow Food directors, Kari Moore.

Then, Chef Paul explained the delights we were about to sample, and offered some tasting suggestions.

Crackers and Breads from On The Rise Bakery

Our first two cheeses were sourced from Lake Erie Creamery.

Unfortunately, the Goat Cheese sign is obscuring the rounds of Blooma. The goat cheese is creamy and delicious.

The Burrata is a rare and special cheese - Chef Paul kept it under wraps until the very moment of service, then plated it himself. Burrata - which means "buttered" in Italian - can be thought of as mozzerella on steroids (steroids made of cream).

Chef Extracts the Burrata From the Packaging

Chef Was Not Expecting a Leafy Wrapping - is it a Leek? Asphodel?

Chef begins to portion out the Burrata

Condiments for the Burrata Plate

A cheese this special deserves some special treatment!

Oh yes, there were several other USA-made cheeses on the right side of the room for us to taste!

Meadow Creek Dairy Appalachian

I know the sign says Greyson - but the next photo is the Greyson. These were our two favorites after the Burrata; we took home some of the Appalachian.

Meadow Creek Dairy Greyson

Accompaniments Galore!

My USA Cheese Tasting Plate

The Lake Erie Blooma is at 11 o'clock.

The left side of the room featured two tables of cheeses. First, four Italian cheeses, then six French cheeses.

The Italians

Next came the French cheeses - most of which were just too strong for my palate (my loss). But those among us who love French cheeses confirmed that they were top notch.

I was really surprised that I couldn't get myself to like the muenster - but it was just too strong for me.

We hit the Camembert at the perfect moment of ripeness. I enjoyed the creamy center on the beautiful On the Rise bread.

I really liked the flesh of the Brin D'Amour - which had an herbaceous nose and taste. I even liked the moldy rind - a very small dab of it.

Chef Paul really outdid himself this year - I don't know how he could possibly top this tasting! Still - he's got a lot of great cheesy secrets in his cheese cooler! Baricelli sells these fantastic cheeses at retail all week long. So - if you want to have some fun playing with "slow" cheeses that are lovingly procured and cared for - Baricelli Inn is your place.


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  2. Great blog.
    Actually the Gruner you choose is one of our favorites and a big seller at our wine shop. It seems to go with so much with so little effort...and it is very affordable.