March 28, 2013

St. Agur Blue + Italian Roast Coffee

    The pairing of a strong, creamy blue cheese with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee was first brought to my attention by a co-worker (and A.C.S. Certified Cheese Professional. ) of mine.  Even my adventurous, food-loving heart balked at that combination.  I believe the word "interesting!" came out of my mouth.  Which, if one had listened carefully, actually would have registered as "icky!" 
    I am so ashamed. 
    Because, as I'm sure you can anticipate, blue cheese and rich coffee is the unlikely amazing duo. 
I went for the big guns for this flavor pairing.  No mild Cambozola and "Breakfast Blends" for this experiment.  I opted instead for the punchy St. Agur blue matched with a bold Italian Blend coffee.  Fortune favors the brave, I suppose, since I was well rewarded for my selections. 
    The creamy-sandy texture and lactic-pepper bite of the cheese, washed down with the deep toasty notes of coffee left a kind of smokey void on the palate.  Flavors developed from a peat smoke to pipe tobacco, finishing with just a lingering hint of earthy animal. 
    All that from one bite of cheese and one sip of coffee. 
    Already I'm planning out my next coffee/cheese pairing with raw milk Manchego and a light Latin American coffee.  A gooey washed-rind stinker with a fruity Ethiopian seems like an even bigger adventure.   My breakfast horizons are, now, certainly much wider.