A few weeks ago I ran into a friend and she asked me how I liked the cheeses Kirios surprised me with for our semiversary. I’ve been meaning to report back, and appreciated the nudge! So I’ll give you a few follow-up tidbits to a couple of posts, and then I’ll let you know about the cheeses.

Holiday Parties – Remember when I told you that my office hadn’t even sent anything out about a holiday party yet? Last Thursday, an email was sent out gauging interest in a potluck for today – the Thursday before Christmas. Now, I’m actually leaving the office at noon to go to the doctor. But let me tell you, other than me, there are probably 3 people from our department who are here today. Unsurprisingly, a follow-up email went out saying there wasn’t enough interest to have a potluck. The original email also said we’ll be having a “New Year’s luncheon” in the second or third week of January. Yea… our manager totally forgot to have someone plan a holiday party. Epic office fail.

Meat Pizza – Apparently, completely distraught over the lack of lamb bacon from my trip to Koshermart, Kirios called the store the following day to see if it was now in stock. And it was! He was planning to surprise my brother, sister-in-law, and me with it last Wednesday, but when he had a 4pm meeting scheduled, he knew he wouldn’t have time to pick some up when he got home from work. So I took my sibs back out to Koshermart, and we were all able to enjoy a lamb bacon pizza in the end afterall. And I froze the beef fry strips so Kirios and I can enjoy them another time :)

Now the cheeses – overall, I’ve been enjoying all of the cheeses Kirios brought me. I’m sad that they’re mostly eaten by now, but also excited to go back out and buy more cheeses. I guess I’m hooked now!

The fontina was the “least scary” cheese. I’ve had it before, afterall, I studied inItaly! It’s salty and melts well, it’s easy to grate, and I especially like having it with pasta.

The comte, like the fontina, was relatively mild. It’s less salty than the fontina and has a nuttier flavor, in part due to its thick rind. I especially enjoy the comte in sandwiches.

The creamy toscano with espresso delighted Kirios and I both. It’s an incredibly flavorful cheese, that I would eat anywhere, anytime.  My only complaint is that the espresso shavings on the outside of the cheese get messy. But they do add to the flavor, Kirios is especially fond of pieces that include the espresso itself. It’s definitely a cheese I’ll be purchasing again. And since he liked it so much too, Kirios will complain less about the fact that I’m rebuying instead of trying something new :P

The Spanish cheese tapas sampler with iberico, cabra al vino, and manchego was a nice snack to have with crackers and a bottle of wine. And it’s easy to serve, since the cheese is pre-sliced into wedges. While the first two cheeses tasted pretty similar to me, I do think the wine in the rind distinguished the cabra al vino. And the manchego had a fruitier taste than the other two. All three go nicely together.

Finally, there was the semi-scary looking wild blueberry vanilla chevre. Despite being a soft cheese, it’s not bad at all. I do like goat cheese, and get it on dishes at restaurants from time to time. But I’m still a bit at a loss as to what to do with it at home. This particular goat cheese tastes like yogurt with a thicker consistency.  I wouldn’t eat it at the same time as my other cheeses, since it’s sweet instead of salty. I think it would be really great on a bagel. (Although admittedly I haven’t bought any.) I’ve had it on toast as a morning snack, and when my brother and sister-in-law were visiting, they topped some homemade blueberry muffins with it. Overall, a nice cheese… but I still can’t help but think of cheese as a savory snack.

As for the other surprises, I’m almost out of chai powder, and we have yet to try the mulling spices, but are still looking forward to doing so this winter!