Casa de Mendevil Velho
We’ve made it to that time of year where I start daydreaming about faraway places, preferably warm, and decide I really need a vacation. Unfortunately, vacations take planning and telling your bosses that you need time off and all that so I can’t go off adventuring, like, tomorrow. So I will use my imagination and my taste buds to teleport somewhere. Today, I want to go back to Portugal, where my family went hiking last spring. If I close my eyes, I can hear waves crashing on cliffs and smell the wildflowers popping up through the sand. I can taste the wine, cold crisp whites and the spicy reds, and the food, fresh fish with lemon, charred steaks, and potatoes roasted in olive oil. And of course, the cheese! Sticky and stinky, firm and mild, sharp and aged, they ran the gamut.
We're in luck. We can taste Portugal every day at The Cheese Shop of Salem! Right now, I am all about the Casa de Mendevil Velho. It is an eye catching red-orange because of a sweet pepper and olive oil rub, and comes in a small square. The wheels - or should I say squares? - are semi-firm with a gentle tartness, salty tang, and a background of butter. The rind adds a deep earthiness, which augments the complexity of the cheese. Casa de Mendevil Velho is a great gateway to Portuguese cheeses because it is so approachable while still having a slightly weird and wonderful quality that pervades Portuguese cheeses. I know I say this all the time, but it would be perfect for a breakfast sandwich because it would melt like a dream and pair well with eggs. It is also a perfect partner for fantasizing about Portuguese vacations.
For the love of cheese and Portugal,