The Cheese Can Stand Alone

Penny Royal FarmsteadSometimes I’m so grateful I’m a supertaster. I want to scream, “Thank you!” at the heavens and do cartwheels.

When I received my first shipment of my Farm to Table program from Pennyroyal Farm, I was blessing each and every taste bud clustered on my tongue.

Charles and I had first gotten the opportunity to sample Pennyroyal’s cheese at the Alsace Festival in Anderson Valley. I could honestly say that I’ve never sampled a more glorious cheese. I was hooked. My need would not be assuaged, so I signed up to have the farm’s creations sent to my door five times a year.

The spring shipment arrived on Thursday, and I instantly grabbed a spoon to try the Laychee. Sweet, salty, slightly tangy and ever-so dreamy creamy, one bite and I knew this cheese had to be the main focus of any dish of which it was a part. That spoonful made my stomach dance with butterflies of pleasure, like the way you felt in third grade when that cute boy with the mop of brown hair looked at you with his azure blue eyes. That first spoonful was like that, except in cheese form.

manicottiTo showcase my new found Laychee love, I decided to make a manicotti dish, but instead of using the traditional ingredients of spinach, nutmeg, pepper, and meat as well as cheese, I just stuffed the pasta with Laychee. I then poured tomato sauce on top and baked the concoction in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Topped with some Boont Corners, grated finely, before serving and paired with a pinot noir, this ended up being a spectacular way to celebrate my very first cheese shipment. It’s going to be a very long wait for the next one. Until then, I’ll content myself with the final cheese in the first batch — a lovely blue that we’re slowly savoring, paired with almonds and a small glass of tawny port each evening we feel like having a special treat.

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  1. Your Grandma Mettz and I loved your article, especially the butterflies!!!!

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