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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Formaggio Kitchen is located in Cambridge, just outside of Harvard Square. Parking can sometimes be tough on the street Huron Ave., but it’s worth it if you can find a spot.

I had seen a tweet by @formaggio saying that they had just received a shipment of Cobb Hill Ascutney Mountain cheese. Ah the wonders of twitter! I ran right over to get some! I had written about Cobb Hill before (see comments section), so you should know how hard it is to find outside of Vermont-thus my rush to get some! (They are a small farm and rarely send cheese to shops outside of Vermont)

The store is pretty large, and every square inch is packed with delicious looking foods. They have a produce area, a fresh bread section, a cookies and sweets section, and a cheese and charcuterie section. What a great sight, all that cheese on display. I picked up some Cobb Hill Ascutney Mountain ($24.95/lb), Consider Bardwell Farms “Pawlet”($21.95/lb) and some Piave Vecchio cheese ($17.95/lb).

Here’s what the website says about Ascutney Mountain:

Country of Origin: United States
Region: Vermont
City / Village: Hartland
Type of Milk: Cow
Cheese Style: Firm
Flavor Profile: Medium
Producer: Farmhouse
Method of Production: Organic (not certified)
Wine Pairings: White: Full-bodied & Dry
Beer Pairings: Ale

This raw cow’s milk cheese is made by Gail Holmes at the Cobb Hill coopertive in Hartland, Vermont. The milk comes from about 30 Jersey milkers that are very well cared for by the entire community; through the winter the animals eat hay that has been harvested from the farm’s pesticide-free fields and stored in a dry hayloft (not plastic bags).

“Made in the alpine style, Ascutney Mountain has a clean, hard rind and a smooth semi-firm interior with a stunning dandelion-yellow color. Depending on its age, the cheese can have flavors ranging from yogurty to intensely nutty to savory cooked mushrooms. Always, though, the finish is long and fruity — a characteristic that makes this cheese a great match for our housemade pates or a garlicy salami, all washed down with a lager or ale.”

The cheese was young-and yet still delicious. It was soft and had a smooth taste. I fell in love with this cheese all over again.

The Pawlet from Consider Bardwell Farm is also a favorite. Slightly darker in color than the Ascutney Mountain, but equally smooth and creamy. Consider Bardwell Farms’ website says about the Pawlet, “Raw Jersey cow milk is the basis of this Italian-style toma, which is aged four to six months. A creamy texture and bright bite makes this a great sandwich cheese or an appetizer with broad palate appeal. A versatile cheese, like the town of Pawlet, VT which brings us slate, syrup, and timber. Available year-round in 10 pound wheels. Winner American Cheese Society (2008) Winner American Cheese Society (2009)” Check out their website for descriptions of their other cheeses

Finally, the Piave Vecchio, an Italian cheese, harder and sharper than the previous two cheeses. You might draw a comparison to a Parmesan cheese. I do love this cheese on any cheese platter that I make. Formaggio Kitchen says:

Country of Origin: Italy
Region: Veneto
Type of Milk: Cow
Cheese Style: Hard
Flavor Profile: Medium-strong

“A dense hard cheese from the Veneto region of Italy, Piave Vecchio is the more aged of the Piave cheeses. It has a texture that works well for grating but it is equally good as a complement to any cheese plate. It has a light golden color and a medium sharp and nutty flavor with a lightly fruity finish.”

After satisfying my craving for good cheese, I roll over to the middle section to satisfy my other vice-sweets. They have cookies from Lakota Bakery in Arlington and chocolates of all varieties (we are talking a HUGE variety of bars and specialty chocolates in the case- there really is something for everyone.)

I choose two shortbread cookies from Lakota, one with chocolate (see above) and one without (see below). The cookies are so good that you almost don’t need the chocolate….almost……

These cookies are excellent-see my previous post for Lakota Bakery.

I picked up a few chocolate bars (they were a bit on the pricey side-but so worth it). Good thing I only come here every so often-only when I want to treat myself to something nice or  for a special occasion….because I can SO see blowing a week’s paycheck here! (Would that really be so bad?)

I remembered from my chocolate tour that the word gianduja meant that there was hazelnut paste in the chocolate. So I chose this bar, and it lived up to my expectations. The bar was so smooth and creamy-the chocolate had an excellent flavor and melted in my mouth. You can tell the quality when you take a bite of it-and can never go back to, let’s say a Hershey bar, or look at it in the same way.

I also bought this bar as a gift, it was about $8-made in Brooklyn, I’ll comment on the post when I hear feedback.

Had the cheese this weekend, made a nice plate, and am dying to go back for some more Ascutney Mountain!!

See my review of South End Formaggio

Formaggio Kitchen

244 Huron Ave Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
(617) 354-4750

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