OK, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I don’t just rely upon my own superior culinary judgement. In fact, sometimes I humble myself and ask for…gasp…directions!
Last fall, I accosted the cheese expert at the fancy-pants grocery while she peeled away the rind of what appeared to be an enormous Parmeggiano-Reggiano. In her opinion, the Yellow Buck Camembert could not, and should not be missed. Well, she was RIGHT. She also warned me that it constantly sold out once the store starts to carry it and recommended that I buy two wheels of it while they were readily available. I thought she was nuts. Are people that crazy about the Yellow Buck? Yes, they are. And rightly so. I am now one of “those” people.
The Marin Cheese Company (MCC) prices this cheese around $10.00 per wheel, for 16 oz. Do not be fooled. When I was in my fall cheese-buying frenzy, I found Bries and Camemberts – OK ones – for anywhere up to $20 per lb. They could not hold a candle to the Yellow Buck.
You will adore the tang of it. Yes, yes, any Camembert can be creamy, and smooth. They can handle sitting next to banal crackers and cold cuts at business luncheons and the like. But that’s not why you would buy this cheese. It is a cheese that will beat up even something terribly tough and aggressive, like Ryvita. Yes, even against that, the Yellow Buck will prevail.
Perhaps the adoration of many should come as no surprise, from this American intitution that has beaten the entire cheese world – including FRANCE(!) in the World Cheese Awards, an international blind-tasting cheese competition.
And, may the heavens help you should you ever melt the Yellow Buck. Once it is fully ripened, it does not require much contact with heat to become downright irresistible. Just try putting small cubes of it on top of a potato pancake (here’s one recipe for latke) along with some Worcestershire sauce (one of my favorite preps).
So, just get it, let it ripen, and dig in. Yes, it will blow your mind.
P.S. Those of you concerned with the treatment of animals in food production, note that this product is rennetless (hence, no rBST). Also, the MCC donates proceeds from many of its varietal cheeses, including the Yellow Buck Camembert, to the Marine Mammal Center.
June 18 2008 Update: I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about 365 Cheeses. I don’t think the blogger is updating it anymore, but wowie – what a site!!! I love Cambozola, and I’m so glad he blogged about it. Trader Joe’s carries it.