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Lunch stretching from the Azores to the Pyrenees

The older I get the more I simplify.

I’m not unique in this… but I find it’s especially true with foods. Five ingredients? That’s enough. Steak? Mushrooms and grilled asparagus, perfect. Drink? Just a great glass of wine please, no cocktails.

It’s no wonder that I have become one in embracing a bit of cheese for any meal.

Today’s lunch, for example. Simple. Delicious.

But the complex thoughts and images these simple offerings conjure up while eating. This entire plate hails from around and near the Iberian peninsula. In the foreground, São Jorge. From the island of the same name, almost 1000 miles off Portugal in the Azores, a delightfully pocked, raw cows milk cheese whose history reaches back to ancient settlers from the Netherlands. It’s tangy and a bit piquant. Curds crumble in the bite.

Journey all the way to the French Pyrenees. Caprinelle Tomme. Nutty from the rind giving way to hay, goatiness and fruity acidity. A favorite and it’s on the right of the plate.

Back to the left, two small wedges of Queso a la Sidra. A perfect finish in a cows milk cheese cured in cider. The apple flavor permeates, concentrates and complements the dense paste making for a fruity and sharp taste the lingers for some time. It’s from the Asturias on the Spanish northern coastline.

And the charcuterie? Jamón Serrano.

 

What did you have for lunch today?

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