Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Eastside Road, February 9, 2010—
IT TAKES US SO LONG to come to the simplest realizations: I have been wrong for fifty years about combining meat with cheese. That's always seemed a sort of taboo to me, though I've grated Parmesan on Bolognese sauce all that time, and cooked chicken breasts with Fontina. (A similar taboo has held against combining fish with meat, though vitello tonnato is one of my favorite dishes.)

Oh well: as Emerson said,
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
(Memo to self: read Self-Reliance soon.)


Tonight Lindsey ground up some spices — coriander, cumin, sesame seeds — with a little salt and we dipped raw cauliflower into it for an appetizer. Then we moved on to a delicious soup, a soup that provoked the above reflections. It was just some pork stock and a little bit of chicken stock — Lindsey's still cleaning out the freezer — with some chopped kale and some thin shavings of Parmesan floating on top.

It made me recall a wonderful tasting seminar I took a few years back, where we had three Parmesans which differed only in the elevation of the pasturage producing the milk that had made the cheese. Same cows, same producer, same year, same ageing. Only the grass was different.
I realize, now I think about it, that there's a direct connection between milk and meat. How could I have missed that? Just as there's a direct connection between grass and cow. Grass, hoof, shank, belly, udder.

There's a faint taste of bone and marrow in good Parmesan cheese, and that taste triggered something more obvious in the meat stock — more obvious, but less meaningful without that trigger. But maybe this is fetched too far: I'd better stop.
Cheap Pinot grigio

1 comment:

Cory said...

Yes, yes. It was only last summer that I had my first drink of raw milk. I do not have a sophisticated palate at all. My first sensation upon that taste of milk was that I was in fact eating a very rare hamburger. It was jarring, unexpected.