Disclaimer: I’m not being paid to write about any of these products, I just happen to really like them!
Sophelise is a pasteurized milk cheese from Cricket Creek Farm in Massachusetts that comes in roughly 9 ounce wheels—perfect for a small party or an indulgent meal for two (or one, no judgment). The wheel has a pale orange rind that’s washed in bourbon from the Berkshire Mountain Distillers, resulting in a toasted, yeasty, woody smell that’s not overly funky and quite enticing. The paste inside the delectable little wheels is hay colored with a lactic, salty flavor and occasional smoky notes that go up your nose. Considering the smell of the cheese I was surprised how mild the taste was; I tend to gravitate toward washed rind cheeses that are meatier in flavor, though Sophelise is still quite savory. I’ve heard they can get pretty oozy as they age too but mine was still quite young and a touch on the firmer side.
I nibbled on my delightful little Sophelise with some simple wheat crackers that had a salty crunch. The milder cracker let the natural flavors and scents of Sophelise shine through, and even enhanced buttery notes in the cheese itself. Sophelise pairs nicely with sweet, juicy fruits like nectarines but is also serviceable with raw carrots and cucumbers in a crudité style meal. If you’re looking to break into washed rind cheeses but feel intimidated by the strong smells and flavors, Sophelise is a good place to start for beginners and experienced cheese fans alike.
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