My Classy Cheating Confession: Gastronomic Glaze

gastronomic glaze

Part III in our controversial ES series

When my fabulous former neighbor returned from Paris having successfully smuggled Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese into the States, we knew it was going to be a party.

And party we did. After leaving the contraband Vacherin out overnight, it was exceptionally soft and bore that hallmark of quality cheese, the stink of smelly feet. It was the rustic-looking wild cousin of brie—the one with the beard who gets wasted at your sister’s wedding and hits on the bridesmaids because he knows you’re not going to say shit about it.

But the real star of the party was the goat cheese garnished with crumbled walnuts and fig balsamic gastronomic glaze (glassa gastronomica if you’re pretentious, Italian, or both). It was the perfect tangy and sweet complement to the cheese. She simply took a log of chevre, split it in half lengthwise and glazed up the interior, putting it back together like a wonderful cheese sandwich with balsamic candy in the middle. Gastronomic glaze: garnish of the gods.

Well, after six or seven bottles of Bordeaux and my incessant harping on the brilliance of this balsamic glaze, Jan admitted that she had brought back a couple bottles of plain balsamic glaze from a French grocery. In her drunken state she offered me one, which I’m sure she now regrets.

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The Cheese Trail: In Hot Pursuit of Sottocenere

Can you smell the pig sex?

Editor’s Note: Please welcome our newest contributor, Tyler. A Delaware native and DC resident, Tyler is a baker’s apprentice, bread salesman, and future culinary student. Clearly, we’re fired up to have him on the team.

Last week I visited my sister in Richmond and she lit up while describing an Italian cheese called sottocenere. So when I returned to DC late in the week, I went straight to the Dean & Deluca in Georgetown to find some. While waiting at the cheese counter (and listening to the gentleman on my right finish telling the associate about how Americans just don’t understand cured meats), I called my sister to double-check the spelling and pronunciation so I wouldn’t hurt my food cred in such esteemed company. “Sottocenere.”

Okay, “Excuse me, do you have any sotto–…” (voice trails off). “Sottocenere, no man, it flies out the door. It was gone six hours after our shipment on Wednesday.” Shit, I’ve stumbled on a holy relic of foodies. He told me to call next Wednesday. Well, next Wednesday rolled around, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t getting some sottocenere.

Let me pause and say that whoever is handling this coveted cheese is about as reliable as your neighborhood weed dealer—you know, the one you’re trying to catch between his own four-hour windows of intoxication, and who never knows when his “guy” is going to come through. I called five times from morning through afternoon, each time getting a pleasant “We don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow, but try back later.” This is no offense to Dean & Deluca; in fact, one helpful woman at the cheese counter actually recommended that I call Whole Foods. So I did, and there it had been the entire time…

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