**Meats and cheeses update: opened the beef sticks in the car and they were really kinda juicy which I do not prefer at all….put them on a drying rack at home for about 6 hours and they were just perfect.
I cut up some meats and cheeses while the dog was upstairs asleep and she did not come running until I opened the St. Jeanne cheese. It was fun to watch her try to figure out where that funky aroma was coming from and it was so strong that I immediately cut off the rind and gave her some and threw out the rest of the rind. I think she really wanted to roll in it. I’m sure I broke some sort of cutting the cheese etiquette, but I have to say, this cheese is pretty funky and I don’t think I would seek it out again.
I enjoyed the goats milk cheddar and ate it plain and melted over the top of my Mexican lasagna…..I think I actually enjoyed it better with food than on it’s own.
The highlight of the meats was the Bolzano salami. The hubby wasn’t fond of anything I got from Butcher Block but he did say that the salami was the best he’s ever had “in his life”. High praise from such a picky eater.
If you like bologna you’ll most likely love Mortadella. It’s not really a snack meat so much as it would be better on a sandwich served on focaccia the way I’ve seen it suggested. With it’s big chunks of fat, it’s got a weird melt-in-you-mouth texture that may creep some people out.
Finally, the hot Coppa was ok. I have to admit that I’ve been addicted to Capicola ham that I’ve been buying at Festival foods that is in no way authentic, but I actually prefer it over the real stuff. I would have preferred Butcher Block’s even hotter. Textures don’t usually freak me out, but I prefer the ham like texture on the fake stuff to the stringy neck meat chunks of the authentic stuff. I eat the fake stuff on crackers with cheese, and again I think I’d prefer the authentic stuff on a sandwich where it’s texture can be better masked (er, complimented)….I’m also thinking it may be more awesome heated up and crispy topped with cheese, olive oil and basil.