We’re celebrating the warm, sunny days with one of our favorite cheeses, the Little Dragon. With its light, slightly tangy flavor, and the beautiful green of the fresh chopped tarragon, this cheese is like a springtime song for your taste buds!
“Little Dragon” was one of the first cheeses I learned to make and its subtle contrasts have always intrigued me. It was taught to me by a great cheesemaker in the shadows of the Black Mountains of Wales and just this year, he won the prestigious Hampshire cheese competition in the category of fresh cheese for his version. Little Dragon is a fresh chevre that is gently pressed for about four hours. This pressing, unique for this style of cheese, speeds the drainage of whey, which cuts down on the citrusy tang characteristic of fresh goat cheeses. The pressing also, not surprisingly gives the cheese a denser texture than chevres. The cheeses are then brined for thirty-three minutes and allowed to drain overnight. They are then taken out of the molds and dried for two days after which they are rolled in freshly chopped tarragon. Let them come to room temperature before eating. I enjoy the exchange from the salty, slight sourness and the anise sweetness of the tarragon. Y Ddraig Goch, the mysterious and most magical “Red Dragon” of Wales, is said to have dwelt in the nearby mountains and those who choose to take a dragon as a friend were bestowed this blessing: “If the Dragon be thine by fair means and true, good luck and good fortune will e’er follow you.” Whether it’s the medieval dragons of Europe, the serpentine dragons of the east, the metaphorical dragons that we confront inside us everyday or the little green cheese with the dragon’s tail on the top, dragons really do exist.
Stop by the Cheese Shop during the month of May, purchase a Little Dragon and we’ll give you a cup of gelato free!