Yesterday's stinky tofu post reminded me of the runny, Brie-like cheese called Robiola Bosina. Except it's not like the gummy plastic wedge of industrial commodity Brie you can buy just anywhere.
No, Robiola Bosina makes its way here from the northern Italian region of Piemonte. By the time it ripens fully, the interior of pillowy square of cow and sheep's milk turns a runny cream that oozes luxuriously from its tangy washed rind.
Its flavor is mild, and at its peak might be described as mushroomy, as a result of the milk proteins being broken down into aromatic glutamates - the same compounds in dried mushrooms which contribute umami.
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But despite its mild salty and lightly sweet flavor in your mouth, Robiola Bosina's aroma hangs in the air and all over your hands like the back end of a prize goat at the county fair. Does the sheep's milk add the barnyard stink? Is it the specific bacteria used to wash the rind? Whatever the case, the stinky treat is only sold at cheese shops willing to carry it to the peak of its runny ripeness, like Provisions Market in Old Town Orange.
Provisions Market, 143 N. Glassell, Orange. (714) 997-2337
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