This afternoon I had the opportunity to explore the newish Ponce City Market, one of those fancy food courts (with a few shops on the side) that seem to be springing up in every major city. This one happens to be in the old City Hall East, which before that was the Sears Roebuck building. In other words, it’s got a lot of history.
One of the numerous eateries that immediately appealed to me was Bellina Alimentari. After having fun looking over their Italian import products, I noticed that they also had a carefully curated cheese selection as well, so I picked out two homegrown hunks, Thomasville Tomme from Sweet Grass Dairy and Southern Aged’s Georgia Gold. The Tomme was probably my favorite, because it’s so easy to eat and eat and eat! The GG cheddar is actually the only cheddar made in Georgia which makes it pretty special.
I also requested a half loaf of the impressive schiacciata (aka Florentine focaccia) on display. It was about 2 inches in height, very fluffy, and required a hand washing or wipe down after each little bit I tore off from it, as it was quite oily, but in a good way! There were big crystals of salt atop and every single bite was a pure delight. When married with either of these delicious cheeses, it was even more heavenly.
I also selected a third cheese, Out of the Ashes, based on the intriguing label alone. It was made by a couple who call themselves, Woodsman & Wife.
This one definitely packed a punch! As you can see below, it had a very ashy rind and a super creamy interior. The flavor was quite strong and to be honest, it was not my favorite, definitely an acquired taste. I wondered if, like my beloved Kunik, there was certain window in which to purchase it before it became overripe.
We ultimately didn’t eat that much of it, and I didn’t take it back with me on the plane, for fear of wiping out everyone with its growing aroma. So, I guess the moral of today’s cheese story is don’t pick your cheese based on its label. Though knowing me, I’ll likely do this again anyway.