One of the best parts about shopping at Costco…beyond being able to set yourself up in a year’s worth of spaghetti sauce in one trip, and their excellent Kirkland brand potato chips, and the most delicious coconut rolled, chocolate dipped almonds…is that they have a myriad of free samples to snack on during the day. Sometimes I go to Costco for a few things after work feeling hungry for an afternoon snack, and leave feeling like I’ve eaten half a meal. In fact, during my last trip to Costco I was offered, though did not partake in, a steamed chicken dumpling, two bites of chicken parmesan, a mini street taco, trail mix, popcorn, a full breakfast sausage, humus on a pita bread, and a small paper cup with three little crunchy orange nuggets called “Moon Cheese.”
I’ll never pass up a steamed dumpling and trail mix is my foodies’ Achilles heel, but the rest of the samples menu I hastened by, until I got to the moon cheese and curiosity got the best of me. I wondered aloud why it was called Moon Cheese, to which the man at the sample cart offered up two theories: one, they looked like little crater dimpled moons, and two, they were, in essence, nothing more than dehydrated cheese curds, like astronauts would eat. Are astronauts eating dehydrated cheese curds? I think that’s probably what my husband and I call a ‘man fact,’ which is to say that the explanation sounds feasible, and may be loosely based in fact, but the teller has no idea as to the actual truth of what they’ve just said. Nevertheless, I decided to try them.
Moon cheese was an enigma. The flavor of cheese was there, albeit not really the fresh cheese curds kind of taste. This was more the flavor of the crispy cheese at the edges of pizza crust, or the cheese in the browned corners of a pan of lasagna. For the record, I LOVE the browned corners of a pan of lasagna, so I was all about the flavor. If you’re a person who prefers their cheese just barely melted, you may not dig the taste as much. The texture was something else entirely. I expected it to be like a crouton, really hard and crunchy, with a lot of air in it. It was, sort of, but it was also dense and remarkably difficult to clear from in between your teeth. Weirdly enough, it also squeaked a bit like a fresh cheese curd would. The bites were pretty small, the biggest one I had in my cup was about the size of a marble, so you didn’t feel like you were eating much, and a serving size was also only seven pieces. A little, apparently, goes a long way. I can say after eating three I decided that I liked them, but also that I didn’t know how many more I’d actually want to eat in a sitting. I imagine they’d be good in trail mix or as a salad topper (particularly in my gluten-free household!) Eating a bowl full would be like eating a whole bag of cheese!
Why have I spent all this time talking about dehydrated cheese? Am I selling it? No. Am I’m sponsored by the company? No. Was it mind-blowingly amazing and you have to try it? Well…I mean…I did buy it, but it’s not going to be for everyone. But it was strikingly different…something completely out of the ordinary that made me stop and go, “Oh!” Some people might call this kind of moment stopping to smell the roses, noticing the beauty in the everyday things around us. In this case, it was noticing the weird cheeto colored cheese bites in the bottom of a paper cup. But it was so unexpectedly different from what I was looking for, and so much fun to crunch into, and so much fun to tell friends, “Hey! You should try this moon cheese” that it was just one of those little moments that looking back on a week made things a little bit quirkier and a little bit brighter. Is it weird that cheese can make your week!? Not really! Cheese is frickin’ delicious!!
Friday kudos to…
Every time that I think I must have stood up in my last wedding, another friend honors me with the privilege of standing next to her on the big day. Steph, not only am I honored you asked…you did it with wine! That deserves a kudos! 🙂
Mike’s piano restoration worked a miracle this week when they were able to fit me in for tuning on Wednesday, and were able to bring my piano back to concert pitch. It has slipped dramatically since the weather got cold, and the last tuner said he could tune it to itself, but couldn’t get it up to A440. Mike did it! For the win!
Wine for your weekend…
Apothic Crush Red Blend – The Apothic line of wines has expanded a lot in the last five years. The original red blend was good, but then they began to release these nuanced bottles under special release, and a few stuck for good. Crush was one of those releases. Crush is a full-bodied red with notes of caramel, chocolate, and berries that linger through the finish. It’s not a sweet red, though there is a sweetness to it that tickles the palette. It pairs well with savory dishes, or as an after dinner wine with a very dark chocolate. Wine for you weekend hot tip: Apothic Inferno is being re-released for a limited time, so grab a bottle to try if it catches your eye!