It’s a Good One: Cheese Magic from Cali


My good friend Alice, who became my spokeswoman and protector at age four, when I was too shy to speak or make eye-contact, is still looking out for EFV. She recently returned from a trip to California with some cheese that she felt I should know about.

When she said, with enthusiasm, “it’s made by a Korean pianist” I didn’t quite know what to expect, but as usual, she was right. The cheesemaker, Soyoung Scanlan, traded passions unexpectedly and established Andante Dairy in Sonoma County in 1999. She had discovered “the magical property of milk” and needed to share it with the world. And name each creation after a musical term.

Well, thanks for sharing, Soyoung. The Rondo, an herbed goat/cheese duet, is creamy, tangy, with a delightful spiciness. The ashed Acapella, in my opinion, was even better. If you’re sick of the goat cheese you find in every salad at every restaurant, this is a whole new goat world. The cheese is aged and ashed, so it has a nice bit of mold and rind, but the inner texture is soft and dense.

Until recently, these gems were not to be found outside of California, but they’re now purchasable at Whole Foods Columbus Circle and sample-able at Eleven Madison Park. Next we need to try one of Scanlan’s triple-creams, which are made by adding crème fraiche to the curd. Apparently, my bff saved that one for herself…