Bocconcini di Capra

Soft goat cheese, Italian, from Gastronomica

A very squishy soft little white round of cheese, wrapped in white paper, and small enough that it nestles in my palm. When I cut it, it oozes a creamy white viscous liquid. It tastes sweet and mellow, nutty, milky. There’s very little acidity, and the merest hint of goat. It’s a good cheese, but terribly mild-mannered and well behaved, and not hugely complicated. I like most its texture and milkiness. It’s very soothing; the cup-of-tea-and-nice-sit-down of the cheese world.

Toma di Capra

Hard goats cheese, again Italian and from Gastronomica

This is a round hard cheese, with slight moulding on the the thin orange rind and a slightly translucent cream-coloured paste. The rind of this cheese tastes bitter and slightly mouldy. Inside, there’s a cheddary tang. It’s very acidic, very fruity – cherry, pineapple and oranges – and there’s a sweet nuttyness, almost yeastiness to it. I don’t really like this, although it’s hard to say why. I think it’s just a little too disjointed for me; the sweet/acidic/bitter tastes all seem to clash slightly with each other, rather than pulling together.

Blu di Mucca

Raw blue cow cheese, still Italian and from Gastronomica

There’s a thin dark rind on this cheese, and big pockets of pretty green mould inside – so much mould in the middle that the cheese is almost grey. It’s fairly moist and creamy in texture. It’s got a really nice balance of sweetness and creamyness with salt. My mouth tingles with it; It’s fruity and spicy. Nearer the rind it’s also bright and nutty and creamy – like pistachio ice cream. There’s a hint of smoked mackerel in the aftertaste, I think – this is not unpleasant, but was quite hard to pin down because I don’t expect cheese to taste of fish. I very much like this cheese; it’s a squidgy salty fishy delight.

Interestingly, when I went hunting on the internet for a picture of this cheese, I got some shockingly RUDE results. Mucca is a childish word for cow, but it must also be slang for something else.