Blue Cheese: Cambozola
Mold is the only substance that will make me gag and wretch like those inexplicable emotional vomiters that fascinate and repel me. If I see or smell (yes, mold has a distinct smell) white fuzz, my throat closes up, acid starts rising. (The other day, I discovered a bag of jerky next to the cat food that had begun sprouting fur. I had no idea that jerky could go moldy.) But I can reconcile my loathing as long as it’s an intentional part of crafted cheese. Just cutting off green growths from a block of cheddar won’t suffice. (I know plenty of people think this is acceptable but I was traumatized years ago by woodsy, mobile home dwelling, vague friends of the family who brought out a jar of grape jelly for sandwiches and nonchalantly directed, "just don't put the knife in the mold." The entire rim of the glass container was encrusted with flora. Later that same day I was served a hamburger that had a pocket of mayonnaise in the middle of the patty.)
Cambozola is next up in my comparison of soft blue cheeses. I can’t decide if it’s pricy or not at around $12/lb. Is it classy? I got mine straight off the shelf at Fairway. Usually, they stock Blue Castello, but it was absent on this visit. I hope they didn’t replace it with Cambozola. As might be intuited from the name, this is a Camembert Gorgonzola hybrid. However, you might not guess that it’s German (though Champignon’s US headquarters are just across the Hudson in Englewood Cliffs, NJ).
This stuff is like pure buttery fat, sticky and thick and not overwhelmingly blue. Smooth, with no bitterness or sharpness. I could actually stand for a little more punch. My problem in general is that I have a hard time defining what’s too rich, so the line between appreciative and gluttonous can be tenuous. I have to wrap up and hide away these creamy blue-streaked wedges or I’ll keep going back and slicing off more. I guess that means I like the Cambozola.