The other day I decided to treat myself to my favorite table cheese, grana padano . This Italian cheese is similar to Parmesan reggiano and is excellent eaten right out of your hands. However, my local grocery store  was all out. As I stood staring aimlessly at the cheese selection, wondering what could replace my beloved padano, the cheesemonger saved me. "Have you tried Cypress Grove's Midnight Moon?" he asked. While I've had my fair share of artisanal cheesemaker's Cypress Grove 's most famous cheese, Humboldt Fog , I've never tasted the Midnight Moon. An aged goat's milk cheese, Midnight Moon is perfect for any cheese plate. To find out why this is my new favorite and check out my suggestions for serving, .
Creamy and complex, midnight moon has similar characteristics to Parmesan. It's nutty and sharp with tiny melt-in-your-mouth crystals. The long and strong finish is caramely with a slight browned-butter flavor. It's salty, but not overly so and subtly rich. The aroma is mild. The aging process — Midnight Moon is aged for six months or more — provides a nice graininess. Pale ivory in color and smooth in texture, the wheels are finished in a black wax that easily peels off.
Here's how I plan on enjoying this delightful cheese:
- Alone as a snack, or on a cheese board with charcuterie, fruit, and nuts.
- With crackers, drizzled with honey or preserves.
- Shaved onto a bitter green salad.
- Melted in a grilled cheese sandwich or macaroni and cheese.
- Grated on a crisp pizza crust.
Have you tried Midnight Moon or any of Cypress Grove's cheeses? What did you think?