Tim my cheesemonger recently returned from judging at the American Cheese Society (where he sat next to master cheese maker and one of my teachers from VIAC, Marc Druart! Small world, no?). Tim's been bringing in some of the better things he found there, one of which is a beautiful washed rind, sheep's milk cheese, Bossa, from Green Dirt Farm in Missouri that won first prize in its category. When Tim said Green Dirt Farm, I immediately lit up with curiosity. We have been in contact with them about the possibility of purchasing livestock from them. They are a small farm that is very similar to what we want our own to be and they work with the two breeds we are most interested in (Gulf Coast Native and East Friesian). Tim had nothing but good things to say about the cheese. I tasted all he had, but I especially liked Bossa and took a wheel home.
First off, I really like the packaging: clean, simple, with a nicely designed sticker (plus the ASC winner sticker is always a marketing bonus) and appropriate, breathable cheese paper. The pretty, orange rind had some streaks of blue and white mould that I'm not sure were intentional, but frankly, were irrelevant to the taste which was phenomenal.
I immediately jotted down this: strong grassy manure notes in the rind, only the mildest hints of ammonia; fruit, smells EXACTLY like a milking parlor in the rind; tastes like a pasture smells, sweet, only mildly grassy, earthy and softly picante (if that's not too much of an oxymoron). These notes sum up my initial reaction to the flavors. As for texture, it was pleasantly rubbery and creamy, like a washed-rind cheese ought to be. The rind had a bit of a gritty texture to it, which is my only real complaint about the cheese. Overall, I give it a 5.