Summery cheeses for the season's ripest stone fruit
Cheeses from Goat's Leap (left) and Two Rock Valley
A cheese plate should be more than a hunk of blue and a few dried apricots.
This time of year, for instance, Two Rock Valley’s Alpine-style aged goat cheese ($27 per pound at Rainbow Grocery) has an astonishing tropical aroma and a gentle bite that calls out to white peaches, with their fresh-flower perfume.
Sonoma County dairyman Don DeBernardi makes the cheese in the style of his Italian-Swiss ancestors, selling Rainbow Grocery his longest-aged wheels.
And not only is July the time to hunt down juicy yellow nectarines, but it’s also the only season you’ll find Goat’s Leap Kiku ($16 per wheel) at Rainbow’s cheese counter.
Wrapped in wine-soaked fig leaves from trees on the cheesemakers’ St. Helena farm, the lightly aged goat’s-milk cheese offers a fruity greeting with a vegetal backslap; its bright tang matches the character of ripe nectarines beautifully.
Rex and Barbara Backus produce the Kiku sporadically until mid-August, but if you can’t find it, their Sumi (an ash-coated pyramid; $30 a pound) is a fine substitute.
It will go well with August’s first Gravenstein apples, too.
Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St. (at Division St.); 415-863-0620 or rainbow.coop
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