Shear Genius

Cool new curds from Spain's Mas Marcè

No, that is not mold on Mas Marcè's Llanut cheese.

That wispy exterior is wool. Wool direct from the bodies of the Ripollesa sheep that supply the milk for this creamy, herbaceous cheese crafted in Girona, Spain.

And, thanks to the intrepid owners of Massachusetts' Formaggio Kitchen, the Llanut ($26 for 8 ounces) is now available in the U.S.

While visiting northeastern Spain earlier this year, Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal took a tip from their chef pal Pere Planagumà of Les Cols, who introduced the pair to the cheesemakers behind Mas Marcè.

The region's native sheep breed produces a mere half-liter of milk per animal per day. So Mas Marcè's owners, Natàlia Rich and Manel Marcè, got resourceful.

As the cheese ages and develops a thin rind, Rich and Marcè wrap the wheels in wool to prevent them from drying out, and to impart a funky, earthy aroma.

To eat, slice off the top horizontally. Then spoon out the soft, grassy interior.

We're happy to announce that your cheese board just got a little hairier.