Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Romeo and Juliette come to visit

My friend Amanda recently visited her mother and father on their farm in the country.  Knowing that I am all about everything old school and natural, especially when it comes to cooking, Amanda told me about her mother’s life-long routine of making cheese, sausage, bread, sweets, and everything else you might imagine on a rural Brazilian farm.

Most of the ingredients come from the plants and livestock on the farm and the foods are made over a wood burning stove in an outdoor kitchen.

Sign me up for that noise.

Yesterday, Amanda’s ex- pulled up on his bike with a big basket tied to the handlebars.  In the basket was a beautiful wheel of fresh cheese and a mouth-watering disk of newly minted goiabada (firm, sweet guava jelly).  Thank you Donna Amanda’s mom!

The cheese is so soft and smooth, yet firm, with a clean cow’s milk cheese flavor.  Like butta!  The goiabada is perfectly flavored without that gratuitous sugar after taste.  Sixty five years on a farm has a way of honing your skills.  Perfect!

We instantly whacked off a big chunk of each and walked them over to share with Zozó.

You see – these two specific items are a matched pair in the parlance of Brazilian desserts: Romeo and Juliette.  Every comida Minas restaurant will feature these items next to each other at the dessert buffet (or already plated together).  It is the simple, yet perfectly paired, dessert that defines country living.

But Luiz and I are just two guys, plus Zozó makes three.  The size of the cheese wheel and the goiabada disk are a bit overwhelming.

I’m thinking there is a Romeo and Juliette cheesecake for a party in our future.  Anybody want guests?


The Reader said...

Have to admit, it is one taste I've not grown accustomed to. Maybe with the fresh, homemade variety it would be better.

Is the cheese any style that I'd find in a grocery store? I'd love to know (and maybe I asked before??) what cheese you love here. I usually stick with Minas Padrao; anything better?

(and, you have seriously cool friends to bring you that...)

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Reader,

The cheese usually eaten in the Romeo and Juliette combination is the "Fresh White Cheese" of your choice.


Just so you know, it was pure torture to read this delicious post :(


Anita said...

AMO Romeu & Julieta !!
Not only Minas style restaurants serve it. There are posh places in Brazil where you find many varitations, like the chessecake you found. There is Minas cheese souffle with warm goiabada sauce, Minas cheese pudding with pieces of goiabada etc.. I have tasted it in Holland as a combi of goat cheese slices(the Dutch have a product that comes very near the Minas cheese taste) and imported goiabada from Brazil.

Jim said...

Reader - I like it best when the cheese is light in flavor (although I like a stronger version of queijo minas for breakfast).

Ray - It is sooooo yummy. My friend Amanda shot video of her mother making the cheese -- stay tuned and I will post it soon.

Anita - YUM!