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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Another Simple Indulgence

A few weeks ago, I put up a post here describing an extremely simple but very tasty breakfast that I've been enjoying lately, namely fall pears combined with fresh ricotta cheese and lavendar honey.   I'd now like to tell you about an equally simple and incredibly delicious snack or post-meal treat, one that you may very well find to be dangerously addictive.

It begins with a slice of fresh pain de mie, the soft, sweet and buttery white bread that is available at many of the Bay Area's finest bakeries.   The Acme Bread Company in the San Francisco Ferry Building sells an especially good version that I buy quite frequently, but it's the one offered by Pascal Rigo's Boulangerie at Pine Street that reigns as my current favorite.   Next is a great product that I discovered during a recent trip to wine country, Cinnamon Pear Jelly from a company called A Perfect Pear.   Made from the juice of organic Bartletts, this spread has a uniquely spectacular flavor due to the presence of just the right amount of cinnamon.   I purchased my jar at Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg, but I have also seen it on sale at Andronico's here in San Francisco.   Last, but certainly not least, is the signature cheese from Cowgirl Creamery - Mt. Tam.   This triple-cream is made with organic milk from the Strauss Family Dairy, and it is simultaneously delicious, creamy and decadent.

Well, I'm sure you can see where this is going by now, so I won't belabor the point.   Simply toast a slice of the pain de mie, spread generously with Cinnamon Pear Jelly, and top with Mt. Tam cheese.   Now, of course, the general concept of combining toasted bread, a fruit spread, and good cheese is hardly novel.   Indeed, I hesitated briefly before posting this piece, for fear that I might be describing something so obvious as to not even be worth mentioning.   And yet, every time I tasted this particular trio, I found myself increasingly convinced that this was not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill combination, and that it was simply too good not to share.   So, if you get the chance, give it a try sometime and let me know what you think!


Blogger Sam said...

I don't know, I am not so big on the cow girl triple creme. i can take it or leave it. There are so many other tempting cheeses. By the way - I made ricotta the other day at my cooking class. It is SO easy. I intend to blog about how to do it as soon as I actually have enough time off of work to do some cooking. But I must try the oain de mie. I imagine the boulangerie at Polk would sell the same thing.

October 18, 2005 9:45 AM  
Blogger NS said...

Sam: Really? I think you may be the first person I know who has not been completely taken with the Mt. Tam upon tasting it. Are there other cheeses available at Cowgirl that you would recommend? I look forward to your post on how to make ricotta; I've never even considered doing so, so my curiosity is particularly piqued now! As for the pain de mie, I would certainly assume that all of Rigo's places in SF sell it, but it might be a good idea to call and check before making a special trip.

October 18, 2005 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Fatemeh said...

NS, I have to admit that I'm with Sam. I'm not enamored with Mt. Tam. I'd much rather eat a ripe St. Andre. :-(

On the other hand, I have lately developed something of a dangerous addition to Red Hawk.

October 18, 2005 12:03 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Fatemeh: Wow, I guess I'm clearly in the minority here and have been moving in some odd Mt. Tam-loving circles to date! I completely agree with you on the Red Hawk - that is another outstanding Cowgirl Creamery offering.

October 18, 2005 12:12 PM  

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