Los Angeles Cheesemongers Recommend Spring Cheeses

Spring is my favorite time for cheese. It's partly to do with the pastoral imagery, sure: happy cows, sheep, and goats out on the pasture, nibbling on fresh green grass, flowers, and herbs. But this is certainly the time when the milk starts taking on the sweeter flavors of the season.

I asked a couple local cheesemongers to tell us about the cheeses they're most excited about this spring:

Norbert Wabnig, owner of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
Wabnig is really into Spanish cheeses right now, especially goat. "The animals are out on the pasture. You taste the terroir, but also the environment since goats will eat everything." His picks:

A semi-hard goat cheese from Valencia with a dense, granular texture.

A cheese from Catalonia made with the milk of water buffalo. Slightly dense with a moldy rind, Oriol is sweet and slightly crumbly in texture.

A slightly ripened sheep's milk cheese with strong aroma but mild, buttery flavor.

Santa Gadea
A soft-ripened goat's cheese from Burgos, Spain with a creamy, rich center.

A semi-hard goat cheese made near Barcelona that has earthy aromas and flavors.

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Ogleshield is available at DTLA Cheese / Photo:ideasinfood/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Lydia Clarke, owner of DTLA Cheese
Like Wabnig, it was hard for Clarke to resist choosing all the goat cheeses. "The cheeses are out of this world right now." Her picks:

An aged goat's cheese marbled with ash in the middle that has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor.

A raw sheep's cheese by Garden Variety from Monterey. It's aged for rich flavor and smooth texture.

A raw cow's milk cheese made in Vermont and based on an Italian style cheese. It's aged four to six months and has a creamy texture.

A fruity, nutty cow's cheese made in England and similar to raclette. Eaten at room temperature, this cheese is bright and fresh tasting.

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