Sea Change: For The English Major

Sea Change Wrapped and UnwrappedBy now, it’s no secret that I teach writing and feed cheese scraps to starving English majors. Once in a while, I even teach Shakespeare. Of course, I’m partial to The Tempest because it involves a goat herder.

When I received a sample box of Sea Change from Mystic Cheese in Connecticut, I swooned extra hard when I read the quote on the back of the package. Cheesemaker Brian Civitello has a literary line of cheeses (remember Melville?), and this one is inspired by The Tempest. 

Sea Change label

Tasting Notes: The size of a sand dollar, Sea Change is sweetly funky, with a rind that is eyelid-thin. Your teeth sink through it — it gives like spiderweb — and the center is plump, silky. Think scallops. Think cheese of the sea. Literally, it’s eerie to taste and smell milk that seems so close to ocean life.

Pairings:  Because this cheese is so delicate, yet slightly funky, I leaned on fresh, crisp pairings for counter balance — radishes, cucumber, and ground cherries (they have wing-like husks and taste like a yellow tomato crossed with a cherry).

Cheese and RadishesSea Change and Cucumber

Sea Change also likes jam — it can swing sweet or savory. For fun, my intern and I tried adding a sprinkle of charnushka, also called “nigella” seeds. Slightly oniony in taste, they add a touch of texture and color. I like how they look a bit like caviar.

Sea Change 2

Beer/Wine: Cheesemaker Brian Civitello sent me a list of pairings he loves to eat with Sea Change that included steak, scallops, foraged hickory nuts, plus hard cider or saison. He also recommends sours! I imagine that a yeasty Champagne would be smashing, too, but honestly, I just want to get down with a kombucha cockail here. Funk likes funk, no two ways about it. Add funk and fizz? Even better.

Visiting Mystic Cheese: If you’re curious to visit an innovative cheesemaker, put Mystic Cheese on your bucket list. Cheesemaker and entrepreneur Brian Civitello is branching into “experiential cheese tourism” with a public ripening cave in downtown Mystic, Conn. There, school children and cheese nerds alike will enjoy viewing stations and interactive iPads to learn about cheese science. Yes! Brian tells me there will also be a baker and butcher on the premises, to create a market environment — because of course there will be tastings and cheese appreciation workshops.

Of course.

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Outtakes  

Peg adn Awl cheese boards
Styling Nautical Cheese:  Inspired by The Tempest and the coastal origin of Sea Change, my intern (Erin) and I selected reclaimed wooden boards featuring boat cleats, from local company Peg & Awl. I’ll tell you more about them next week — and show you a recent photo shoot we did together — but before I forget: Peg & Awl is offering a 10% discount for Madame Fromage readers  (just use promo code: mmefromage).
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The Intern’s Favorite Round: Below, meet Erin K., who has interned with me since January. She helps with photo styling, posting, and design. Of the many cheeses she has tried this semester, Sea Change is her heart throb. I couldn’t resist showing you her reaction after she took one bite.
Erin, the cheese intern, professing her love for Sea Change during this shoot

Erin, the cheese intern, professing her love for Sea Change during this shoot

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  1. […] Civitello of Mystic Cheese is one such rural entrepreneur. You may remember, I wrote about Sea Change, his “English major cheese,” earlier this year (it’s named after a Shakespeare […]



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