Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feisty Bento #209: Cheeses of the World

Sorry about yesterday, I had a trying Sunday and didn't manage to get the energy up to cook at midnight just for bento purposes.  I went out for dinner last night, too, but on the way home, I stopped by my favoritest Korean Kwik-E-Mart (not really, it's just a great place that's open super late and has all sorts of Korean snacks - like gimbap - you can buy and plop right into bento).  Anywho, so that made bento packing super easy this morning...

Top tier: !!! piave wrapped in jamon serrano; sauteed spinach; miso mushrooms
Bottom tier: gimbap; Woorijip "spicy" chicken

Okay, a quick note about the jamon serrano and piave.  A few years ago, I went to Barcelona with a group of girlfriends.  When we hunted down a sort of Dunkin' Donuts like place (not really; no donuts in place, but a chain coffee shop is what I'm going for), we all ordered what appeared to be a standard breakfast sandwich... except no eggs (and it turns out, eggs aren't really breakfast fare in Barcelona).  It was a medialuna lookin' thing... a croissant, if you will, but smaller and slightly harder, with a few slices of meat on it.  Most of us wound up picking - by pointing - the jamon serrano (Serrano ham) version, which turned out to be whoaaa so good.  Serrano ham thinly sliced with so much ribbons of fat, melts slightly in your mouth as you eat it, creating this rich, meaty, delicious... mmm.  It's basically a Spanish version of prosciutto; the curing processes are similar, though I emphasize that they are different, because prosciutto makes me sick.  We all fell in love with it and plotted ways to take back an entire leg on the plane... which didn't happen.  It turns out that until fairly recently (I just tried to look it up, but can't find the exact when, sorry!) - within my lifetime, anyway - it was illegal to import Serrano ham into the US.  I guess "so good, it should be illegal" applied ;) 

Piave - a type of hard Italian cheese.  I have been exploring my neighborhood far more than I did while growing up here - which you may notice from the recent spate of posts on Feisty Foodie all focused on Forest Hills - and discovere a store called "Cheeses of the World".  I walked in and was greeted with the most deliciously pungent cheese smells, and they were selling all the accoutrements that pair well with cheese - olives, cured meats, honeys, jams, breads... yum, I think I could make an entire picnic basket from this place!  Anyway, when we went in, I was immediately drawn to the Serrano ham of course (which I'd previously only been able to purchase via FreshDirect)... but then BF and I were looking at the cheeses, and the cheesemonger came over to ask us if we had questions, so we talked a little bit and he suggested the piave and gave us each a piece to try.  Slightly grainy, but with a delicious sharpness to it yet similar enough to parmagiano-reggiano or pecorino-romano (BF's favorite hard Italian cheeses) that we weren't completely put off, we immediately bought a half pound. 

I'll be doing a full write-up of the place on Feisty Foodie eventually, after I go back, sample some more stuff, buy some more stuff, take more pictures and just get a feel for the place better. 

I think I've gone on and on enough here, so ciao for now!

Happy bento!!! can't wait to eat my lunch today... hehehe

1 comment:

  1. I love cheese so the post got my attention in the first place but did you have to throw in the Serrano!?!?!? I am so jealous! *faints*