Autumn is by far my most favorite time of the year. Everything slows down a little. The frenzy of the summer is over. The air conditioning is turned off and the windows are thrown open. As we enjoy the cool breezes, the trees start their end of year dance. Juicy green apples appear on the fruit stands, deep red Japanese maples glow in the gardens, and bright yellow gingkos line up along the boulevards of Tokyo radiating like street lamps.
Just as the trees turn to fire and their leaves litter the ground, Mirasaka Fromage ships out its most beautiful cheese — Jyukushi Kaki — a washed-rind cheese made in the shape of a persimmon. It even has a little persimmon leaf hat and blanket to keep it warm, too! It’s a stunning cheese that evokes all the beauty of autumn.
There are so many parallels between cheese and autumn. In truth, they're both appreciated forms of decay and degradation. The cheese will not be worth eating for much longer, and autumn will descend into winter once the trees lose their leaves. We must enjoy them now or risk the bitter regret of knowing we didn’t take advantage while we could. So let’s eat up and then take a stroll through the park!
My first cut into Jyukushi Kaki was painful because it felt like cutting into artwork. This feeling quickly dissolved into delight as I saw the cream line melt out onto my knife. It was salty, with warm butter and thick cream, but still light with an airy paste. As delicious as it was, I was mostly eating with my eyes and soaking up the beauty of a well-crafted cheese.
Mirasaka Fromage will be getting an early reservation every year from me. Jyukushi Kaki is made every year in limited numbers and flies off every shelf it actually makes it to. I had mine delivered to my home directly. No middleman for such a precious piece of cargo.