I recently ducked into the fantastic Girl and the Fig restaurant in Sonoma and shared a wonderful cheese course with My Man. Of the six cheeses, the Bo Poisse, from Lisa Gottreich and Miriam Block’s new Bohemian Creamery in Bodega, was the absolute standout. The first thing that hits you about Bo Poisse is its sweet, pungent smell. When you bite into it, you find a delightfully creamy, almost wet cheese that tastes of mushroom, cream, a slight bit of ash. This is followed up by a lusty, tangy finish that brings with it more than a hint of a barnyard on a hot afternoon.
This cheese totally commits — As such it’s not for everyone. I loved it.
Bohemian Creamery is a small-batch, artisanal producer. They handcraft each round on their seven-acre farm, much of the milk coming from their own goats. The cows-milk Bo Poisse is made with milk from neighboring Jerseys. The washed-rind cheese is created using an Epoisse recipe. The French village of Epoisses is known for its pungent, soft, washed-rind cheeses. Napoleon was supposedly a fan, as was early epicurean/writer Brillat-Savarin, who called it “the king of all cheeses”.
The restaurant’s bubbly, sweet Fig Royale proved a nice companion to the complex cheese. I could see Medjool dates working with it, as well. Though my husband had other favorites on the cheese board (that’s what makes the world go ’round, plus more Bo Poisse for me), I can’t wait to have this cheese again, and I wish Bohemian Creamery great cheese-wheel-shaped success.
Look for my other reviews from this tasting, as we work our way down the cheese plate, bit by bit.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman