Recently there has been an explosion of hipster culinary attention to whiskey. I like whiskey so at first I did not see a problem with this. Then I started to see whiskey in my butter, whiskey in my gelato, whiskey in my maple syrup, whiskey in my salami, and on and on.  

The problem is these recipes tend to rely on the novelty itself. Unfortunately, most often the execution of these classic comfort dishes would not stand on their own without the hip new flavor addition. Take some sort of mediocre comfort food, add whiskey and, abracadabra! You have haute cuisine. I am sick of this formula. Let the classics stand on their own.

Then again, from time to time a really talented chef or artisan teaches me that I should keep my mouth shut. Case in point, Testun al Malto. This gnarly looking cheese is made by master cheese maker Beppino Occeli in Piedmont, Italy. It is a blend of cow and goat's milk packed in toasted barley and soaked in whiskey. It is then aged for approximately 14 months until the paste is full of well formed protein crystals.


On the first bite the crunch does not hide the rich butterfat in the cheese which combine for a very satisfying mouth feel. The flavor is not for the timid. It is very piquant, somewhat gamey, can have hints of bleu and a big dose of what I am assuming is some sort of pretty decent Islay Scotch with the expected peaty aroma. 

I enjoy it with Lagavulin 16 year Scotch or an espresso, or both. Caputo's sells Testun al Malto for $49.99/lb but luckily so strong a little goes a long way and unlike many uninspired whiskey recipes, this cheese will definitely be around long after the hipsters have moved on to brandy, Sherry or some other soon to be trendy libation.

P.S. Don't worry Cristiano, I love your whiskey salami too.