Food Stuff

Illustration By Mark Stivers

If, like me, you were raised staring down pale-orange blocks of Tillamook in the fridge, cheese hardly seems like a seasonal food. Don’t get me wrong; I love the ’mook, but the vastly wider range of cheese now available means that one can branch out into dairy treats that suit the season—a huge boon to a dairy addict like myself. As spring approaches, I love nothing more than fresh cheeses. Last year I had a protracted love affair with tangy fromage blanc, but it’s expensive and hard to find, so this year my affections have shifted to fresh ricotta, which I can get at Trader Joe’s, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and a host of other food stores. Soft and blobby and milky-sweet, it’s a world away from the Precious tub. I love it equally with orange zest and sliced strawberries, stirred into pasta with sautéed spring greens, or tucked into a calzone with leeks and asparagus.