Casa Lusa's Zimbro, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
I'm a snob. I read the tasting notes on the cheeses at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op! They're consistently thoughtful, informative, passionate. The cheesemonger, who I do not know, pushes shoppers in new directions. Consider a recent recommendation for Casa Lusa's Zimbro ($23.99 per pound), a Portuguese raw sheep's milk and thistle rennet cheese. The thistle rennet makes the cheese gently bitter. Cheesemonger's notes say you can let this one sit out on the counter, like in Europe, “for optimum creamy, pudding-like spreadability.” Instructions heeded; end result is gently sour, creamy, ivory-colored cheese with a delicate citrus finish. If you're pairing with beer, a rustic saison (preferably barrel-aged); with wine, perhaps a young red. 1900 Alhambra Boulevard, www.sacfoodcoop.com.