As any proper Bedouin will tell you, camels are an essential part of a nomadic desert existence. They provide a convenient method of transportation, require little water and can stand up to great extremes of temperature. We now also know that they provide the perfect compliment to your next cheese and cracker platter. I’m talking more specifically about camel cheese, the latest delicacy to make its way to grocery stores here in the U.S.
The camel cheese trend started in the African nation of Mauritania, site of the world’s first and, to the best of my knowledge, only camel dairy farm. Mauritanians consume camel milk as part of their everyday diet, but it was a local expat named Nancy Abeiderrahmane who first got the idea to turn the milk into cheese to preserve its shelf life. The idea was a hit, and Nancy has been producing camel cheese ever since.
The cheese made its debut in the New York City area this past month. Connoisseurs compare it favorably to goat cheese, citing its subtle “barnyard flavors” and the ability to spread it easily on bread or crackers. When it comes to food, nothing wins me over quicker than when I hear phrases like “barnyard flavors.” Pick up some now for your Final Four party this weekend!