I know my travels won't be taking me to Spain any time soon. So I hope they at least take me to Skaneateles. I've eaten the last delicious morsel of Valdeon blue cheese, imported from Spain, that I picked up last month at Blue Danube Gourmet to Go.
Now I'm addicted and suffering withdrawal. It's sharp, but not overly strong, with beautiful blue veins, more like pockmarks, running through it. I love it in salads, but you could slice it thin and eat it on its own. It's that good.
Erica and Lorand opened Blue Danube in the fall. She lived and worked in New York City for many years and missed her neighborhood cheese shop. He was born in Hungary, which might explain the big bags of paprika the shop carries.
Blue Danube is on Jordan Street, in the heart of the village. It's a sweet little store full of great stuff: a refrigerator case stocked with big wheels of cheeses from around the world, like manchego from Spain and aged gouda from Holland; salami and other meats; breads baked at Mirbeau Inn and Spa, a couple miles down the road; baked goods and baking mixes from Organically Hip; spices; coffee, tea and related products; honey, jams, chutneys, spreads and sauces; authentic (and beautiful) Bolga baskets from Ghana, purchased directly from the artists and sold by Bluetree Studios of Syracuse.
They have dynamite New York cheesecake (or so I'm told!) and make their own cream cheese spreads to enhance your enjoyment of bagels. Their cheeses are served on a cheese plate appetizer at the nearby Sherwood Inn. And they plan to hold more events at the shop in the future, like cheese tastings and wine pairings.
Drunken Goat, on the right, from Spain, is a cheese soaked in red wine, hence its name.
Meanwhile, imagine the possibilities when it's summer in Central New York:
You and your "other.'' A picnic basket. A bottle of wine. A stop at Blue Danube. Provisions! A stroll to the lake. A blanket on the lawn. A lazy summer afternoon.
It's 20-something degrees and a heap of heavy, wet snow is falling. A girl can dream, right? Blue Danube is at 33 Jordan St., in Skaneateles. Call 315-685-3774.