- (taste) piquant, spicy
- (person) energetic and having a strong character
- serious and difficult
- pithy, terse
Take it from me, when your job is to sample and sell gouda pittig, all of the above definitions apply.
This incredibly flavorful, four-year-aged, Dutch cheese reminds me of a Minnesota lake in the dead of winter, six feet deep, hard as a rock yet cracked and pocked as though someone took a tiny mallet to its surface.
And straight out of a cooler, it is the very devil to cut.
You don’t slice a pittig sample as much as you shave off some crumbly bits that burst with sharp, rich flavors. I’m told one of our cheese shop customers runs a grater over it and uses the powder as a seasoning.
So what’s the big deal about pittig? Aside from its unique look and taste, this cheese is naturally lactose-free. The aging process converts lactose into lactic acid. The longer a cheese is aged, the less lactose it contains.
And this butterscotch baby has been sitting on a shelf for four long years. There’s literally no lactose left to bother you.
One word of warning: Aged cheeses are typically more expensive than younger ones. But the rich flavor means you’ll need less to satisfy your “cheese tooth.”
About the cheese: Dutch cheesemakers use pasteurized cow’s milk to create gouda pittig. You’ll notice a bit of a crunch, a complex, caramel and/or butterscotch flavor, and a bold finish. And do yourself a favor: Let the pittig warm up to room temperature before putting a knife to it.