In our recession-era lives we are inundated with ideas, lists, and promotions that are intended to help us save money. That’s not a bad thing. But some special ingredients make everything taste so much better that even though they’re a splurge you wouldn’t want to consider life without them. For me, I love the strongly-flavored, powerfully aromatic family of blue (bleu, if you must) cheeses, which are traditionally veiny, cave-ripened, and imported affairs: The three best types in the world are generally considered Gorgonzola, Stilton, and Roquefort. My favorite happens to be Maytag Blue, which is made on a dairy farm in Newton, Iowa, and cave-aged for six months. It is especially rich and yet has a nice bite, and I use it liberally: tossed into salads with candied walnuts, sprinkled into dressings and dips, spread on wedges of apples and pears, and to top off burgers and baked potatoes. It’s not cheap: The small wedge over there runs ten bucks. But you can make a little go a long way, it’s widely available in supermarket cheese sections, and you can save money on something else.
The Daily Babble