Little Darling certainly lives up to its name – it’s a cute little cheese! Hailing from my home state of Wisconsin, this cow’s-milk cheese may be pasteurized, but it has all the spunk and tang of a raw-milk cheese. And unlike Lou Grant from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” I like spunk!

Little Darling is made by Brunkow Cheese, an artisan cheesemaker that makes a full line of Old World-inspired cheeses. The cheese is aged for six weeks and has a firm, crumbly texture that makes it an excellent snacking cheese. As usual, I enjoyed mine with apples. Its flavor, however, reminded me of Parmigiano-Reggiano – it had the same salty bite. Like Parm, Little Darling could be shaved onto a green salad or served atop a pile of pasta. It definitely has the strength to stand up a tomato sauce or vinaigrette.

I neglected to ask my friend Ken at Premier Cheese Market about wine pairings (I know, my bad), but I could see myself enjoying Little Darling with a big Italian red. Being a Wisconsin cheese, Little Darling is likely compatible with beer, but since I’m not a beer drinker I couldn’t tell you which kind. Feel free to send in your suggestions!

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