Let me show you a little composition I like to call: “Lentil Salad, F*** Yeah!”
That’s my favorite lentil salad, on a bed of green leaf lettuce and topped with feta cheese. Not just any feta, though, but the nigh-legendary Bulgarian feta. Let me explain.
Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I ran the cheese department at a little hippie natural foods store called Sundance in Eugene, Oregon, we regularly stocked four kinds of feta: Pastures of Eden, Israeli sheep’s milk stuff that I usually get at Trader Joe’s these days; Valbreso sheep’s milk feta, French stuff that I’ve seen at Fairway, and two goats’ milk fetas whose names I can’t remember because they didn’t sell as much so I didn’t have to spend as much time stocking them. However, before I came to be the cheesehead (seriously, that was the job title, although I think they probably put a space in there) my predecessor, Oona, had gotten a particularly fantastic sheep’s milk feta from Bulgaria. I distinctly remember having it recommended to me by her sister Mikalina, who hired me (thanks Mik!) and Oona telling me that it was only available seasonally; for some six to nine months out of the year, the Bulgarians who made it took their sheep up into the hills or something, and didn’t have access to a phone. That no-phone season in Bulgaria seems to have overlapped with my tenure in the cheese department, because I only ever got ahold of one distributor catalog that even mentioned it, and when I tried to order some, they said it wasn’t available yet.
So imagine my excitement at finding a big ol’ tub of the stuff for $11.99 at Fairway! Imagine more! 900 grams of barnyard-y goodness, all brined up and no place to go but my belly! So awesome! And I didn’t have to talk to anyone on the phone (or write any checks, or process any invoices, or program any cash registers, or drain anything on paper towels, then wrap in it not one but two layers of plastic before weighing and labeling) to get it! Sweeeeeeeet.
Thanks, Fairway. And thanks for being a delicious vehicle for feta, lentil salad. Turns out I missed you last summer, and look forward to eating lots more of you now that it’s warming up to the point where putting tasty stuff on a bed of greens is exactly the right way for me to eat, oh yes indeedy.