I LOVE CHEESE!!
Not as much as Liz does but boy I sure do love it. In our new class, Art of Cuisine, we had a cheese tasting and we got to taste 4 exciting cheeses. Normally when I have ever done a cheese plate I have just thought “well hell cheese nuts and fruit goes together and lets add some honey too.” After this cheese tasting I have realized that not only was I being dumb in thinking that, but I was cheating myself out of coming up with creative ideas to do with cheese.
Basically what we learned is cheese is like any fine beer, it comes in a wide range of intensities, from delicate to magnificently pungent. You have to taste it, right down what the flavor profile of that cheese is, and then pair your other accoutrement accordingly. What will cut this creaminess, what will enhance this nuttiness, what can complement that funkiness? It was a lot more fun than I have been making it over the years.
Humboldt Fog is a soft, surface ripened goat cheese from California. The texture is creamy with a subtle tangy flavor. Each wheel has a ribbon of vegetable ash along its center and a coating of ash under its rind. It was served with a blueberry compote and baby spinach tossed in hazelnut oil. Try this one with a pilsner, I would love to recommend My Antonia by Dogfish Head.
This was the Pierre Robert, it is a triple-crème-style cows milk cheese from Seine-et-Marne France. It is aged in caves enabling it to further develop its flavor and become even more meltingly rich in texture. This is a very buttery, smooth, and mild cheese. Try it with a kolsch. This cheese was paired with honey comb and quince paste cubes.
P’Tit Basque, this cheese comes from the Basque region of France. Originally, shepherds made this cheese from the leftover curd set aside after milking their ewes. P’tit Basque is aged for a minimum of 70 days. It has a smooth, sweet flavor with a nutty finish. Its creaminess is unique for a semi-hard cheese. This was paired with a few slices of baguette and salted cashews. A good toasty brown ale would go well with this, such as Bell’s Best Brown Ale.
This was the Roaring Forties Blue Cheese from King Island, off the coast of Tasmania. Unlike typical French blue cheeses made from ewe’s milk, Roaring Forties Blue is made entirely from cow’s milk which gives it a milder taste. It is a full bodied blue with a honeyed, slightly nutty quality and great aftertaste. It’s rindless and matured in wax, which helps it retain moisture and creates a smooth and creamy texture. We paired this cheese with a chocolate ganache and toasted sugared walnuts. Try Stone IPA with this cheese.