It’s winter and while most people are eating stews, soups, and casseroles, I’m sampling the heck out of some cheeses.
Pro tip: A lot of cheese counters will have a “bits and pieces” basket. This is my happy place. Here, I can spend 6-10 dollars and sample at least 4 different cheese.
Check out this bomb ass cheese plate, I put together, through weeks of hard work and dedication(hahaha)
Note: some of these cheeses are seasonal. Get them while you can, folks!
Appleby’s Double Gloucester.
This cheese is similar to a cheddar and is not too rich or sharp. It would be delicious along side a tart apple or persimmon. I also think it would be fantastic paired with beer. Or, water. Or, whatever.
Bleating Heart’s Shepardista.
This is for the folks who appreciate a good rind on a middle aged sheep’s milk cheese(if you’re not those folks, I honestly think you should reconsider if you really even like cheese). The rind is so delicious and it only narrowly outshines the lovely and slightly “grassy” flavor of the cheese. Eat champagne grapes with this cheese. Spread fig jam on this cheese. Pair with a sharp white wine or dry red zin.
*side note: Shepardista would also be fantastic finely grated over fresh pasta with butter and black pepper. Just make sure to grate the rind on there too.*
Uneikaas’s Vintage 5 Year Gouda.
This cheese is like candy. Hard and full of crystals. Beautiful deep orange with an amazing deep caramel flavor. Slice this one into think pieces so that you can completely appreciate the crystals throughout. I think it should be eaten with cherries and chocolate. Or, just with your bare hands until it’s gone. Pair with dark beer, ginger beer or a Port. Heaven.
Semi Soft Cheeses:
Fontina Val D’Aosta.
This raw cow’s milk cheese is made in Italy and is mild, creamy, and a fantastic foil for prosciutto or melon. Do try to look for this particular type of Fontina as cheeses labeled with simply “Fontina” will not have the same depth of flavor. However, it is worth asking the cheese monger to try a few of their fontinas if you can. Sometimes, one can find a wonderful Fontina that wasn’t made in Italy.
Point Reyes Bay Blue.
For the blue cheese lovers and the ones that still need to be convinced. This blue creamy, mellow, and with a salty rind. It pairs nicely with blackberries and roasted red bell peppers. Drizzle honey over it or serve with thinly sliced roast beef.
Bellwether Farms Carmody
An alternative to Jack cheese. This one is creamy, buttery, and mild without loosing the complexity of the Jersey milk it is made from. Carmody is a light cheese and would be delicious with pears or citrus. Slather apricot jam on it or serve with a pepper coated salami.
*First a quick note on Creamy cheeses and I’m sorry in advance for yelling:DO NOT BUY, SERVE, OR EAT DOMESTIC BRIE. It’s a single cream nightmare.*
Kaserei Champignon Black Label Cambozola.
The regular style Cambozola is amazing. The Black label takes it to the next level.
This cheese is best described as a taste combo of brie and super aged blue. It’s sweet and creamy. It’s wonderful on a cracker or bread with avocado and a dash of Tabasco sauce. My five year old niece calls it “stinky cheese” and can’t get enough of it.
Cowgirl Creamery, Devil’s Gultch(seasonal, winter).
The sweet and spicy pepper rind is a perfect contrast to the super creamy middle. This cheese has a richer and darker flavor than brie. It would be wonderful served along side pickled veggies or olives.
I think it would also be awesome served with braised greens or brisket on bread or crackers.
This is another one that can easily be eaten with bare hands until it is gone. Trust me.
Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog.
This goat cheese is creamy in the middle and slightly crumbly on the outside with a delicious bit of mold running through the middle and under the rind. I love this cheese with blackberry jam, roasted beets, or smoked salmon(with cucumbers and capers). I think that this cheese would also pair well with an IPA or a buttery white wine.
I JUST SAID “BUTTERY WHITE WINE” YOU GUYS.