February 6, 2010

Who loves cheese? I do! I do!

A conversation about St. Agur this week reminded me I haven't had a wine and cheese party in about a year.  Oh how I suffer.  Expect an invite soon.  As my love of wine has grown so has my love of cheese.  If fancy cheese scares you,  here is a great place to start your education.  Laura Werlin knows her cheese.

I followed her tips on hosting a wine and cheese party when we had our first party.  We had a lot of cheese, probably too much.  I would recommend keeping it simple.  I may have to write a Who Loves Cheese part deux to tell you about our second party which was divided into red wine cheeses and white wine cheeses.   That being said, here is what we served:

Fresh Cheese
  - Pancetta crisps with fresh goat cheese and pear (awesome!!!)

Soft-ripened Cheeses
  - Saint Andre  (this triple cream brie is to die for)
  - Jean Perrin L'edel de Cleron

Semi hard Cheeses
  - Manchego  (this is my favorite cheese, I like El Trigal, sheep's milk)
  - Zamorano
  - Aged Cheddar
  - Mimolette

Hard Cheese
  - Parmigiano-Reggiano  (buy the good stuff)

Blue Cheeses
  - St. Agur  (Marija's new favorite find, a pasteurized cow's milk, double cream cheese)

Washed-rind Cheeses
  - Taleggio  (a slightly stinky but oh so good Italian cow's milk cheese, nutty, fruity & slightly sweet)

My next project is to make our own cheese.  Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll is supposed to be THE book on the subject.  I think some fresh mozzarella will be just the right thing for the heirloom tomatoes that will be in our new garden.

Where do I find these wonderful cheeses you ask?  Head to your local cheesemonger, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or place an order at Artisanal Cheese.

Warning:  please serve your cheeses at the proper temp which means it should sit out 30-60 minutes before serving. Seriously.  Don't go to all this hard work to serve cold cheese.

2 comments:

  1. I have had a WICKED stomach ache since I ate my weight in saint agur on Thursday and I'm praying it's not some kind of late onset lactose intolerance, because I will commit sepuku. If I can't have cheese, what's the point? Great tips, thanks!

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  2. Lactose be damned, just like with good shoes, sometimes we have to suffer for the finer things in life. I mean really, would you stop drinking because of the occasional hangover? I think not.

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