Monday, August 2, 2010

Day One Seventy Four - Summer Ale and the Goats Marriage Mondays

I got to thinking about our previous Marriage Monday stars and I realized, gosh, we had yet to do one that features beer. Just because I don't drink beer while marathon training, doesn't mean that other people aren't interested in what to pair with beer, there are plenty of people who love beer and cheese pairings and to be honest, sometimes I think beer can be a better cheese partner than wine.

So for today's first round of beer Marriage Mondays, I thought I would take up the widely known and truly local -- Brooklyn Brewery's Summer Ale, available obviously in summer months, this beer is modeled on the "Light Dinner Ales" served in England from the 1800s through the 1940s. Also known as luncheon or family ales, this style of beer is considered light and refreshing, perfect for those hot summer days. This beer is made with English Barley Malt along with both German and American hops. It has sunny citrus and herbaceous notes while still maintaining a yeasty, fresh baked bread side as well. Full of flavor, light in weight, a great summer choice and perfect for this week's Marriage Mondays.

Let's meet this week's contestants:

Contestant Number #1: Cabecou Feuille - Wrapped up like a little present in chestnut leaves, this fresh goat cheese from the Perigord region of France delights. First dipped in plum brandy and then topped with coarse black pepper, it is then briefly aged in two layers of chestnut leaves. Don't worry, all of that flavoring most certainly doesn't overwhelm the delicate fresh goaty lactic tang, it infuses the luscious and creamy cheese's paste with the aromas of a nice glass of brandy with the piquant spicy kick of the black pepper and a vegetal nutty side due to the chestnut leaves. 

Contestant Number #2: Westfield Farm's Classic Blue Log - Hailing from the Northeastern state of Massachusetts, this cheese starts out like our previous contestant as a fresh goat's milk cheese, however unlike number one this isn't dipped into a liqueur and then leaf wrapped, contestant number two has a different procedure performed. It is blue yet goaty all at once. Unlike most blue cheeses, this young goat's milk paste is not inoculated with Penicillium Roqueforti to create the classic blue spots, its exterior is instead coated with blue Glaucum mold which imbues the cheese with a slight blue kick while maintaining the creamy paste of young goat cheese. Ready to eat at two weeks old, as these guys age, the melange of flavors grows stronger and stronger.

Contestant Number #3: Piper's Pyramide - Moving farther west, our third contestant hails from the state of Indiana. Modeled in the shape of the French Loire Valley goat cheese, Valencay, this little pyramid of goat cheese goodness is coated in paprika. It is named after the cheesemaker's granddaughter, Piper and is a party in your mouth. Spicy yet sweet, lactic and buttery yet somehow refreshing with an earthy barnyardy side as well. Best when eaten after three weeks of aging.

So folks will be the leaf wrapped cheese? Or the blue mold coated cheese or the paprika queen?

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