Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 859: Beach time cheese

What to bring to a friend's house for a weekend at the beach?

Cheese of course! American artisanal cheeses definitely! In planning the selection of three cheeses to bring, I thought why not tap into the newly developed American artisanal focused cheese program rolled out by Artisanal. So what did I choose based on the knowledge I had about the taste preferences for my audience?

First off was Grassias hailing from Paula Lambert's Mozzarella Company in Texas. A mixed cow and goat's milk cheese wrapped in lemon grass leaves - it is light and flavorful yet aromatic, tangy and earthy. The perfect young fresh creamy cheese for a summertime get together.

Then there was Tarentaise crafted by Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont. A firm aged organic cow's milk cheese modeled on the classic French alpine style cheeses like Abondance. Tarentaise is nutty, buttery, butterscotchy, caramelly, rustic, earthy, and grassy -- an excellent partner for a glass of Cotes du Rhone or even an IPA. Tarentaise is that sort of cheese that is warm and comforting yet light and flavorful -- perfect in winter or summer months.

And lastly there was Old Chatham Shepherding Company's Ewe's Blue. Made in the traditional style with sheep's milk, this local upstate New York blue is creamy and spicy but piquant and rustic -- it can appeal to the blue cheese amateur or the blue cheese lover alike. Ewe's Blue is truly infused with its local terroir and is definitely one of the best local blue cheeses I have had.

Overall an excellent selection of American artisanal cheeses for a great beach weekend! I look forward to trying the full offerings in Artisanal's new American plan.

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