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Showing posts with label Cabot Cheddar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cabot Cheddar. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April is Grilled Cheese Month!

Every April I go to the cheese counter looking for new combinations of lactic goodness, searching for tasty answers to the question, "will it melt?"  This year I'm starting the month off with something a little sweet.

Usually grilled cheese is for lunch or dinner (or breakfast), but I wanted to try for a dessert-ish sandwich.  My inspiration was the New England classic, apple pie and cheddar cheese.  For those of you not familiar with this tasty treat, typically the cheese (white cheddar) is melted on top of the pie.  The pie is all warm and nummy and the cheese is just melty enough.  I wanted to see if I could do a recreation of that in sandwich form.

I'm not going to give you a recipe per se, but I'll tell you what ingredients I used.

Nummy goat cheese with ash.
I almost always have a hunk of cheddar in the fridge and for this sandwich I used Extra Sharp Cheddar from Cabot.  For cheese number two I went for Lake's Edge from Blue Ledge Farm in Vermont.*  This is a young mold-ripened cheese with ash and filled with tangy, creamy, salty, goaty goodness.  Usually I do a little shmear of this on toast with a bit of honey, so it seemed like a good idea for a grilled cheese.

For the spread I used jam from Elmore Roots Nursery.  They're a local VT business and have wonderful spreads.  Although all of the jams I've had from them have an apple base, for this sandwich I went for the super appley crabapple flavor.  The sweetness of the jam was a perfect pairing for sharp acidic cheddar and salty, citrusy, goat cheese.

So here's the "recipe".

  • Take two pieces of bread and do a light smear of crabapple spread on one side
  • Put a few slices of cheddar on top of the jam
  • Add a few slender slices of goat cheese-with the rind
  • Put second piece of bread on top
  • Put in pan until toasty, melty, goodness occurs
  • Put it in your tummy
It's a little bit sweet with a nice tanginess from the goat cheese. So good!  So how are you going to celebrate this month?

*If you don't have access to Blue Ledge Farms' cheese you can substitute Humbolt Fog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mmm...cheese

Hi there cheese lovers,

I have been looking forward to Jeanne's cheese festival for Wisconsin Originals since I got my tickets months ago. I've already planned out the cheesemakers I wanted to pester talk to and was going to try to wriggle my way into farm visits. Unfortunately a family member back on in NYC has become very ill, so instead of a cheese festival this weekend I spent a lot of time in a hospital. There's no better place to hear about the festival than from Jeanne herself, so take a gander at her blog and see how it all went down this weekend.

As I mentioned I have recently been promoted to assistant buyer at work. One of the perks is that I get to do cheese tastings. Yesterday we did a tasting of 28 cheeses and 2 butters.

I love tasting cheese, but I have a favor to ask of cheesemakers/distributors, send good product. Dont' send us the stuff that's been sitting in the fridge for months, vaccuum-packed in plastic, or "aged" almost beyond recognition. We can only judge your on the product you sent us, and if it's crappy, there's no way we're going to buy it.

Out of the 28 cheeses we tried there were maybe five of them that were deemed acceptable. Will we actually end up getting them in? I'm not sure. I do know that it was rad getting to taste all these fun cheeses.

So for part of dinner tonight we had a few cheeses laid out. Three were from the tasting and two were just some "everyday" cheeses.

My favorite from the tasting and a cheese I've had in the past was the Camilla. A soft-ripened goat cheese that has qualities of a Robiola or LaTur, but is so much more. Creamy, tangy and a bit grassy this cheese has an unexpected and moan-inducing aroma and flavor of honey and flowers. When the 4 of us were sitting around the table my girlfriend asked me "what are they feeding these goats?" I can only imagine that these goats are nibbling on some sweet grasses and flora. So good. I ate 1/4 of the wheel for my dinner tonight.


So, starting on the right with Camilla, the cheese underneath it is the Cabot Private Stock Cheddar. The cheese is aged for 16 months and is quite tasty. It's acidic, and dense without being heavy or greasy. I love a sharp Cheddar, and this block cheese from Vermont hits the spot.

Next up is the Baby Swiss from Boggy Meadow Farm in Walpole, NH. I found this cheese when I was in the supermarket in NYC and was floored. I just didn't expect to find cheese from a small producer in the Stop & Shop. Pleasantly surprised by this little cheese full of acid, salt, grass,and robustness.

The one with the natural rind is called Salva Cremasco from northern Italy. It's a soft-ripened cheese with a semi-soft paste. It reminded me of a Ricotta Salata with it's salty, crumbly paste but with the rind giving off a little bit of an earthy, stone flavor.

Last up is the Pecorino Calabrese Reserve. A nice sharp, nutty, sheepy and gamey cheese. You get a full, round mouth feel from the sheep's milk cheese, but without the greasiness that some Pecorinos can impart.

Next up, the ACS, and why you should care