Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The All American Cheese Sampler

Our artisanal cheese sampler has always been one of my favorite appetizers... one I think many people forget about. You may remember that in the past, we only offered the sampler as a full-portion platter that served up to 5 or 6 guests. This is where I feel many people have shied away, feeling it was just too much for one person to enjoy.

This past winter, we began offering individual portions for those not looking for the full course. I encourage this as a nice, light starter course - or as a finishing touch to a delicious meal. The dish goes quite well with a small group, with a glass of wine and conversation on our patio, or with a port wine at the end of the night.

Over the years, we have enjoyed some amazing cheeses from all over the world. This week, we have brought in some new cheeses to try in honor of the holiday. We proudly display our American heritage and country's cheese-making skills by putting together an "All American Cheese Sampler."

Each cheese listed below is amazing in both texture and flavor, and you can enjoy each bite knowing it was "Made in the U.S.A."

#1 cypress grove humboldt fog
The subtle, tangy flavor and distinctive layer of edible vegetable ash are a prized combination in this iconic American original. You'll enjoy buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbal overtones and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the layer of proteolysis just under the rind will increase developing a more intense flavor.

Type: Goat's Milk
State of Origin: California

#2 ludwig kickapoo
This cheese - inspired by the German Buterkäse - features an American twist on the recipe, mixing in special cultures to create a Ludwig original. Kickapoo is a semi-firm, raw milk cheese with fresh, buttery flavors as well as sweet notes and a sharper finish. As the cheese matures, it often develops tropical hints of pineapple. Kickapoo took Blue Ribbon honors and was also named Grand Champion (Purple Ribbon) at the 2012 Illinois State Fair.

Type: Cow's Milk
State of Origin: Fithian, Illinois

#3 carmody
Coming from the Bellwether Farms in Southern California, it is made from pasteurized Jersey cow milk. Carmody is a firm and golden cheese that rolls smoothly over the tongue with a buttery intensity -- it is a cheese meant to showcase the high quality of the milk. As it ages, Carmody turns over a sweet and surprising caramelized undertone.

Type: Cow's Milk
State of Origin: California

#4 cottonwood river cheddar
A raw milk aged cheddar with a unique process that develops a full, slightly sweet flavor without the acidic bite of a typical aged cheddar. it is pale yellow in color with a firm body.

Type: Cow's Milk
State of Origin: Kansas

#5 great hill blue
Great Hill Blue is an internally ripened variety made with raw, unhomogenized milk resulting in a true gourmet quality cheese. The cheese has a slightly more dense and yellow curd due to no additions of bleach or food coloring. Salty and creamy with a balanced finish, its highly nuanced, robust flavor hints of caramel and grass.

Type: Cow's Milk
State of Origin: Massachusetts

1 comment:

  1. Do you know about Maytag Blue from Newton, Iowa? We love it on crackers, bread or in a green salad.