Cheese Glorious Cheese
by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence
Serious and funny thoughts about cheese....
There's nothing quite like a piece of cheese
to nibble upon for pleasure and ease.
No matter the time or state of mind
greater joy than cheese you'll never find.
Served on a cracker or a soft piece of bread
a morceau de fromage will please your head.
Roquefort, camembert, brie or blue
served with fruit or in fondue
God gave us cheese-a bit of heaven on earth
to lift our burdens, providing sweet mirth.
And after all our daily work is done
we enjoy simple cheese just for fun.
But remember the ancient custom of the house
leave behind a kernel for the nocturnal mouse.
C Jim Sitterly
Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese, toasted, mostly.-Robert Louis Stevenson
Cheese! Why won't it stop flirting with me? - Joss Whedon
My favorite contribution to the holiday table is cheese. I plot and plan which of the marvelous varieties will be displayed on the board. Which morsels deserve to be added and what condiments will reside in my antique cut glass? Do I include a homemade pate' or not? It goes without saying that I will have 2 types of crackers and a bread tucked cosily into a basket.
So as I am pondering this year's tantalizing board, I thought to share a very small bit of the relationship between cheese and me!
My wonderful niece belongs to a "Cheese Society" at her college. After each meeting she posts her comments and ratings of the cheeses. The following is a response of mine to one of her posts.
"Which Iowa Bleu? Maytag is the stalwart go-to bleu. There are about 7 or 8 cheese makers in Iowa that produce a bleu. I personally like Golden Ridge's (an Amish coop) Schwarz und Weiss (literally Black and White), a wonderful, full-flavored snappy tangy bleu. But I also love St Pete's Bleu from good old Faribault, MN. A must try with garden tomatoes, crisp bacon crumbles and diced red onion as a chop-chop salad. (of course, you can throw some green leafy stuff in there too!) Oh, and I can't forget Rogue Creamery's Bleu. Hmmmmm.
St Andre Triple Creme Brie-I have served that often enough to you at family events. Can't go wrong there, any cheese that has pure thick cream stirred in during the aging process has to be good! Any of Uncle Mark's jams with this on a baguette makes the world's BEST breakfast! (Of course with a steaming cup of coffee from the French press!)
Tasmanian Heritage Camembert- I am frankly not a typical fan of Camembert since it is often served too aged and runny for me. Too young is chalky and not pleasant. A middle aged is okay. Rather earthy or mushroomy on the palate, not bad. But it needs strong foods to stand with it. Balsamic marinated baby onions and Smithfield ham slivers on warm biscuits. Or a great salami with cornichons on a baguette.
Try Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam or Red Hawk. They are worth the money. Just be sure they are not too ripe as they taste ammoniated. (A very ghastly taste on the tongue, not to mention the ensuing paralysis to the nostrils!)"