Cheese. You know you love it. It's one of mankind's oldest and greatest comestibles, right up there with wine and beer. What better time to enjoy a little extra something decadent that now at the holiday season. I certainly have been.
When the weather turns chilly, I tend to favor hearty, rustic red wines. That's where some of our harder cheese come into play. I'm a particular fan of our Provolone Vecchio (aged provolone). This cheese is about as strong as a hard cheese gets. Made in huge logs and aged for over three years, it has a pungent, almost mushroom-like aroma. The texture is firm almost to the point of crumbliness, and the flavor is rich and earthy, dry with a salty bite. True, it's tough and not for the faint of heart, but come in from the cold and enjoy with a hearty red and maybe some salami and you'll see what I mean.
Let's not forget our soft cheeses,though. We are, after all, deep into Champagne and bubbly season too. Nothing, and I mean nothing, goes better with Champagne than a buttery soft triple creme, full of fat and oh-so-delicious! Try some Langres, a rich triple creme from France with a distinctive rippled yellow rind, produced by washing the cheese in Champagne marc during it's production. We've also got the classic Brillat Savarin, a triple creme so rich it might as well be butter. Also French, this cheese is spreadbly soft, rich and sweet, but with a distinctive tang in it's long and decadent finish. Do yourself a favor this New Year's and spring for one of these and a bottle from our selection of high end, hand carfted boutique grower Champagnes.
And how about all those parties? Entertaining should be fun for the host as well as the guests, and your hors d'ouvres need not be complicated to be real yummy treats. Baguette slices topped with dijon mustard, pate and a cornichon pickle is always sure to please, or for a sweet/savory treat, baguette with quince paste and a hard Spanish sheeps milk cheese, such as Manchego, Roncal, or the Basque Ossau Iraty wins every time. Even something as simple as Landaff, a hard Welsh style chees from New Hampshire, cut in cubes and drizzled with southern Tupelo honey will wow them. All these things take minimal effort, and yet they are wonderful special treats. Best of all, you can spend more time where you want to, out of the kitchen and with your guests.
O.K. better stop now, I'm getting hungry! Come check out our gourmet department for these and many other delightful treats to make your holiday season just a little more special...or at least a little yummier.