A Summer Cheese Plate and Pairings featuring Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co.
Most of the time, we all don't think about breaking out the cheese board until fall settles in and it's time for a cozy fire and red wine or the holidays have arrived and you need to pull something together to impress your guests or work mates, but cheese plates are also a great addition to a summer picnic, camping trip, bbq or family gathering. Break out the rose or some savignon blanc, assemble a cheese plate with some in-season summer fruits, raw honey comb, your favorite condiment (hint hint), charcuterie, savory crackers and voila, your average summer day just got a bit more special. This is what cheese plates do to you, they make you savor that glass of wine and pay attention to the medley of flavors that hit your palate. Cheese plates just seem to slow time down, allowing you to savor and truly enjoy the moment. I know that sounds a bit like a hallmark card but it's true. Think about when you gather with a glass of wine around a cheese plate, you don't bite in like you are eating a big mac, you don't throw back your wine like it's 1992 and you are tail-gaiting at a pearl jam concert. You just become a bit more postured, a bit more intellectual, a bit more well traveled, a bit more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.....right? A bit more sophisticated in both taste and experience.
Cheese does that to us.
Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company is an artisanal award winning cheese company based out of South Woodstock, Vermont. They handcraft their cheeses in small batches and have their own herd of Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn cows. They also work with local Vermont dairy farms so all their milk is 100% from Vermont. They were kind of enough to send us a variety of their amazing cheeses to pair with our condiments and we spent the week not only making a couple cheese plates but experimented with their cheese in a bunch of new recipes. We actually assembled two cheese plates, one that was a bit of a romantic style with their creamy Lille Cheese that paired beautifully with our Balsamic Fig Mostarda Spread and another cheese plate featuring a variety of their cheeses and a few of our condiments including our Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish, Triple Ale Onion Spread and Sticky Date Candied Orange Spread.
We came up with our favorite pairings and with that we went a step further and created a few pizza, salad and sandwich recipes that were out of this world delicious...like this Bacon, Triple Ale Onion, Apple and Smoked Tilsit Pizza.
Here are our Wozz! condiment pairing suggestions in collaboration with Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company.
1. Lille (Coulummiers)
Lille comes from the northern regions of France and is an ancestor to Brie. It's a soft-ripened bloomy rind cheese that has a supple paste core enveloped by a rich creamy body and reveals a subtle mushroom nuance with notes of nut and butter. This cheese pairs very well with our Sticky Date Candied Orange Chutney, Cranberry Blood Orange Cognac Gourmet Chutney and our Balsamic Fig Mostarda Savory Spread.
2. Sugarhouse Edam
Vermont Farmstead added a twist to this semi hard Dutch cheese by adding the spice Fenugreek. The traditional Indian spice imparts a maple and walnut nuance that is reminiscent of Vermont beloved sugar shacks. The Edam has a soft buttery note that adds just enough savory to balance the sweet. Our favorite Wozz! pairings with this cheese were Sticky Date Candied Orange Gourmet Chutney and our Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish.
3. BrikHaus Tilsit
A medium firm cheese and a distant relative of the Havarti family, Vermont Farmstead Cheese BrickHaus Tilsit is rich with buttery and fruity notes and a full flavor and is also a terrific melter. Tilsit paired best with our Balsamic Fig Mostarda Spread and our Triple Ale Onion Savory Spread.
4. Smoked BrikHaus Tilsit
5. Alehouse Cheddar
Made with two brews from Harpoon Brewery. This cheese leads with a fragrant ale nose, has a flavorful balance of cheddar and nuts and ends with a strong hop finish. Obviously is a classic pairing with our Triple Ale Onion Savory Spread and also a great pairing with Sticky Date Candied Orange Chutney and Balsamic Fig Mostarda.
This firm, flaky raw milk cheese which leads with a hint of tart apple and delivers a honeyed aftertaste that pairs perfectly with all things apple. It was fantastic paired with our Sticky Date Candied Orange Gourmet Chutney and with our Triple Ale Onion Spread.
and there you have it....summer days paired with artisan cheese and Wozz! condiments. Don't forget to also add these delicious accompaniments to your cheese plate: artisan crackers including Jan's Farmhouse Crisps and Castleton Crackers. If you are looking for cheese and cracker pairings check out Vermont Farmstead's website they have a great pairing guide featuring Castleon Crackers. Additions to our cheese plate also included charcuterie, in-season fruits including apricots and grapes, raw honeycomb and these fantastic greek olives from Lakonia Greek Products.