I’m not making a cheese plate for New Year’s. Instead, I’m going to a Raclette party and am going to eat melted cheese. All night long. When I’m not drinking. Or dancing.
But I still want to share a hypothetical cheese plate with you, or rather, share a list of cheeses that would ring in anyone’s sexy new year with a bang. This is also a list of cheeses that I will make every attempt to consume on a monthly basis in 2010.
I’m thinking big and I’m not focusing on prices because I’ve heard that if you set your standards high and roll with the cheese ballers on New Years Eve, that the rest of your year will be blessed. So I’m also gilding my fromage plate in gold. If I could not jinx myself for a moment, 2010, you’re going to be better than 2009. I’m going to hold you to it.
My New Year’s Cheese Plate
Achadinha Capricious: Goat mik’s cheeses come in many forms, and this firm, earthy, tangy number impresses me with it’s nuances and complexities every time. Plus, its atypical nature and shape and size draws gasps of surprise from people who are certain they dislike goat cheese, so this one is going on the plate for sure.
Sampietrino: A cheese made out of cow and sheep’s milk that is shaped like a square and has a crumbly center that tastes like mushrooms and buttermilk? No way it’s not going on. God bless Italy, the land of the mixed milk fermentation.
Colston Basset Stilton: The only true Stilton, Colston Basset is made exclusively from the milk from four dairies in the Val de Belvoir in the English countryside. Although there has been no shortage of attention for blues this year, this is one that I keep coming back to with complete admiration. Colston Basset Stilton, rose confit jam, and late-harvest Chenin Blanc makes me the happiest girl in the world.
Vermont Ayr: This was the first cheese I choose for the “It’s Not You, it’s Brie” club. Back then, the wheel struck me with its earthiness and peanut buttery streak. When I broke into a new wheel last week, however, it tasted like buttermilk and really good beef fat (think rib-eye). Vermont Ayr is a testament to the living, breathing, changing nature of cheese.
Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta: Ricotta doesn’t normally go on cheese plates. This one, however, blew me away when I visited New York. It was served warmed over grilled bread, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil. Bellewether’s sheep’s milk ricotta is amazing, but I was blown away by Salvatore’s because I’ve never tasted a sexy version made from cow’s milk . I can safely say that I’ve never had a better fresh cow’s milk cheese than this. Serve warmed alongside crostini, sea salt, and good olive oil.
Happy New Year!
What will you be serving?