Welcome to Cheese Please, a brand new column about an age-old favorite—cheese!
We’re hoping not just to introduce you to some new and exciting cheeses, but to tell you about some great ways to enjoy your old favorites, with serving suggestions, recipe ideas, and food and drink pairings.
Rumiano Willowmaid Dry Jack
Coated with oil, pepper, and cocoa powder then aged for up to a year, Dry Jack has the crumbly texture of Parmigiano Reggiano with a mild, buttery flavor. Grate this hard cheese over pasta or serve on a cheese plate alongside dried apricots and salty almonds. This is an ideal cheese to take hiking, camping, or even for the first few days of a backpacking trip. Dry Jack pairs nicely with Chardonnay or a dark beer like a stout or porter.
Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue
Mild in blue flavor with a hint of smoke, this unique blue cheese makes a great addition to a summer cheese plate or salad. The cheese is cold-smoked over Oregon-grown hazelnut shells, giving it a heavier, drier texture than other blues and a sweet, earthy flavor.
Smokey Blue stands up well to bold flavors. Serve it as an appetizer alongside fried padron peppers or crumble it over a grilled steak at a backyard barbeque. Or enhance Smokey Blue’s subtle sweetness at an afternoon picnic accompanied by fresh stone fruit and Pinot Gris.
Vermont Creamery Mascarpone
Best known as a classic ingredient in tiramisu, this Italian cream-cheese-style cheese can add a sophisticated twist in both savory and sweet recipes. Add a few spoonfuls of Mascarpone to creamy pasta sauces for a more complex flavor and little added richness, or dollop it into a chilled summer soup.
For a light and easy summer dessert, whisk one 8oz tub of Mascarpone with two Tbsps honey. Top with sliced figs or your favorite berries and a drizzle of honey.