Say Cheese

Fall has come to Sarasota with the snowbirds, traffic and perfect weather. It really is lovely here this time of year, and it reminds me of why I don’t live in the northeast anymore. One of the best parts of living in Sarasota is small, local shops. One of our favorites, the Artisan Cheese Company put together a cheese of the month club that Bob and I decided to take advantage of. Three cheeses each month – about a pound and a half of cheese – that we get to try and determine if any will be our new favorites.

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This month we had one goat cheese, one sheep cheese and one cow cheese. I love variety and I’m not sure I would have picked two of them, but I’m sure glad Louise thought of these.

20131012-190800.jpg Goat cheese is a favorite of mine, but this one Bob liked more than I did. It reminded me a lot of Humbolt Fog, which is a pretty earthy cheese. This one is no different. Very good, lots of different flavors throughout the cheese, but very strong. By itself, I have a hard time eating it, but combined with a cracker and some honey, and it’s fantastic. Don’t try it with apple; the acid and tartness of the apple clash with the cheese.

20131012-190949.jpg Sheep cheese is also a favorite of mine. Delicate favors that usually pair well with almost anything, but especially wine. In this case, the cheese was mild, almost deceptively so. If eaten by itself, it had a lot of flavor, but paired with honey, apples or crackers and it just compliments. It doesn’t compete for center stage, but is a fantastic supporting character.

20131012-191230.jpg Normally cow cheese is ok. Not my favorite, but a standard cheese. I almost never think of cow cheese as anything special, but this one changed my mind. Out of the three we had this month, this was by far my favorite. The cheese has a ton of flavor, deep flavor. It pairs well with wine, apple or honey, but also stands up on its own. This was Bob’s second favorite this month, but my favorite.

20131012-191445.jpg The nice thing about a basket like this is we have dinner for tonight and I have lunch all week. Cheese, crackers and fruit – I’ll be in heaven. Should make work just a little better and we should have some interesting salads or main dishes incorporating the cheese over the next week. /happy dance. This may be one of my better ideas.

And simply because I love to support small, local businesses, if you are even remotely interested in artisan cheeses, really good artisan cheeses, check out the 3 month cheese club – you don’t have to be a local to get fantastic cheese. And if you are in Sarasota, stop, by – Louise and Parker, and the staff, love talking cheese with people. We even got great recommendations for when we traveled to England.

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