Bad Day, Good Cheese

Baguette, pistachios, cheese, road-side honey from Ithaca

Baguette, pistachios, cheese, road-side honey from Ithaca

A drink can take the edge off a bad day, but a good cheese can turn it in the other direction.  Recently, after a rough day at work, I was running errands downtown and stopped in at Cowgirl Creamery.   I told the lady behind that counter I was in the mood for something soft but on the stinkier side.  She smiled, cut a sample and said, “We have a few, but I think this is what you’re looking for.”  It was gooey and ripe, and I grabbed a baguette and headed home, my day already looking a little sunnier.

Red Hawk

Red Hawk

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A few tips:

Most cheeses are sold chilled, but the flavors and textures are so much better when served at room temperature.  Set cheeses out at least half an hour before eating.

I like my first taste of a cheese to be just the cheese.  I can most appreciate its complexities with a clean palate.  But after that, I like to pull out whatever preserves, honey, nuts or fruit I might have lying around.  You don’t have to have perfectly planned pairings, sometimes trying the different flavor combinations can be half the fun, and they look so nice all set out on your cheese board.

Can’t quite finish it all? Put away the plastic wrap.  Be kind to the bacteria that makes your cheese so delicious and wrap it in parchment or wax paper so that it can breathe without drying out.

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