Thanksgiving 2012: Cheese Platter and Things That Go With Cheese – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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Thanksgiving 2012: Cheese Platter and Things That Go With Cheese

Ahhh… Thanksgiving… one of my favorite days of the year… turkey, gravy, all the fixins and… cheese, glorious cheese.

The Lady and I arose at 430 this morning and began the day with coffee brewing and making The Man’s new favorite, David Eyre’s Pancake. After breakfast and the requisite petting of her favorite Feline Foodie (which would be moi), she made pumpkin pies and fresh fruit tarts with vanilla custard.

And then the fun began, she put together a fabulous cheese platter to keep The Man and moi occupied until the turkey and fixins are ready later today.

Included on the cheese platter were five cheeses; one a favorite around the manse and four that were new to us:

The first cheese was Sartori’s Bellavitano Gold Reserve, a 4 Paw favorite. You can read my review by clicking here. The Lady and The Man enjoyed it On Urban Oven‘s Olive Oil Artisan Crackers with Red Onion Confit from The Girl and The Fig. They declared the pairing delish… let’s see, cheese, crackers and red onion confit… how can it be anything but delish???

You can read my interview with Jim Sartori by clicking here.

Next on the platter was a local mixed-milk cheese from Ancient Heritage Dairy located in Madras, Oregon. Hannah is an aged cheese made from raw cow and raw sheep milk. A little earthy, a lot creamy with a smooth finish. The Lady sat it atop a slice of the Fig Roll from The Girl and The Fig. The Man and I ate ours naked… always my preferred way to enjoy cheese…I suppose it goes without say… the cheese was naked… not The Man nor I… Another winning combination according to The Lady.

The next two cheeses came all the way from the Island of Pag, off the coast of Croatia. These two cheeses were made by Ivan Gligora at his Gligora Dairy. I interviewed Ivan in September and you can read the interview here.

Zigljen is another mixed milk cheese made from Sheep and Cow Milks which give it a tangy, sweet taste and a delightful aroma. This is a hard cheese that is usually aged between three and six months. It had been in my cheese fridge for several months but the aging had in no way diminished the quality. I suspect it just made it better… This was my personal favorite on the platter… although it was a hard call; The Lady never brings home bad cheese… is there even such a thing as “bad cheese”??? 

After Zigljen, we tasted Kozlar, a hard, aged goat cheese also made by Ivan and the dairy gang at Gligora. Now this cheese had a kick to it. Definitely goat milk cheese with that distinctive goaty taste. A bit too tangy for this Feline, but it sure did make The Man swoon… The Lady topped this with a Dried Fig Compote from The Girl and The Fig. Both she and The Man loved this combination.

The last cheese on the platter was a robust cheddar from Wisconsin’s Black Creek. This aged white cheddar was full-flavored with a nice cheddar bite. According to the website, this cheese is made by Master Cheesemakers but the site didn’t tell us who the cheesemaker is. Outside of Europe, Wisconsin is the only place where a structured program is in place to certify cheesemakers. For more details on this program, visit my Interview with Master Cheese Kerry Henning or the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Black Creek Cheddar was the perfect finish to a perfect cheese platter. The Lady paired this cheddar with Barnier Olives with Herbs de Provance. These olives came in a plastic pounch, perfect serving-size and convenient for on-the-go or for a picnic.

And as The Lady planned, this platter is doing its job keeping The Man and Moi occupied until the turkey comes out of the oven…

Other items on the platter included John Wm. Macy’s Cheddar Cheese Sticks, tomatoes, walnuts, Vin Tucci Wine Infused Anise Cookies and Cinnamon Marshmallows made by Butter Baked Goods from Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Man thought the crispy anise cookies paired well with the fig compote and he ate all the marshmallows .. leaving none for The Lady… he really needs to work on those sharing skills…

I give Hannah and Zigljen 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got) and Black Creek and Kozlar 3 Paws.

The platter gets 4 Paws as well… we almost don’t need the turkey… just almost… hey bring on the turkey!!!

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemakers/manufacturers/brokers sent me some of these products, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

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