Welcome to the beginning of Fall! We love this time of year. The weather is cooling, warm comfort food is returning to our tables, and the beautiful colors of fall can be seen in stores and all around our neighborhoods. We let Fall inspire our search for this month’s cheese selection with the flavors of roasting herbs, chives, cream and just a touch of garlic to keep those pesky Vampires away.
October is American Cheese Month for 2021 so in addition to finding cheeses reminiscent of fall flavors, we selected cheeses from American Artisan dairy farms with some of the most beautiful fall color landscapes in the country. Fall flavors, artisan cheese, American dairy farms, and a great bottle of wine create a perfect welcome to fall and festive way to get ready for the coming holidays.
In Italy the term “Toma” is used to identify cheese made by the farmer herself. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., being a woman owned farmstead knew it was the perfect name for their creation of a semi-firm endlessly versatile everyday cheese. Toma was so food and snack friendly that they decided to compliment the creamy buttery flavors that made this cheese so well loved by adding additional flavors, so for this month’s Cheese Club, we introduce you to… TomaProvence! It is a perfect snacking cheese full of savory rosemary, basil, marjoram, savory and wild thyme taking you on an excursion to the Mediterranean with every bite. TomaProvence is made from pasteurized, rBST-free cows milk, aged for 90 days, made with vegetarian rennet, and is gluten free. TomaProvence pairs perfectly with Le Envoy Gamay Rose.
Herbal Jack Forager from 5 Spoke Creamery is made with garlic, chives, and a secret mixture of herbs. It is a crumbly cheddar that brings a whole new level of “YUM” to traditional comfort foods like mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and homemade chili. 5 Spoke Creamery is a raw milk dairy. They believe that the best milk is the raw milk from cows that are pastured and free to roam, picking and choosing from a variety of grasses, herbs, flowers and weeds. The raw milk of grass-fed cows has a depth of flavor, or terroir, which cannot be duplicated. Although we love 5 Spoke cheeses, there are varying opinions on the flavors of raw milk cheese but we’ll let you be the judge.
Sherry Gray, Jasper Hill’s newest cheese, is a double-cream, ash ripened brie made with grass-fed cows’ milk and cream. It is a cheese that was created and dedicated to the memory of a treasured member of their community who modeled humanity and inspired the citizens of Greensboro, Vermont to a higher level of commitment to Community. The ash coating on this cheese serves a purpose beyond the aesthetically pleasing, stony complexion of its rind; it plays a part in the tempering the fresh wheels’ surface pH and fosters the development of a thin, even bloom of flora. The extra cream added and the relatively long culturing time create an almost whipped texture, which coats the palate in buttery richness. If you were looking for the perfect cheese to pair with bubbles you will love Sherry Gray. It is also a kindred spirit of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir; but if you are looking for a non-alcohol partner, try Sherry with an herbal tea… you won’t be disappointed with the versatility of this cheese.
Recipe of the Month
In our opinion, the best part of fall is the comfort food (and their wine pairings of course) and this recipe is the perfect infusion of comfort food and your monthly cheeses! This grilled cheese is absolutely divine!
Crazy American Cheese Law – Wisconsin has the most stringent product quality assurance programs for cheese and butter outside of Europe. In addition, they take their dairy industry extremely serious and actually have laws to back it up. For example, Margarine was banned in Wisconsin until 1967 but even today if you try to lie and pass margarine off as butter you can still be fined and cited or this grave offense. Oh, and an additional Wisconsin law to mention that was in effect from 1935 to 1937 required that butter and cheese be served with meals in restaurants. Interestingly enough, many restaurants in Wisconsin were already providing some form of dairy with each plate and still do today as part of their strong dairy culture.