We’re a little late in getting the post up for our February Cheese of the Month Club, but we were right on time for tasting it. (Have I mentioned how much I love just getting an email that says, ‘hey girl, there’s cheese on your porch’??)
Comté is a hard French cheese, made from unpasteurized cows’ milk. Apparently, it’s good for melting and is often featured in fondue pots, but we sliced it and enjoyed it that way. The flavor had an almost-saltiness to it, kind of like a smokey, salted caramel.
Next up was the iStara cheese. There a few different types of iStara cheese, and we had the Ossau-Iraty sheep cheese in our box. This was another nutty, oily cheese that went so well with the sweeter components of our charcuterie board. In particular, this was a great match for the strawberry-rhubarb jelly, although it was also quite pleasant with the dilly beans from our CSA.
I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to try the next cheese. The Morbier (a cow cheese) has a line of ash through the middle of the cheese. While it’s just decorative now, it’s a nod to the old days of making this cheese: evening curds were covered with the ash to preserve them overnight, and morning curds were added the next day. (Don’t worry, you can eat the ash!) This cheese is STINKY though. Oh wow. But it’s delicious – it’s soft and creamy and very rich. Try pairing it with fresh berries and it becomes a dessert. Pair it with a smoky bacon and it’s a hearty dinner. We even dipped it in some horseradish beet puree. I’m a Morbier believer.
The final cheese was the Chevrion goat cheese. This was a welcome inclusion in the pack because I’d completely crushed the chevre we got in our CSA a few weeks back and was in serious need of another stock. This cheese was everything you’d expect from a standard, solid goat cheese. It was creamy, crumbly, and spreadable on toast. We paired this one up with the hot pepper jelly from our CSA, and it was excellent.
And something I was even more excited about: my charcuterie plate was a perfect excuse to test out my new Fiestaware! The other components of our charcuterie board were the harissa paste-rubbed bacon from Crested Duck, prosciutto and hot capicola (Giant Eagle), dilly beans (Penn’s Corner), brioche toasts (Trader Joe’s), Neil Walker spicy brown mustard (Giant Eagle), and sweet beet & horseradish mustard (Williamson Winery). The wine we enjoyed was a Malbec from Beaumont Cellars.