First we sampled the fontina, a cow’s milk cheese that was mild and versatile, pairing well with both sweet dips and savory meats. The flavor had strong notes of cream, with a hint of something that reminded us of hay. It was sort of like if a mild New York cheddar and a Swiss cheese had a soft, spreadable baby.
Second, we tried the herbed havarti (another cow’s milk cheese), which was peppery, buttery, and stinky, but not in an unpleasant way. It was great by itself on a crusty baguette, and also with thick-cut bacon.
Next we tried the cream havarti, which is also the base of the herbed havarti. It was remarkably rich, and soft enough to spread with a butter knife. It was excellent with honey, but also good with stone ground mustard.
The final cheese of this group was also the most powerful: the Danish blue. Once again a cow’s milk (we were four for four this month!), you could smell it from a couple feet away; it was definitely the cheese the most needed a pairing.
Both crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth soft, we really liked it with the dried pork shoulder we had, for both flavor and textural contrast. It also worked well with a sweeter mustard, like honey mustard.
We will return in the second week of April with another four-pack of cheeses. Please do tune in!