Ah spring, what a beautiful time of year. Now that it’s official, and we’ve all had our complimentary water ice I’m definitely feeling ready for the warmer weather and foods that go well with it. The impending change has gotten me thinking about the seasonality of cheese and how in my own experience, I find a perfect cheese for every time of year. In the cool, crisp days of autumn, no cheese could satisfy me as much as Comte Gruyere, a raw cow’s milk cheese from France whose fruity, nutty, creamy taste was the perfect compliment for the season. I savored my comte with abbey dubbel ales and light to medium red wines. The winter days, though brief they may have been, were a colder time; and in such chilling hours I sought solace in taleggio, a rustic and wonderful cow’s milk gem that is nutty, smooth, and completely unctious. I savored this Italian beauty with malbecs, sangioveses, and other big red wines. I have found that I am so looking forward to spring that before the weather has even really changed, my appetite for springier cheeses has already set in. So what’s on the menu for spring? Another Italian cow’s milk cheese is cutting the mustard; this time it’s Raschera, a semi-firm treasure from Piedmont who is delightfully delicate and snackable. I think a cool, refreshing Orval or a light and tasty albarino will be just right with its mild and delectible taste. I can see already that when my jackets are safely stored away for a long summers nap, the Spanish and Portugese soft sheep’s milk cheeses like Serpa, Serra de Estrella, Torta del Casar, and La Serena will be exactly what I want. Light and grassy, yet buttery smooth, these cheeses are sweetly complex and utterly satisfying. Sitting by the pool sipping a light spritzy cava and nibbling on these cheeses is just how I intend to get through the heat of the summer days to come.
- Maggie, Cheese Specialist (Chestnut St. location)