Every year, my brother-in-law celebrates his birthday with magnificent fireworks across the night sky. He knows it’s not really for him, but it’s pretty sweet to pretend—since his birthday is July 4th. One of his favorite food groups is cheese (which is convenient). So, in keeping with the theme of the day for everyone involved, I’ve created a red, white & blue cheese plate for Roland and the US of A. Three cheeses, three milks, three textures, three geographic regions of our big, beautiful, cheese-loving country.
For the red, head west to the bucolic Point Reyes, Calif. coast. Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk is a much-loved semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, with a reddish-orange rind encasing a rich, creamy interior. The red rind is the robust flavor in this cheese, so be sure to eat it along with the extra-buttery paste inside.
For the blue, here’s a twist: Instead of a blue cheese, try Westfield Farm’s Classic Blue Log—which has that lovely blue mold on the OUTSIDE (not throughout) encasing the clean, stark white interior. This is a creamy, eye-catching goat’s milk cheese from Massachusetts, and the east coast representative here.
For the white, head to the heartland. Wisconsin’s Carr Valley Cheese has won more awards than anyone can count and has an ever-increasing variety of handmade cheeses. Try their Cave-Aged Marisa, a firm sheep milk cheese with flavors of brown butter and roasted meat.
Just to make sure everyone’s happy and that there’s plenty of cheese to go around, add white cheddar. Depending on where you live, you should have a beloved maker near you. And any leftovers will be greatly appreciated. I’ll give you Roland’s address. Please use Fed Ex overnight.Photo Credit: Photo of Independence Day picnic courtesy of Shutterstock