The best holiday couple of the year has arrived courtesy of President’s Day and Valentine’s Day, and right on schedule they’ve brought us our annual gifts of automotive savings and chocolate teddy bears. These can go a long way in filling the wintery void or soothing the aching heart, but the one thing that will most definitely carry you the extra mile? Cheese! The Founding Fathers certainly knew the curative powers of the curd, and as the old saying I just made up goes: “Behind every great President should be a great cheese.” Here are a few of those great men with our picks for corresponding spirit cheese.
George Washington: Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise
Just as George Washington got a helping hand from the Marquis de Lafayette, so too does our first president deserve a dairy boost from a French-style wheel—Spring Brook Farm’s Tarentaise. Modeled after its Alpine cousins Abondance and Beaufort, the raw-milk Tarentaise proffers up distinct nutty notes atop an herbaceous, savory, and vegetal foundation. It also pairs extremely well with George Washington’s favorite wine, Madeira, so pour a glass and start a revolution on your tongue.
Thomas Jefferson: Gold Creek Parmesan
Thomas Jefferson had many passions, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of cheesiness. Indeed, he was probably our biggest turophile president. He was famously gifted a gigantic wheel of cheese and is credited with the popularization of a colonial variant of mac and cheese. However, his biggest love in the cheese world was parmesan. Just as he came upon his coveted “macaroni pie” when living abroad, Jefferson discovered parmesan’s sharp and crumbly allures while making the rounds in France and Italy in 1787. Gold Creek’s version may come from Utah, but the third president would have definitely eaten this stuff up.
Andrew Jackson: Adams Reserve Cheddar
Andrew Jackson may never have stated his preference in dairy like some of the other presidents on the list, but he is the reason we have Big Block of Cheese Day. As the story goes, a cheesemaker in upstate New York sent Jackson a 1,400-lb. block of cheddar as an inauguration gift: “Congratulations on the election Mr. President, now eat your way to the bottom.” Great Lakes Cheese is only slightly north of where the original wheel came from, and its Adams Reserve wheels clock in at 640 pounds, so it’s probably about as close to the original as you can get.
Abraham Lincoln: Marin French Triple Crème Brie
For a President who was famously gaunt, it may come as some surprise that Honest Abe loved to snack, and one of his favorite foods was the timeless cheese and crackers. Lincoln liked his with fruit and nuts as well, making brie an obvious choice. Marin French Cheese Co.’s Californian version hints at almonds and goes well with almost all fruit. It also pairs with bubbly, so the next time you drink a toast to the reunification of the republic, remember to include Abe’s favorite nibble.
OK OK, so not exactly a curd, but our main man Franklin D. found grilled cheese irresistible, and the sandwiches were a staple in the White House for the dozen years of his president. Although creating another excuse to eat grilled cheeses probably isn’t necessary, it can’t hurt, right? Here’s an excuse; there’s an another excuse; here’s an excuse with doughnuts. Ok, that’s enough excuses to eat grilled cheese. Sorry.