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Red, White, and Blue Cheese

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.

Cowgirl Creamery's triple cream washed rind Red Hawk cheese on parchment with a wedge taken out

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Cowgirl Creamery

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.

Westfield Farms Classic Blue Log is a goat's milk cheese with a bone white interior and blue mold exterior for a stunning color contrast on this cheese

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.

Carr Valley's Caave Aged Marisa is a sheep's milk cheese with a beautiful cave aged rind dotted with different molds

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

Lassa Skinner

Lassa is a cheesemonger and one of the co-founders and owners of culture: the word on cheese. When not teaching classes on cheese and wine in Napa, Calif., you can find Lassa entreating fellow mongers to stock our magazine in their shops.

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