Get yourself a taste of place from some of the best in the business! In celebration of our recent Best Cheeses of the Year issue, we’re featuring four cheese plates, representing each region of the USA. We loaded up these platters with our favorite local artisan accompaniments. This week we feature cheeses and pairings from the Northeast in a dessert-forward platter sure to please your sweet tooth.
Hudson Flower from Murray’s Cheese and Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. paired with Milk Chocolate Truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates
Modeled in the style of Fleur de Maquis, this sheep’s milk cheese is made at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in New York. The wheels are then sent to the caves at Murray’s Cheese where they’re coated with a blend of hop flowers and herbs and aged for three weeks. The bloomy rind is earthy and toothsome with a firm, fudgy interior, textures reminiscent of a chocolate truffle. Instinctively, we paired it alongside milk chocolate truffles from Lake Champlain, made-from-scratch with fresh Vermont cream and local butter. Nibble the two interchangeably, and feel the earthy flavors and milky sweetness echo each other.
Briar Summit from Nettle Meadow with Raspberry & Hibiscus from Blake Hill Preserves
A creamy pyramid made with a blend of sheep and goat’s milk and cow’s cream in New York. This bloomy cheese is lightly infused with raspberry leaf tea, lending a perfume that’s more floral than fruity to the rich paste. We hinted at this infusion with Raspberry & Hibiscus preserves from Blake Hill in Vermont, a lightly-sweetened, fruit-forward spread with gentle floral notes. We love how the floral notes complement the complex flavors and cut through the rich, creamy cheese. Try it on a buttery cracker for a bite that tastes just like a berry-filled danish.
Goatlet from Crown Finish Caves and Consider Bardwell Farms with Banana Foster Pecans from Q’s Nuts
Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farm crafts this goat and cow’s milk blend before shipping it out to Crown Finish Caves, located under the streets of Brooklyn. This firm and nutty wedge is smooth and tangy with subtle notes of lemon cream pie. We tried this mixed-milk beauty with spicy, rum-infused Banana Foster pecans from Q’s Nuts in Boston. The sweet, roast flavors created an addictive bread pudding effect alongside Goatlet. Try it with a strong rum cocktail for the perfect dessert.
Bear Hill from Grafton Village Cheese with Tait Farm Foods Pumpkin Butter and Castleton Sesame Graham Crackers
Reminiscent of Abbaye de Belloc from France, this silky smooth sheep’s milk cheese is rich with bold flavors of caramelized pecans and a deep brothy finish. This Vermont classic has a salty backbone, perfect for contrasting against the creamy, lightly spiced, pumpkin butter from Tait Farm Foods in Pennsylvania. Try this pairing on the balanced, slightly salty sesame grahams from Castleton Crackers in Vermont. This perfect bite explodes with flavors of pumpkin pie dolloped with whipped cream.