Friday, February 12, 2010

Alternative Valentine's Day Cheese - go stinky!

Ah yes, Valentine's Day.  A day of panic for men everywhere.  A day of hopeless expectations for everyone, in a relationship or not!  Might I recommend cheese as an alternative to chocolates (or perhaps as a first course to chocolates)?

I was going to introduce you to an herb crusted Corsican cheese called Brin d'Amour.  I mean - it's the obvious choice, right?  French love cheese.  But really, isn't that a bit tooo obvious?  Maybe I'll save that one for a time of year that needs a little extra love.  Instead, I'd like to suggest that in the same way that two lovers can share a plate of garlic pasta and share the bad breath, they can share some incredibly rich and pungent blue cheese with the appropriate accessories for an alternative, and creative cheese course.  Darling Husband and I tested this out tonight with a powerful Spanish Cabrales.

Look at the incredible blue marbling!  The amount of penicillium mold in this paste makes it very tangy and sharp, but with a dark sweetness hiding underneath.  This is a very rich cheese, and a bit challenging on its own.  When I did the initial nibble, I was almost overpowered, as was DH.  The goal for tonight was to remember to do pairings and not just gobble the cheese off the board, and so when a bit of honey was drizzled on the cheese which was softly spread on the bread everything just popped!  The underlying sweetness of the cheese came back to the surface, and was so much more accessible to the palate.  Dried apricots and a little port rounded out this perfect little dessert.

Enjoy your weekend with those you love.  Share a laugh, create a memory, and if you do it with cheese, all's the better!

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