I actually made two cheese plates for Thanksgiving this year. One for my parents’ house and one for our little gathering the day after. I only took pics of the one at our apartment so if you are a cheesemaker reading this, be sure your cheese was on the other plate!
This was the Hermann St. cheese plate:
Front row, l-r Beau’s Blend, Bleu des Basques, Benina Crema
Back row, l-r Pau (St. Mateu),* Rush Creek, Prairie Bloom (mislabeled as “cow”. Sorry, it was a long week)
And what the heck, let’s have another picture of the Bellwether Whole Milk Ricotta with pinot-soaked cherries!
If you wanna talk about underrated cheeses, the Benina Crema is definitely under-appreciated. Made somewhere in Merced County the cheese is now being aged longer than the version we carried a year ago and it is tremendous. It’s sweet and sharp like an aged Gouda but organic, hand-made, and from grass-based milk. The Burroughs Family eggs are awesome too, if you can find them!
The Beau’s Blend is another California cheese from down near Watsonville. The Garden Variety organic sheep milk is combined with the milk from the Schoch Dairy down the road. This may have been the most popular cheese on the plate (except for the ricotta/cherry combo).
Rush Creek actually was probably the most popular. It just disappeared so fast it was like it was never there. I’ve written about this cheese before.
Bleu des Basques is another under-appreciated cheese. Think more interesting Istara Ossau-Iraty with blue veins! Awesome.
I will admit that the Prairie Bloom was a free sample. Hey, cheese is expensive, even to me! Still this was a really nice little goat brie from Missouri. I know nothing about it except what we can both read here.
This is what the cheese plate looked like after about 2 hours.
People love cheese.
Please feel free to share any good Thanksgiving cheese stories in the comments. What did you serve?
*Anyone know why this cheese was once called Pau and now is called St. Mateu?
love the animal-shaped porcelain name tags, where did you get those?
Dude, You’re killin’ me with those pics! Some seriously great looking cheese.
Served Pecorino Pepato + regal de bourgogne (with the mustard seeds) + Up In Smoke + Humb Fog (needed a larger goat segment for non-cow/sheep milk consumers)+ Rogue River Blue.
The Regal De Bourgogne got killed hardest. Or as I should have guessed if I’d picked 100% creamy cheeses no one would have minded.
Pau Sant Mateu is the full name, Pau for short. It won the award for outstanding cheese at the Fancy Food Show in New York in 2003, per http://prettytothink.typepad.com/minor_gourmandry/cheese_plate/ . It’s in the Cowgirl Creamery Library of Cheese, http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAU . There is a small town named Pau NE of Barcelona about 2 hours, but it is also a common first name (e.g., Pau Gasol). One site says the cheese comes from a village called Vilassar de Dalt, only 10 miles NE of Barcelona, http://www.therogerscollection.com/Wholesale/Cheeses/Spanish_Cheeses/paussantmateu.pdf . The site says the name Pau is the cheesemaker’s son. It would be interesting to check it out on our upcoming trip to Catalonia, but first I want to try the Torta del Casar.
All that linky-link is probably true, but the name “Pau” is nowhere on the new spiffy labels.
It doesn’t look like it was on previous labels, with the goatherder and goat and tree (and maybe Mediterranean, it’s a little fuzzy), but I’m not sure how far back these go, http://jdygourmet.com/catalog/cheese/domestic_artisanal/beehive_cheese__utah/meat/charcuterie/spanish_dry_cured_chorizos/function.session-start/jdy_spain/artisan_cheeses/goat-cheese-spain/pau_sant_mateu
I just finished your book and really liked it, and I have recommended it to others. Thanks!
When I used to buy it from a different source, it never came labeled at all!
Thanks! Glad you liked the book.
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