Cheese Plate of the Week January 28th 2008

Aged Triple Cream Goat:Goat, Hudson Valley, NY
-A rich texture paired with a buttery, clean flavor separates this goat from your traditional chevre. While its charms are in its delicate flavors, the result is a cheese with obvious attractions that can be enjoyed as part of a cheese plate before or after dinner.

Bitto della Valtellina: Raw Cow and Goat, Lombardy, Italy
-A unique table cheese that has been produced since at least 1600, Bitto blends 10% goat milk into its otherwise cow-milk base. This serves to soften the pate and diminish the sharpness when the cheese comes to be one year old. The result is a very pleasant and balanced table cheese that pairs well with a variety of foods and wines.

Pecorino Gran Cru:Raw Sheep, Sardegna, Italy
-A hybrid of the world’s two most popular grating cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Gran Cru is made to the Parmigiano recipe but with 100% Sardinian sheep milk. Ironically, over 80% of Romano is produced in Sardinia because of the outstanding sheep milk on the island. The Gran Cru is repeatedly washed with olive oil over the course of a year, and is matured in giant, 30lb wheels. These two factors ensure a smooth, sweet, olive flavor full of wild grasses, fruit and vegetation. An outstanding cheese for grating or the table.

Cabrales D.O.:Raw Cow, Goat and Sheep, Asturias, Spain
-We refer to Cabrales as the “Nine-Volt Battery of Cheese.” And indeed, with too much age, only the most tolerate palate can withstand it. However, when it its prime, its piquancy is just right, approaching the line but not crossing it. It is best served with something sweet like varietal honey or fig jam.