Okay, I made that up. Nobody really calls Gorgonzola Dolce “the kissing cheese,” but they should because it’s mild and it goes with bubbly. Perfect for New Years. Lord knows you don’t want Stilton breath or Roquefort breath, unless your partner is a salty dog…in which case, rock and roll.
The colder the weather, the stronger the cheese – that’s always been the rule in our house. After the first freeze, I start dreaming of Raclette. That’s probably because I grew up with a Swiss mother who was famous for her melted cheese dishes, and the minute she saw some sleet on the ground she pulled out the fondu pot or plugged in her Raclette machine. Those Alpine types know how to stay warm.
If you love big, fruity wines, chances are you’ll fall chin-over-stilettos for Comté. It’s a big fruity cheese, and it pairs well with everything this time of year – nuts, sherry, even fruitcake.
I have a little thing for goat cheeses rolled in ash. I find them arresting, like Edward Steichen photos. Black against white, grainy against creamy – I revel in the contrasts.
Years at Di Bruno Bros.: 4 Hometown: Metuchen, New Jersey How he got into cheese: I’m a carpenter by trade, but I’ve always sidelined in food -- I’ve worked as a fishmonger, a bartender. In early 2007, I walked into Di Bruno Bros. one day, and I haven’t left since. I like that there’s a vast amount of knowledge to master, kind of like working in historic restoration.
As Hanukkah approaches each year, I start thinking about traditional Jewish recipes and how to put my own modern foodie twist on them. After all, what other time of year do we actually get to eat dinner with our families 8 nights in a row? With candles to light and presents or candy to enjoy each night, Hanukkah is always a special time for family bonding.
I can still remember the first time I tried Époisses – it was at a party three years ago, and when it appeared on the table a hush fell over the kitchen. “Who brought the Époisses?” someone whispered. It was as if a tiger had entered the room.
If you’re a fan of Taleggio, chances are you’ll have a mini meltdown when you try Anton’s Red Love. This bloomy rind cheese from Bavaria is pudgy and fudgy with a yeasty taste that calls to mind fresh baked bread or, better yet, a bismarck.
If you only serve one cheese at Thanksgiving, let me make a suggestion: try Gorwydd Caerphilly (pronounced GOR-with CARE-fully). Not only is it spectacular, it’s essentially three cheeses in one. If you want to have a little fun, treat your friends to a three-part tasting by giving everyone a thickish slice and instructing them to identify the three parts: (1) the rind, (2) the gooey layer below the rind, (3) the cakey white center.