A Spring Cheese Salon

Spring Cheese Spread

If there’s one thing I love to do in April, it’s host a dairy party with lovely belles from local cheese cases. Last week, I sampled a slew of new cheeses for a Philadelphia Inquirer story (out today!) and was so star-struck by the beauty of some Pennyslvania honeys that I nearly wept. As long as I’ve been covering my local cheese scene, I’ve never seen cheeses quite like these.

“The Philadelphia cheese scene has arrived,” I told my painter friend Mike Geno. “You have to see Ring of Fire and Frosty Morning. These cheeses are not to be believed.”

And so I hosted a very tiny deb ball to show off these delicate beauties to a few men in my life, my neighbors Mike and Larry. What can I say? It was a school night.

Spring Cheeses with Larry and Mike

Out came the notebooks and the tasting glasses. Larry brought two bottles of wine, a refined white Beaujolais and a juicy Barbera d’Asti that tasted like fat raspberries. He also brought his French cheese guide. Brilliant Fellow.

Mike added several glorious bottles of Saison du Pont, and Monseiur Fromage – who arrived rather late in his sweater vest – surprised us all with an eminently quaffable bottle of Southern Tier’s Goat Boy, an Imperial Weizenbock that went with every damn cheese on the board.

Here were a few of our revelations, plus a few tips for hosting your own spring cheese fling:

Frosty Morning (L), Cloud Nine, Ring of Fire

Frosty Morning (L), Cloud Nine, Ring of Fire

 

Revelation #1

Frosty Morning from Keswick Creamery was the cheese that made us all go zshhh! Pastured goat and Jersey cow’s milk combine in an inimitable pyramid that looks like Valencay but that tastes like melting ice cream in a thin rind. Mellow and supple, it needs a springy cocktail or Prosecco, something with loads of crystal fizz.

Revelation #2

Ring of Fire, a collaboration between King’s Kreamery and Kristian Holbrook, was the paprika donut I was dying to try. Gooey within, spicy outside. Curious. The flavors didn’t harmonize quite as much as I might have liked (the spice is fun but didn’t quite work with the high grass flavor in the milk), but the maltiness in Southern Tier’s Goat Boy functioned as an amazing equalizer. Goat Boy and Ring of Fire forever!

Revelation #3

Cloud Nine, from Yellow Springs, is little goat geode with wonderful pepperiness. It liked every drink we put forth. The clove-banana taste in Saison Dupont was a terrific contrast. White Beaujolais and berries made it dance, too. Goat Boy was deemed “absolutely perfect” by every taster. Oh, hallelujah!

Goat Boy Southern Tier

 

Tips For A Spring Cheese Fling

  • Grab a bottle of Southern Tier Goat Boy to try with your friends
  • Pick out several goat cheeses from your local markets or a reputable cheesemonger
  • Set a table with berries, honey, crackers, and bread
  • Ask your friends to bring saisons, ciders, light whites and light reds
  • Pair like crazy and take notes

Spring Cheese Salon Table 2014

Coming up! I’m headed to the following events this month: Drexel Bistro’s Birchrun Hills Farm benefit dinner AND Greensgrow Farm’s After Hours Cheese Tasting. Click the links for tickets. Hope to see you there!

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Comments
5 Responses to “A Spring Cheese Salon”
  1. Allison says:

    I’m intrigued by the Ring of Fire! Bold flavors are very trendy right now. Do I have to go to Philly to find it?

    • tdarlington says:

      Alas, yes, Allison — King’s Kreamery doesn’t have a website, so I believe you may have to come to Philly.

  2. Joe Ulrich says:

    Looks and sounds great Tenaya!!

  3. Margot C says:

    Oh my gosh, to have been there must have been magnificent; even as a fly!

    • mike says:

      trust me Margot, it was better to be a pig in a chair than a fly on the wall! All of these cheeses and drinks were wonderful. Im a lucky guy to know Madame Fromage.

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