Cheese and Rum

Cheese and RumSorry, darlings, it’s been absolute crickets around here. Blame it on too many cocktails — last week’s photo shoot for the forthcoming book project with my brother, André, has turned my whole world into a gimlet. But don’t think cheese has been forsaken. Recently, I enjoyed a hunk of Tarentaise Reserve with a quick Dark’n Stormy, and that’s made me to keen to broaden my rum-and-dairy pairing horizons.

I’ve posted some information at the bottom of this post about pairing cheese and rum, but I also want to tell you about La Colombe’s upcoming 4-course farm dinner featuring local (Philadelphia) rum and one of my favorite cheesemakers, Stefanie Angstadt from Valley Milkhouse (remember her from the recent gin and cheese bonanza?). The dinner will also include provisions from Greensgrow Farms, plus a rum cocktail presented by yours truly. Big thanks to Greensgrow’s Kaitlyn Repash for cooking up this sequel.

La Colombe Supper Club, June 17, 6:30-9 p.m.

Valley Milkhouse Cheese + La Colombe rum + Greensgrow Farms provisions

Fishtown, Philadelphia | Tickets ($60) | four courses + beer or cocktail

I hope you can swan over and join us. Expect a family-style meal in La Colombe’s beautiful café space and conversations with makers, growers, roasters, and distillers.

La Colombe

Valley Milkhouse Sign

Stefanie Angstadt and Katelyn Repash making cheese

Stefanie Angstadt and Katelyn Repash making cheese

On pairing cheese and rum: The warm caramel tones found in dark rum pair well with aged Gouda and other dense crystalline cheeses. Tarentaise Reserve (pictured), which is sweetly sharp with hints of pineapple and burnt sugar, is an especially fine match — though it’s hard to come by these days since it won top wheel at last year’s American Cheese Society.

To experiment, look for an aged Gouda, like Beemster, or ask a cheesemonger to point you toward a well-aged hunk with notes of brown sugar or bacon. Then make a rum drink, like the ever-so-simple Dark’n Stormy (dark rum and ginger beer on the rocks — sub in an orange wedge instead of lime to better pair with the cheese), and set off the match with candied pineapple and a dish of salted almonds. Bliss.

Other cheeses to try: Comté, L’Amuse, Beemster, Roomano, Ewephoria, Midnight Moon, Petit Basque


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