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Thanksgiving Cheese Board

November 29, 2010

Chris and I went to Kansas City this year to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday with my family.  It is not often that we get to see them, so we take every opportunity we have to spend time together.  My parents and sister don’t have a lot of exposure to a variety of artisan cheeses.  Although there is some small-scale production in and around KC, the influences do not compare to what we have available here in the Northeast.   I took this opportunity to bring a few cheeses with me that they may not have access to, open up some wine (and beer, of course), taste and enjoy.

Under normal circumstances I like to have a wide variety when putting together a cheese board.  A goat, a bloomy-rind and some sort of blue always make an appearance, if possible.  I had to make a few concessions for this go around given the fact that I was flying.  I needed hard or semi-hard cheeses that would travel well in a carry-on, without a cooler or refrigeration for several hours.  Not impossible, but a bit limiting if I wanted to play it safe and make sure that everything passed through security and arrived edible and intact.

For starters, I decided to go with the Chin Clip, Inspiration and Gondolier from Mt. Mansfield Creamery.  I have made all 3 of these cheeses with Stan the cheesemaker, so that gave me a point of reference in talking them up with my parents and sister.  As for the other 2…well…you can’t really go wrong with some Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Landaff can you?  Both of these cheeses are a clear departure from the tomme-style of Stan’s cheeses, so they provided more variety of flavor and texture to the board.

All 5 were sampled, discussed and enjoyed for most of the afternoon.  To pair with these, I drank a Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewing Company called “Tank 7”.

There is a nice bit of yeasty funk with this straw-colored Belgian-style that stood up to the bite from the cheddar and the nutty notes of the Inspiration, while also allowing the buttery notes of the Chin Clip to shine through. This was a great pairing all around that was completely spontaneous yet entirely successful.

Even though this day is traditionally about turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, I think the cheese board is going to become a firm fixture in the Estes Thanksgiving tradition.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 8:36 pm

    I love a great cheese plate- way to go starting the tradition and introducing your family to some new cheeses! We’re honored to have been part of the lineup, and the farm families who own Cabot appreciate your support!
    ~Jacquelyn

    • December 2, 2010 9:25 pm

      Thanks Jacquelyn! It doesn’t get much better than Cabot Clothbound, and my family agrees wholeheartedly!

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