Formaggio - France versus the USA!

Last night's class at Formaggio had the United States facing off against France for cheese supremacy. There were four rounds: goat, cow, sheep, and blue, and it often wasn't very easy to pick a winner!

Round one was all about pairing a goat cheese with a 2012 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny from the Loire Valley in France. France went first, with Cornilly Frais, from Pays de la Loire, served with Arraya Confiture de Citron from Aquitaine, France. The fresh goat cheese paired very well with the crisp citrus. The USA entry to the goat round was Twig Farms Goat Tomme from Vermont, served with dried tart cherries. I love aged goat cheese, and the cherries complemented it perfectly, so the USA got my vote for this round.

Round two, pairing cow's milk cheese with Boulevard Brewing Company's Tank 7, a farmhouse/saison ale from Missouri. The USA went first this round, serving Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Wisconsin with fresh black plums. The plums were amazing! France went with Comté Fort Saint Antoine from Jura, France, served with Rosette de Lyon and Moutarde au Piment d'Espelette from Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France. I love a nice, spicy mustard, and it went so well with the Comté's nuttiness. France had my vote this round!

Round three paired sheep's milk cheeses with a 2011 Cuvée Centenaire from Chassagne, France. France went first, serving Brebis Abbaye de Belloc from Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France with Arraya Confiture de Fraise, also from Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The USA answered that challenge with Meadowood Ledyard from New York, served with Catskills Provisions Fall Honey, also from New York. The honey had an amazing taste and texture, and went excellently with the great stinky cheese, but France still pulled out ahead for me, and won this round.

The final round paired blue cheeses with Mystic Brewery's Day of Doom, made in Chelsea, MA. It was a strong beer to match some strong cheeses. The USA went first, serving Bayley Hazen Blue from Vermont with Bureau's Maple Kettle Corn from Connecticut. Their competition then served Roquefort Vieux Berger from Midi-Pyrénées, France with Durand 70% Cacao Madagascar Chocolate from Brittany, France. I love both Bayley Hazen Blue and Roquefort, so this was a very tough decision. In the end, I had to go with the Roquefort, so France won, overall, for me. France won for the class as well, although the vote wasn't very lopsided. I wouldn't say this means ignore the USA when it comes to cheese, though, as some of these votes were very difficult to make! :)


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