Mastering the Classics with Formaggio Kitchen
I love taking classes from Formaggio Kitchen; they always have a friendly, fun, knowledgeable teacher and excellent food. Last night was a great review of the cheeses that are so good they are considered "classic".
Valençay Cendrée was up first, one of my favorite fresh goat's milk cheeses, made in the Loire Valley of France. It was served with Lo Brusc Romarin (Rosemary) honey, one of the best condiments to ever grace this earth, though, admittedly, I adore hyperbole. The wine, Picpoul de Pinet, paired well with the cheese, and may have paired even better with the second cheese, Camembert Fermier, a cow's milk cheese from Normandy, France, that was served with apple cider jelly.
On to the competition between two very similarly produced cheeses, both paired with Vouvray, one of my favorite wines. Gruyere Alpage was up first, made of cow's milk in Gruyère, Switzerland, it was served with apricot preserves. This was amazingly good, but I loved the savory flavor of the Comté Fort Saint Antoine a little more. The Comté was also made of cow's milk, but in the Jura region of France. It was served with moutarde à l'ancienne.
Manchego Semi-Curado was up next. Manchego is the most famous cheese in Spain, and it is produced in La Mancha. It was served with membrillo, which I absolutely adore, and was paired with Gaspard Pinot Noir. Also paired with the pinot noir was Montgomery's Clothbound Cheddar, a cow's milk cheese produced in the traditional style in Somerset, England, served here with delicious fig jam.
Speaking of traditional, the next cheese was served with Saba, a sweetener that dates back thousands of years. Parmigiano-Reggiano was that next cheese; it's made with cow's milk in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and was paired with 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo. To finish up the night, we had Stilton, a classic cow's milk cheese from England that was served with Mast Brothers Vanilla & Smoke Chocolate. This amazing mix of flavors was paired perfectly with the final wine of the night, Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port.