Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Mary Had a Little Lamb: The Wide World of Sheep's Milk Cheese

This past Tuesday it was time for another fabulous dinner at L'Espalier. The theme this month was sheep's milk cheese, and I had been practicing the song of the evening, "Make it Cheesy", for a few days.

We began with a game terrine of squab, pheasant, and foie gras, served with quince and poached fig. I generally prefer the texture of pâté rather than terrine, but this was really good. The rosé, 2015 Pala "Chiaro di Stelle" from Sardinia, was amazing, too, and handpicked for the course by the Cork Dork of the evening, Nick. His wine choices left our entire table impressed all evening!

Up next was Georges Bank cod with bonito butter, hakurei turnips, and shimeji, paired with 2015 Bella's "Caldera" from Falaghina, Campania.

We were then onto the sweet and sour roasted duck with apple and parsnip, some of my favorite fall flavors. It was paired perfectly with the very fruity 2012 D. Ventura "Viña Caniero" from Riberia Sacra, Galicia.

Mary had a little lamb was the theme of the Grand Fromage, and all of these amazing sheep's milk cheeses were paired with a tasty port, 15-year Valdespino "Isabela", an Oloroso from Pedro Ximenez in Jerez.

Louis' cheese plate really shined this month! We began with Odre from Can Pujol in Catalan, Spain, which was my favorite, and then went on to San Andreas from Bellwether Farms in Sonoma, California. After that, we stayed with the more firm style seen here in Paglierino from Casa Madaio in Campania, Italy, and Erraizabal Idiazabal from the Basque region of Spain.

Pico Melero from Duero, Spain, was next, followed by Torta de Barros from Extremadura, Spain. Cheese Guy Louis Risoli finished the plate with two big blues: Ewe's Blue by Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Chatham, New York, and Roquefort by Papillon Black Label in Rouerge, France.

Shortly thereafter it was time for me to grab my guitar and my cheese band. We rocked out as the room sang along to "Make It Cheesy". Then we finished the evening by accepting our payment- two delicious desserts to share! We tried the spiced torte with cranberry cream cheese mousse and rosemary roasted apple ice cream and the Black Hole: four dimensions of chocolate with black sesame asteroids and a cranberry-orange sun.


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