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Archive for Cheese Of The Week

RECIPES: It’s Cherry Time!

Fresh cherry season begins in May; but today is George Washington’s Birthday, a traditional occasion for cherry pie and other cherry recipes.

We started the day with a Cherry Yogurt Parfait. Chobani, Dannon and Yoplait, among others, sell cherry-flavored yogurt; but one can easily make a more festive yogurt parfait. And we did! We prefer our parfait to a cup of cherry yogurt.

RECIPE: SUPER-EASY CHERRY YOGURT PARFAIT

Ingredients

  • Yogurt brand of choice, in plain or vanilla; if you can find cherry yogurt, great
  • Cherries: fresh in season, frozen in the off-season
  • Optional: dried cherries (alone or in combination)
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    What about canned or jarred cherries or cherry pie filling?

    You can mix cherries in water or light syrup into plain yogurt, but sweet, gloppy pie filling is over the top.
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the yogurt and cherries in a mixing bowl, in your preferred proportions. Reserve a few cherries as a topping for the parfait. Stir to combine.

    2. SCOOP into a dessert dish, parfait dish, Martini glass or other festive vessel. Garnish with the reserved cherries and serve.
     
    HOW TO ENJOY YOUR CHERRY YOGURT PARFAIT

  • In the “normal” way—as a yogurt parfait.
  • Atop dry cereal (we eliminate the milk, and enjoy the cereal at its crunchy best).
  • As a topping for pancakes or waffles.
  • As a garnish for fruit salad.
  • Spooned over pound cake or angel food cake.
  • Atop frozen yogurt.
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    DON’T WANT CHERRY YOGURT?

    Pick up some Welch’s Fruit & Yogurt Snacks in the new Cherry flavor.

     

    Cherry Yogurt Parfait

    Welch's Fruit 'n Yogurt - Cherry

    Top: Make a Cherry Yogurt Parfait like this one from ChooseCherries.com. Bottom: Want something that’s grab-and-go? Have fun with these yogurt-covered cherry snacks from Welch’s.

     
    Small, round and chewy, they are, alas, addictive. There’s more information on the Welch’s Fruit Snacks website.

      

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    CHEESE: Piave Vecchio

    It’s Columbus Day, so let’s celebrate a great Italian cheese. Here’s a favorite cheese of professional cheese buyer and guest blogger Jeff Shearer, of Mandi Foods:

    As the long summer days turn over to the cooler nights of autumn, our food choices move away from the fresh cheeses and lighter dishes to more of the hearty cheeses, roasts and casseroles. Fall is a great time to enjoy Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, Brie and Camembert.

    And Piave Vecchio. This hard Italian mountain cheese has a fine, rich taste and golden color—a buttery cheese that combines the flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano and farmhouse Cheddar.

    Piave Vecchio pairs well with polenta and risotto, and as a table cheese with Zinfandel, richer white wines (such as Chardonnay) and medium-weight reds such as Merlot and Pinot Noir. Beer drinkers can enjoy it with amber, nut brown or IPA ales.

     

    Piave Vecchio, a terrific Italian mountain
    cheese. Photo courtesy PiaveVecchio.it.

     

    The cheese gets its name from the Piave River, which flows through the mountain valley in the Italian Alps where it is produced. The name means old (aged) Piave cheese. If you find one called Piave Stravecchio, it is “extra-old,” the extra aging creating a cheese that tastes like a young Parmigiano Reggiano.

    Grate it over fried polenta and soups, add it to grits or a risotto, shave it over a green salad or include it on the cheese plate.

    Piave Vecchio is a gem often hidden in the long shadow of its very famous cousin, Parmigiano Reggiano. Piave Vecchio deserves its own time in the spotlight.

  • Learn more about Piave Vecchio and get recipes.
  • Brush up your cheese know-how in our Cheese Glossary.
  •   

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    CHEESE OF THE WEEK: Morbier Cheese From France

    This week’s cheese recommendation is from guest blogger Dana Romero, proprietor of La Fromagerie D’Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana.

    Morbier (more-bee-YAY) is one of France’s best-known cheeses. It is a semi-soft, aromatic and surprisingly mild French cow’s milk cheese, defined by the dark vein of vegetable ash streaking through its middle.

    Today, the ash is purely decorative, a nod to the method by which Morbier was once produced in the small village of Morbier in eastern central France, bordering Switzerland. It has a rind that is yellowish, moist and leathery. The cheese is aged for at least 60 days and up to four months. It has an assertive scent, but a mild, sweet, buttery taste and a nutty aftertaste.

     

    Morbier cheese is easily recognizable by the layer of ash in the middle. Photo courtesy MurraysCheese.com.

     

    Morbier is a byproduct of Gruyère. Way back when the cheesemakers in France’s Franche-Comté region of France were concentrating on producing Gruyère de Comté, they often had leftover curds at the end of the day. However, they didn’t have enough to make a full Gruyère de Comté, so the cheesemakers would make a smaller cheese. After packing the leftover curds into a mold, they would blacken their hands by rubbing them on the exterior of the copper pot used for cooking cheese curd. The resulting ash was smeared on top of the evening curd to keep it from drying out overnight.

    The next day, there would be more excess curd from the morning cheesemaking session, and that would be laid on top of the ash. The Morbiers of Jura and Doubs (départments—think counties—within the province) both benefit from an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation, although other non-AOC Morbiers exist.

    Do not confuse Morbier with the American Mobay cheese, a Wisconsin semisoft cheese made of one layer of goat’s milk and one of sheep’s milk. In appearance, it is similar to Morbier, with ash separating the two layers. The taste, however, has nothing in common since the milk is not the same.

    Morbier is excellent served with Gewurztraminer or Pinor Noir.

    Find more of our favorite cheeses.

      

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    CHEESE OF THE WEEK: Kuh Heublumenkäse


    Kuh Heublumenkäse from iGourmet.
    This week’s cheese recommendation is from guest blogger Dana Romero, proprietor of La Fromagerie D’Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana.

    A semi-hard cheese (or Schnittkäse), Kuh Heublumenkäse comes from Bavaria, the largest state in Germany. Bavaria contains the city of Munich, and according to GermanFoods.org, 75% of German cheeses are produced there. This cheese is made from cow’s milk, with floral and herb ingredients that include safflower, blue mallow, peony and marigold, with rosemary, oregano and a dash of unrefined rock salt.

    To achieve Kuh Heublumenkäse’s strong floral character, the cheese-makers first coat the cheese wheels with herbs and flowers and then seal it with transparent wax. It’s then allowed to ripen for six months, during which time the combined essences seep into the cheese’s paste. By the time it’s ready to eat, this innovative cheese is bursting with aroma and flavor. The creamy cow’s milk balances perfectly with the herb and flower flavors. In addition, consumers buy the cheese with the coating still intact, so diners get to not only smell and taste the floral notes, but also see the colorful flowers entrenched in the wax. Consider this cheese for your next tasting party or as a hostess gift—its lovely presentation will be the highlight of the cheese plate.

    So, as you wait out the arrival of spring in the bloomin’ cold, have a taste of a fresh flowering meadow. I encourage you to ask for this cheese from your local cheese monger and pair it with a Pinot Grigio. Or, for an authentic German experience, pair it with a dark German-style beer such as Gordon Biersch Dunkelweizen.

    You can learn more about German cheese (and other foods) at GermanFoods.org. If you’re looking for German cheese in your local shops, keep an eye out for any names that end with the suffix käse—German for “cheese.”

    Shop igourmet.com

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    CHEESE OF THE WEEK: Menuet (Actually Related To The Dance!)

    You can dance the minuet, and you can nibble on some Menuet, one of numerous small batch, farmhouse cheeses found in the countryside of Normandy, a region in the north of France that hugs the south of the English Channel  and is known for its great dairy products: fine cows grazing on fine pasture. Factoid: Normandy is actually divided between French and British sovereignty. The continental territory belongs to France, and the Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, are under British rule. Both areas were part of the former the former Duchy of Normandy. If the names sound familiar, Guernsey and Jersey are known for their great milk cows, which leads us back to cheese.

    Learn about this rare artisan cheese.

    Menuet, the cheese, is named after minuet, the
    dance. Originating in France, this Menuet is made
    by Dancing Cow Cheese in Vermont.

    Shop igourmet.com

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