You know how some things are just better with a textural twist? Think about these: butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, heavy cream. When whipped, they're just tastier. If you have yet to try whippped honey, get ready to flip — and not just for the concept, but for this exact brand — from Québec. I'll tell you how to get it, what cheeses shine most brightly alongside, and the two most inspired ways to serve it on your next cheese board.
Get ready for it. Today is Squeaky Cheese Day, or at least it is according to Tillamook Cheese, which celebrates its 104th birthday by offering their cheddar cheese curds for the very first time to curd enthusiasts.
For the past few weeks, I've been making a lot of ricotta for a project at my full-time job. As a result, there's been a lot of whey floating around. When faced with my first windfall, a coworker told me that dumping the whey is a sin, and that I should throw some on ice and drink up. And now, I've got a big problem.
Consider this my official plea to cheesemakers: Forget about cheese. Start selling whey.
I feel like I've seen and tasted my share of tasty things that fall under the this-can-go-on-your-cheese-plate umbrella. But it's been awhile since a honey, mostarda, jam, nut, or dried fruit has sincerely bowled me over.
And then I came upon this seemingly unassuming but stupefyingly delicious fig ball.
There's a bit of an uproar going on in the Chelsea, New York, cheese community. (Quite the niche market, I realize.) At a well-loved neighborhood store, a cheesemonger's tongue-in-cheek labels on cheese — referencing song lyrics, relevant quotes, and the like — were recently banned by the establishment's higher-ups after a customer complained. It got me thinking about what's most vital to actually have on a cheese label, and what's just an added, if unnecessary, bonus.
I recently visited Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, California. It's a quaint little country store that acts as part gift and antique shop, part thirst quencher rest stop for bikers traversing wine country. In one case, they boasted a tasty-looking fig and olive spread for blue cheese.
I figured that the Jimtown condiment couldn't be hard to replicate, and would make a pretty thoughtful gift around this time of year, especially if accompanied by a healthy wedge of blue. Here, a recipe that combines the savory heft of an olive with the earthy sweetness of a fig.
When I was growing up, my mom used to make a pasta from The Silver Palate cookbook with potatoes, rosemary, and dried apricots. There's something that even a middle schooler can enjoy about the oddly effective combination of rosemary and apricots.
You can make this cheese ball in advance -- say, today -- and keep it chilled. The flavors deepen the longer it sits, and it'll hold its shape better the colder it is. Cheese balls may be the one exception to the eat-your-cheese-at-room-temperature rule.
In a week from today, you'll probably be shopped, planned, and (partially) prepped for Thanksgiving. If you want some Thanksgiving-worthy cheese ideas, look no further than the archives of our Cheesemonger columns. From cheese balls to the tastiest homemade cheese crackers. to spreads, accompaniments, and all the best things to serve with a cheese platter, here's your go-to Thanksgiving guide on how to incorporate copious amounts of cheesy goodness into your meal next week. You can thank us later.