Expected? Perhaps. Worth doing anyway? Definitely.
This Thursday, it's only appropriate to highlight some of our country's best cheesemakers on an All-American Thanksgiving cheese plate. And the best thing about a cheese platter is that there's absolutely no cooking involved (unless you're making your own, that is), so you'll be able to focus on everything else.
All that needs to go into a cheese platter is a bit of thought and perhaps a theme. Lucky for you, we've picked one for you.
Here, a roundup of some of our favorite American cheeses we've covered in the past, many of them due in part to Patrick, our departed former cheesemonger!
American cheeses that warrant a spot on your table this year:
- Cato Corner Farm: Hooligan- Especially good in the winter, when milk is fattier and flavor is amplified. Made from raw cow's milk in Colchester, Connecticut. Washed rind.
- Consider Bardwell Farm: Dorset-Another washed rind, a bit more mild than Hooligan. It's a raw cow's milk tomme, from West Pawlet, Vermont.
- Sprout Creek Farm: Toussaint- Raw cow milk, crumbling, dense paste. Almost cheddar-like. From Poughkeepsie, New York.
- Uplands Cheese Company: Pleasant Ridge Reserve- Alpine-style, raw cow milk, award-winning (and you'll taste why). From Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
- Twig Farm: Soft Wheel- West Cornwall, Vermont's raw cow and goat washed rind cheese. Unreal. Tricky to get your hands on so if you see it, don't hesitate.
- Point Reyes Cheese Company: Original Blue - From Point Reyes, California (go figure.) Super classic blue. Bright acidity and sharp blue flavors, made from raw cow milk.
- Jasper Hill Farm: Constant Bliss and Bartlett Blue. And anything coming from The Cellars at Jasper Hill, too, for that matter! Both cheeses are classic Jasper Hill Farm, from Greensboro, Vermont, both made from raw cow milk. Constant Bliss is bloomy rinded and creamy, Bartlett Blue is... blue.
- Vermont Butter and Cheese Company: Coupole, Bijou, or Bonne Bouche- Any of these three are sure to be consumed. And quickly. Made from pasteurized goat milk, bloomy rinds.
- Fresh, local ricotta- So simple, so delicious. But it must be super FRESH! Ricotta in a tub at the grocery store doesn't count. Try to get some from your local cheese shop or a farmer's market. Serve it with a little honey and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds with toasted pecans before dessert.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Cheesemonger!
Related: Question for the Cheesemonger: What Kind of Cheese Can I Make with my Rennet?
(Image: Nora Singley for the Kitchn.)