Have I told you guys yet? I love Halloween. Probably one of my favorite holidays. Because who doesn’t love candy and all things pumpkin?
So ladies and gents, I hope you’re ready for a fantastically ghoulish cheese platter featuring all the Halloween-esque gourmet goodies we’ve got here at the Vineyard Markets!
Nettle Meadow Apple Cider Fromage Frais: I know what you’re thinking, apple cider in my cheese? Trust me, I was skeptical at first too, but this is something special. Coming from upstate NY, Fromage Frais is Nettle Meadow’s special blend of goat and cow’s milk, giving this cheese a nice fluffy, almost-whipped texture, and this particular variety has a lovely blend of spices mixed in to deliver a slightly sweet apple spice flavor–trust me you won’t regret trying this one.
Montchevre Goat Pumpkin: Again, I know what you’re thinking…but c’mon! A creamy goat cheese base with a little pumpkin added in–what could possibly go wrong with that? This cheese delivers the traditional textures of a goat log accompanied by a nice pumpkin flavor with a subtle spice at the end, sure to please all of your ghoulish guests.
Vampire Slayer: You didn’t think I’d forget this classic did you? If you’re not familiar, this cheese comes from not too far away in Pennsylvania from Calkins Creamery. A special cheese we only get around this time of the year, given its name, Vampire Slayer is a cheddar base spiced up by some garlic, onion, and paprika. Perfect for fending off unwanted fang-toothed friends on Halloween.
Terrapin Ridge Pumpkin Honey Mustard: While this one isn’t a cheese, it’s every bit as important to this cheese platter as the cheeses. A new item to our Vineyard Markets, this pumpkin honey mustard may sound a little bizarre (I know), but it’s honestly pretty darn delicious. It’s got a creamy texture and a great pumpkin flavor, followed by a lingering spice at the end that I can’t help but think of pumpkin pie.
Other accompaniments: Try adding some yummy dried fruit crackers, like Kii Natural Crisps or one of the Toasts for Cheese varieties by The Fine Cheese Co. (pictured). Another great choice would be some fresh-cut apple slices–spread on the cheese or dunk in the honey mustard!
What a jam-packed year this is with holidays; we had Valentine’s Day the weekend after Super Bowl, and now we’ve got Easter hitting us while we’re still nursing our hangovers from St. Patty’s Day! I’ve decided I’m okay with it, however, because of how much I love Easter. It’s one of the few times a year my big ol’ family gets together to–you guessed it–eat a bunch of yummy food (and candy of course).
Working where I do, I’m always the one to supply the cheese and crackers. This year, I came up with this simple and delicious cheese platter to bring with me to my sister’s house on Sunday.
Bel Gioioso Burrata– If you haven’t had Burrata before, you’ve seriously gotta hop on the bandwagon ASAP. These little jewels, coming packed two to a container, are balls of fresh mozzarella that are filled with shredded mozzarella soaked in heavy cream. Mozz-lovers rejoice. This stuff is amazing slathered plain on some bread or drizzled with a little olive oil or balsamic.
Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta– Whenever someone asks me what my ultimate favorite cheese it, this is the one I go to. A blend of sheep and goat milk marinated in a mixture of olive oil, rosemary, black peppercorn, and other herbs makes for a much more approachable and savory feta than you’re probably used to. I’ve sampled this many times and have yet to find someone that doesn’t love this cheese. A must-have with some good crusty bread to soak up the olive oil with.
Parmigiano Reggiano– A classic. Coming off of a beautifully crafted 90lb. wheel, this isn’t your standard old supermarket container of grated Parm–this stuff is the real deal. It has a nice sharpness that you’d expect from Parm but with a nice nutty sweetness. Not just for grating on your pasta, put it on your cheese platter with rustic chunks chipped off for snacking. If you wanna go crazy, serve it with just a touch of some really nice balsamic.
Creminelli Tartufo- What’s a cheese platter without a little salami? Originally hailing from the motherland Italy, Creminelli makes some incredible cured meats. This salami in particular is infused with Black Summer Truffle, giving it that extra earthy richness that so many are obsessed with. Great for special occasions.
Noel Chocolate Truffles- And Easter without chocolate? No way! Deemed “fancy French truffles” on the box, these treats are one of a kind. I was genuinely impressed (and in love) the first time I ever ate one of these. Dusted with cocoa powder, each truffle is a fudgy chocolate heaven inside with just the right sweetness for this platter.
And last but not least, don’t forget to grab a loaf of Il Forno Bread, baked fresh and delivered in the morning to your local Bottle King Vineyard Market.
* Please check with your local Bottle King for bread delivery days.
Love is in the air!
Gosh time is flying this year. Didn’t we just finish arguing with our next door neighbor about who was going to win Super Bowl 50?
Valentine’s Day is so very close–only a couple of days away! So I’m here, of course, to give you some tasty suggestions for a cheese platter that will knock your socks off!
Mini Brillat Savarin: This is an incredible triple-crème from France. It’s super creamy and luscious and has a fairly mellow flavor profile–an unbelievable pairing with your favorite bubbly for you and your loved one. Produced in miniature wheels weighing around 7oz. each, these make a great presentation on your platter.
Montchevre Goat Log with Honey: If you haven’t had honey on your goat cheese before, you’ve been sorely missing out. With just a little drizzle, the tanginess from the goat cheese gets the perfect compliment from the rich sweetness of the honey-because who doesn’t want a little something sweet on Valentine’s Day? And this gem from Montchevre creamery does all the work for you! Each 4oz. log comes premixed with honey already, so all you need to do is unwrap and indulge.
Marinated Mozzarella: Great for sharing with your Valentine’s Day partner, made by Formaggio, bite-sized balls of fresh Mozzarella are marinated in a blend of olive oil and herbs, resulting in a tasty and savory bite. And even better yet, the leftover olive oil makes for an amazing snack on some crusty artisan bread alongside a bottle of wine.
Sartori with Cognac: This is a very special, limited release cheese that we get in for very special occasions. Sartori’s original Bellavitano cheese is aged for a minimum of 18 months before being steeped in a bath of Remy Martin Cognac for 7 to 10 days, resulting in an unforgettable and flavorful taste that’s sure to make for a memorable night.
Champignon Grand Noir: Well now, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a little spice at night, right? I give you one of the richest and most decadent blues I’ve had. The creaminess of this cheese cuts through some of its pungency, though still leaving enough for even the most hardcore blue fans. Even people on-the-fence about blue cheese seem to fall in love with this guy!
This cheese plate is scrumptious on its own with some crusty bread or thin wafer crackers (like my favorite Waterwheels!), but feel free to dress it up with some fresh red grapes, pumpernickel bread, and salty mixed nuts.
Feeling a bit sweeter? No problem! We’ve got a great selection of chocolates and other sweet treats at our Bottle King Vineyard Markets to satisfy all of your heart’s needs.
What’s your favorite way to get cheesy on Valentine’s Day?
All too many times I’ve brought some tasty cheeses home from work only to scour my kitchen drawers for the perfect knife to indulge with. Unfortunately, I end up with a big ol’ butter knife more often than not. So you can imagine my delight when we got in a gorgeous selection of high quality cheese knives at the Bottle King Vineyard Markets!
Made by Boska and just in time for the holidays, I’m stoked to introduce three individually sold cheese utenils: a “Cheesy” knife, Brie knife, and cheese slicer; a four-piece mini cheese knife set: includes a Parmesan knife, spreading knife, cheese knife, and “cheesy” knife; and serving slates in two sizes: small and large. All utensils are made completely of stainless steel, giving them a beautiful and sleek look that’s perfect for indulging alone or showing off for company.
Boska is a huge name in the cheese world, and they’ve been around for over 100 years, producing their first cheesewares in 1896! Proud of their Cheesewares and confident in their quality, the company even includes a 10 year warranty on all of them.
With the holidays just about here, these wares make a great gift. Come on in and grab some Boska products for the cheese lover in your life!
Growing up, my sister was always obsessed with Halloween; as soon as October hit it was “Pull out the decorations, fam!” And this year was no exception: the spooky light-up bat eyes have been hung in the bushes and the front door has been wrapped in bright yellow “CAUTION!” tape. Now all we need is a spooky cheese plate to go along with it!
Brie with Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves
What says Halloween more than a gooey piece of Brie slathered with some ominously blood-red jelly?! Pick your favorite Brie (we used Brie D’Amir for this one) and crack open a jar of Rothschild Farm’s Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves. Grab a spreader and go nuts! The more preserves you use, in my opinion, the better.
Tomme des Pyrenees with Peppercorn
A new addition to our Vineyard Markets, this creepy delight is super creamy with a unique peppery flavor that’s sure to wake up the dead! Wrapped in a Frankenstein-green wax, this cheese is a must-have for this holiday.
Calkins Creamery Vampire Slayer
Could a Halloween cheese board be complete without this cheese? I think not! Keep those baddies away and ensure that you have a fang-free night with this secret weapon: a flavorful cheddar marbled with garlic and paprika (read more about it HERE).
And of course, we’ve got one more special limited-time treat to share in the spirit of Halloween. Called “Boo Chips”, these little guys are potato chips made in the shape of ghosts! With a light airy texture and a nice crisp taste, a bag of our Boo Chips is sure to make your fellow ghouls feel right at home.
* Be sure to let your cheeses come to room temperature before serving to your guests and ghouls to get the ultimate tasty bite.
Want more fun Halloween food ideas? Check out Kara’s previous post HERE.
Lately, it just feels like everyone I know is getting married–and all around the same time, too! If you’re in charge of throwing your best friend or family member a bridal shower, we’ve got your perfect centerpiece for the snack table: a cheese platter, of course! Helped out by the cute little rhyme we’re all so familiar with (something old, something new…), this collection of cheeses provides a little something for everyone’s taste buds. We’ve edited that rhyme a bit and it goes like this: something old, something new, something stinky, something blue.
Check out the cheeses we picked out from our selection here at the Vineyard Market:
Something old: Beemster XO- Extra Aged
An oldy but goody, this little number has been featured as our Cheese of the Month in the past. A Gouda aged for 26 months, this cheese has a great robust flavor with butterscotch notes. A hard cheese, great for chunking off pieces of; a little bite is all you need.
Something new: Capricho de Cabra Chevre
This one is one of my favorite goat’s milk cheeses. It’s creamy with a clean, not-too-tangy flavor and very mild citrus undertones. Try pairing it with some Dalmatia Orange Fig Spread to really “wow” the guests.
Something stinky: St. Albray
Whenever we cut a new wheel of this guy, the employees are wondering “What in the world is that smell?” A washed rind cheese with a bite much softer than its bark, St. Albray has a slightly pungent and earthy but buttery flavor. Let it sit out for a while as it gets to room temperature and it gets scrumptiously nice and gooey.
Something blue: Danish Blue
Looking as if it’s going to have an overwhelming punch of flavor, it’s numerous blue-green veins are misleading. With a nice subtle piquancy, Danish Blue is a great cheese for crumbling or cubing while cold or even smearing on a cracker as it warms up.
Arrange these four beauties on a plate alongside some Waterwheel Crackers and your favorite spread, nuts, or cured meats; the rest of the party is sure to love it.
Karen from the Morris Plains Vineyard Market sent me this mouthwatering picture the other week and I needed to show it off. It is such a clever use of a cheese and so easy to put together that I will have to try it out at my next get-together!
All You Need:
1 7oz Wheel of any Snowdonia Cheese (Karen used the Red Storm)
1 12oz Fourth Creek Hint of Habanero Relish
1 Loaf of Il Forno Bakery’s Puglia Bread
Some lettuce or other leafy green as a garnish
What to Do:
Now this is the part that will really impress your friends and makes clean up a breeze: Karen actually carved the cheese out of the wax and used the wax as a bowl! Less things to wash at the end of a night is like a dream come true. Then all you need to do is cube up the cheese, pour the Fourth Creek Relish into your homemade bowl, slice up some pieces of bread, and assemble on a plate. It will be one the easiest cheese platters you will ever make.