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Megans Cookin: Say Cheese!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Say Cheese!

I recently went to Medford, Oregon and was taken to a sweet little creamery. Rogue Creamery in Central Station to be exact. And it didn't hurt that it was next door to a chocolate shop. A very decadent chocolate shop! As in Blue Cheese Truffles. Let's just say, I'll be getting more then one of those next visit!
I bought four totally different cheeses and some , should we say, condiments? Oh, and a wooden board to plate the cheese on. I couldn't resist! I then took my bounty to Bodega Bay where we shared artisan cheese with good friends around the roaring campfire. I'm sorry to say, I didn't get a picture of that cheese tray because it was dark and it was after a couple bottles of wine. Wine and cheese, now there's a winning combination! Such a winning combo, that I cut up the leftover cheese and made this platter for an appetizer a few days later.

The first cheese was called Barely Buzzed and it comes from The Beehive Cheese Co. located in Utah. This cheese is hand rubbed with ground coffee and lavender buds. This wondeful artisian cheese has won 1st Place in the Flavored Cheddar American Cheese Society Annual Competition in 2007 and 2008. This cheese is available almost everywhere and I recommend it!

This second cheese was interesting. It had a jerk seasoning flowing through it's veins. It was a great selection for a cheese platter and good for a stimulating conversation, but not one I cared for all that much. Bet it would have been much better with a Gewurztraminer wine. (wink,)

This cheese is a Rosemary Cheddar and I loved it!. They had many different Cheddars including lavender, and garlic. Newt time I'd like to try the lavender! It was especially excellent with the Quince Paste.

This is the Quince paste. It is popular in the middle East, especially in Spain. It is made from the fruit of the Quince tree and it's like a thick jam. It comes in a little tub and can be quite spendy. I saw it in the California wine valleys for $11.99 but I got it for a steal in Oregon. I paid $5.99 a tub.
This made the cheese really sing and was popular most with the Rosemary Cheddar.

This was another "condiment" I got. It's a fruit and nut log. It was made by a chef from Portland and he originally made it as a snack bar. When I asked the cheese lady which one to buy, Quince Paste or this, she said, "Hard choice but I would go for the fruit and nut log. So,...
I went for both. While this was delicious, the Quince Paste was the winner in my group.

The final cheese I bought in Oregon was this "Oregon Blue" Smokey Blue Cheese. It's smoked for 16 hours over Pacific Northwest hazelnut shells producing a sweet hazelnut flavor that contrasts the sharpness of the blue cheese. This was one of four blue cheeses they had and I believe the best. We had free samples of them all!

As I said earlier, I took my Oregon cheese to The Wine Country and found a few more cheeses to add to my selections at the Calistoga market. This one I couldn't resist buying. The sign just said it would make a great dessert cheese. SOLD! This was like eating a slice of cheesecake with cranberries. OK, almost like cheese cake.

I left the best for last if I could honestly say there was a best. I mean, come on, IT'S CHEESE!
This last one is a Sticky Toffee Cheddar. I first had this two years ago when I was on a Sticky Toffee Pudding kick. When I saw this cheese, I bought a little chunk and went back to my fifth wheel and ate almost the whole chunk by myself. I had to go back and get more the morning we left Calistoga. This was sweet and caramely. Sticky Toffee Cheddar=my favorite!

We ate all the gourmet crackers that I spent a (Dear Hubby, Dont read the following)
small fortune on in Calistoga. So we just went for Ritz this time. A good common cracker!

I hope this inspires you to go out and try some good artisan cheeses and put together your own cheese platter. It makes a great appetizer, dessert, lunch, of just a simple snack.
Remember, always add fruit. I like grapes.

As Julia Child would say, Bon Appetit!

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Blogger Gaby said...

I LOVE CHEESE!!!! I want to go to a creamery too!

August 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Love it! Great looking spread!

August 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Megan, another beautiful cheese platter. Katie from salt and chocolate just put one up too. I love that Barley grounds, yum . I also love quince. Fantastic.

August 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Janet Ryan said...

I loved the Quince jam with the cheese and wine we ate the other day! I want to try to toffee cheese now! great blog!

August 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Your cheese platter is gorgeous. Don't you love the rogue creamery?

August 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

I used Rogue Blue in my recipe I posted today. I love that stuff!

August 21, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Nicisme said...

I love most cheeses, some of these look fantastic!

August 21, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

You were so nice to share! I wouldn't have!

August 21, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh wow that is a lot of cheese!

August 21, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Yum Yum Yum. That looks great...and I think I hear it calling my name!

August 21, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger 5 Star Foodie said...

How wonderful that you got to go to a creamery! These cheeses look fabulous! A bunch of new ones to me to try! I like the sound of the smokey blue cheese and definitely have to look for barely buzzed!

August 21, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

What a fun post to read. I love cheeses of all sorts. Now I want cheese and fruit and wine....

August 22, 2009 at 3:25 AM  
Blogger Cinnamon Girl aka Reeniā™„ said...

How delicious these all are! I'm salivating looking at those platters. What a treat!

August 23, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Anonymous nora@ffr said...

wow!! m a huge fan of cheese!! yumm!! m wanting that cheese platter now :)
cheers!! nice blog you have here!

August 23, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger April said...

These cheeses look fantastic!

August 24, 2009 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

mmmmm nothing better than a cheese platter if you ask me!

August 24, 2009 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Jennifer, The Lady Riposter said...

Oh yum!! We've got a great cheese shop here but I'd love to see the cheese being made sometime. This looks fantastic!

August 25, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
OpenID pinkstripes said...

I'm in heaven! Love all the cheese!

August 25, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sticky toffe cheese!...i must try this! That has to be cheese made just for me! Two of my favorite things to eat in the entire world...cheese and sticky toffee pudding! ooh man!

October 22, 2009 at 6:31 AM  

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