Have you ever been invited to a party, accepted the invitation and then realized that you now need to bring a gift for the host. What will you bring them? It can be a bit of a daunting task and of course you do not want to bring the same thing as everyone else. Don’t worry, just bring cheese! Not only does that show forethought and kindness on your part, but it is something everyone can enjoy and will work well with the bottles of wine everyone else is bringing. Here at Zabar’s we have you covered. We have picked four cheeses that any host is sure to like and all you have to do is grab a crusty baguette and you are set. See that wasn’t so bad was it?
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Le Grain d’Orge may look a lot like Livarot but the major difference being that it is washed in Calvados. This makes it darker in color and sweeter yet still strong in flavor. And the best part is that it comes gift wrapped. Carre Chevre (literal translation of its name is square goat) is a bright white, soft ripened goat’s milk cheese. Slightly sweet with brie like tendencies, this cheese will be the hit of the party. La Layenda is Manchego that got dressed up for a party. After being wrapped in herbs and then soaked in brandy, this cheese is the ideal blend of nutty sheep’s milk and sweet, herbal flavors. Who doesn’t want a cheese with these qualities? Oregon Blue is one of the best American Blues available thanks to the love and hard work of two generations of cheesemakers. This cheese has such a strong history that it is sure to be the life of the party.
So forget the usual gifts and surprise your host with cheese from Zabar’s.
Le Grain d’Orge
Very similar to its cousin, Livarot. This one has a rind that's washed in Calvados (apple brandy), and it isn't too pungent - although it'll get more so with age - and it's delightfully fruity and milky with a hint of mushrooms. What ties it all together is a pronounced meaty flavor, like that of well-aged beef. Made of pasteurized cow's milk in the Basse-Normandie region of France.
Are you one of those people who craves creamy, runny cheeses? Do you go for goat's milk cheese? Maybe you aren't sure. Here's an excellent way to find out: this supremely enjoyable soft-ripened, bloomy-rind chevre. Not "goaty" or animally, it is rich, sweet and milky, with a lite salty tang and an aroma of white mushrooms. It's oozing and creamy, sometimes with a bit of a chalky center. Pasteurized, from Poitou, France.
This is one of the fruitiest sheep's milk cheeses we've ever had. So good! Upon tasting, the sweet, fruity flavors burst upon the palate, then mellow into nutty, milky, herbaceousness (is that thyme?). It's no accident, because the rind of this cheese is rubbed with oil and herbs before it is submerged in Solera brandy for 5 days. Raw sheep's milk, aged for about a year. Made in La Mancha, Spain.
Second-generation cheesemaker, Ig Vella, developed the recipe for this superb, artisan-made blue. Hand-made in Oregon using only raw cow's milk, it arrives with tons of blue veining and a crumbly, semi-soft texture. It is assertive and punchy, though not as acidic as Point Reyes Blue or Maytag. Milky, garlicky, toasty, and tangy - it's the raw milk that gives it such complexity, and the careful production that gives it so much character.