Jackie at Fromage to Yours has another cheese pairing event planned for Thursday, May 7th at the Embassy Suites Denver Tech Center. These events are always fun and very educational. Admission is $10 and $5 of that goes to the Food Bank of the Rockies. As an active volunteer at Covenant Cupboard Food Bank, I am keenly aware of how many new clients we see each week and how much we need food. In my book, the donation to FBR is reason enough to attend, never mind the great cheese and beer!
Jackie carries only cheese from American cheesemakers and her events pair cheeses she carries with local beers, wines and liquors. This particular event features Beehive Cheese Company from Utah and Grafton Village Cheese Company of Vermont and beers from Great Divide brewery in Denver. Some of my favorite snacking cheeses come from these two companies!
By the way, she just added a line of local wines and is planning to offer wine and cheese pairings in her store on a regular basis. Check her website www.echeese.com for details.
Robert and I have taken to nibbling cheese and crackers before (or sometimes instead of) weekend meals. I drop by Fromage to Yours Thursday or Friday to check out what is new and interesting. Jackie is quite free with offering samples! Lately, Robert has really been enjoying Brick from Rocking W here in Colorado. It is a very mild and buttery cheese. I'm totally taken with Beechers Handmade Cheese Flagship Reserve. It is everything you think of when you think of Cheddar -- a little tang, chewy texture, that unique Cheddar flavor. The Reserve is cloth-wrapped and that means the cheese loses moisture during the aging process. As with a sauce reduction, the loss of moisture intensifies the flavor. I've been using San Joaquin Gold from Fiscalini Cheese Company in California for risottos and other dishes where I would use a fontina or a parmegiana-reggiano. Of course, I make no secret that Mezzo Secco from Vella Cheese in California is the special touch that makes my Mushroom Spinach Lasagna a real winner.
Some might think the economy is reason to avoid speciality shops, but I find the intense and fresh flavors of these cheeses allow me to use less cheese and gain flavor.