Jul 10, 2008

"Three Cheese" for Summer!

On a hot summers day, what could be more perfect for dessert or a light meal than a Cheese Plate?

Today, I have before me Young Walnut Preserves, fruits and biscuits. Yea, young walnut preserves is new to me, too.... and quite unlike any other kind of candied nut I've tried.
It looks like this:

Candied Green Walnut Preserve from Armenia

The cheese keepers at Cheese B suggested three "summery" cheeses for me to use, and provided the following descriptions for each:

A sheep’s milk cheese from St. Benoît-Du-Lac in Quebec. Aging for eight months, this gives the cheese a firm texture but tasting it you’ll note a smooth nutty flavour.

(I found this one very pungent and smoky, rich and creamy. Highly recommended for blue-cheese lovers, or people who usually don't like strong moldy cheese!)

Vento D'estate
A raw cow’s milk cheese from northern Italy, Veneto. This cheese ages in grass from the farm where its produced. The name translates to ‘The Summer Breeze’. Aged one year in-house matures a quite sharp bite and has notes of white wine and lavender."

Monte Enebro
The creator, Senor Baez, is considered a Spanish cheese hero, and this cheese is considered one of the nation’s premier food artifacts. Produced in Avila, west of Madrid, the goat’s milk is semi soft, smooth, with a creamy paste that yields tangy, lingering,and complex goaty flavours.
Pictured Here:

The Monte Enebro: looking too good not to get its own caption

I also chose an assortment of fruits that looked like they would be particularly nice: flat, honey sweet peach, red seedless grapes, fig, and medjool date. Assembling the plate was fun, but eating it was even better. A goat, a sheep, and a cow cheese, each one possessing very unique characteristics to be savored. Voila:

Vento d'estate on the front left, L'erimit upper left, and Monte Enebro on the right.

The wine is Inniskillin 2007 Late Autumn Riesling. It was recommended to me by Cheese Boutique that I use a late harvest or ice wine, or fine port. I found that the wine was good for cleansing and refreshing the palate, as an overly sweet drink may have fought with the syrupy walnuts.

All the cheeses were delicious, but my personal preference by far was the Monte Enebro, especially with the walnut and a drizzle of syrup. Pictured:

Taking a bite of Monte Enebro, walnut, and fig... it defies description!

The cheese counter is so varied I could theoretically make a different plate like this one every week and never get bored, not to mention sweet or savory accompaniments to chose from. What a lovely thing it is-- and no cooking involved!

To summarize, here are the ingredients I used today:

Vento D'estate
Monte Enebro

Cheese Companions:
Red Seedless Grapes
Medjool Dates
Noyan Young Walnut Preserve
Almondina biscuits

Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling
(from LCBO)


  1. "Three Cheese" for Summer!
    Well, that definitely taste (sounds - in my upper pallet) as a perfect balance, creamy, sticky and naughty sweet mélange for these hot days in T.O. Esp. young walnut (where did you find it?).
    What is needed here (in my humble opinion) is an accent, something completely different !

    And that would be the sour cherry ! The real one picked fresh (don't wear white T doing it) from the tree. And esp. not from the fridge.

    Where do you find it... well the only place I know is the Mennonite's market at St. Jacobs (or should we call it Jakobsfeld). About an hour drive east, around Elora. THere is only one or two weeks span in the season for this treasure of the mouth watering and mouth shrinking pleasure (yes they are really sour) THese might be the last days. Market is open Thur. and Sat.

    THe reason is that the taste of real sour cherry will make a perfect "kontrapunkt", an accent and contradict the perfect harmony you've created with these three summer cheese. Otherwise we will be hypnotized and fall asleep too soon.

    Good choice of wine.



  2. Thanks for the suggestion, DK. I haven't been to the St. Jacob's market for sometime-- too long. Since you ask, the Young Walnut Preserve can be found at none other than-- Cheese Boutique!