We may be in quarantine (or as I prefer to call it, Covid-19 Yinzer Lockdown Regatta), but food delivery is still fair game. And thankfully, along with that, so is our monthly Cheese of the Month delivery from Penn Mac!
In true 101 Achievements Style, we are fully several months behind on our posts, but fret not. We can – and will – get caught up before we’re even allowed to leave the house for non-essential adventures! We’ll start things off today with a look back to that lovely month of 2020, January. Ah, a month when the world was full of possibilities, because we were able to traverse beyond our own ZIP code.
Before we delve into the four cheeses that arrived in this delivery, I wanted to take a moment to discuss our collection of dips and jams. These vary a bit from month to month, with a few that are staples for each cheese board. Most of these are purchased from winery tasting rooms when we go out west, and a lot of the time you can order them online, even if the winery is unable to ship wines to your state.
Our staples that are on the board each month are stone ground mustard (you can get this from any grocery store), sweet beet & horseradish mustard from Williamson Wines, bacon jam from Whalebone Vineyard, and a fruity jam (this time from a grocery store in Taylorsville Lake, where we stayed when we visited Kentucky last fall). Also in this month’s rotation are: honeyed wine mustard with garlic (also from Whalebone), wholegrain champagne mustard from Gainey Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, champagne raspberry honey mustard from Castoro Cellars (a beloved favourite, and we are members of their wine club!), and Maggie’s Horseradish Mustard (which we purchased at a winery in the Finger Lakes).
And now, let’s jump into the wines!
First up we have the Guggisberg swiss. Husband is not the biggest fan of Swiss cheeses, but I absolutely adore them. And this one is no exception – it was creamy, earthy, and just the tiniest bit stinky. As many Swiss cheeses are, this was a perfect pairing with basically every type of dip we have. Salty or sweet, this cheese was the right match. (And yes, it’s a Swiss cheese, but Guggisberg is made just across the state line in Ohio.)
The third cheese this month was the dry jack, a hard but creamy, sharp, and salty cheese. The recommendation is to use it similarly to a Parmesan, grating and serving over salads and pastas. But it was a lovely snacking cheese as well. Its flavors and texture really shone with the bacon jam.
And finally, we had Wisconsin’s Park Provolone. Oh, a stinky provolone is such a magical thing! This was stinky, pungent, and mushroomy. This was a perfect pairing for the sweet dips, like the champagne honey mustard and the strawberry jelly.