Happy (Belated) National Cheese Day

Last Friday (Jan 20th) was National Cheese Day. I (along with many others) was completely ignorant of this particular day. Had I not been checking my FB at work I would not have seen my bosses post, and his brief illumination of that special occasion. I’m sure in Wisconsin there were some crazy parties and maybe even a festive parade overseen by the town’s ‘Cheese Queen’…but this far south of America’s Great Dairyland I’m afraid I was totally clueless.

So in a late celebration of the day I wanted to sample one of our fairly new cheeses. One that has caught my attention many times is a big beautiful cheese wheel of Gouda…but not just any normal Gouda, no this is a true Dutch creation that is imported from Holland. They took the classic smooth taste of Gouda and ad in Mediterranean herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic & cured olives. What you get is a cheese that is out of this world!

 It is so well made that the taste of the cheese is in perfect harmony with all the additions. While savoring a bite I could taste the olives and tomato. The herbs and garlic didn’t over take the taste at any time; they just stayed in the background with a subtle taste that let you know they were at the party.

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Cheese is a wonderful item by itself but it is always better paired with…well anything, for example fruit, slices of salami or deli meat, wine, beer, etc. Now I would have loved to find a great wine to pair with this full flavored cheese, I’m at work and I don’t think popping open a tall bottle of wine to drink at my desk is a good idea. Especially since the only glassware I have handy is my tea mug (hmm wine incognito, maybe some other time).

Relinquishing that idea I went and took a look through our deli case, my eyes fell upon the Mailander salami. It’s the funny one that at first glance looks like it got stuck in a net. When sliced it has a cool flower shape. When arranged on a platter it really adds to the overall presentation. The taste is excellent, while it does have a greasy feel to the touch it didn’t taste as fatty as some salamis I’ve tried over the last few years.  It has a slightly spicy taste that gives it a little tang; it tasted closer to an Italian pepperoni. Although the taste lingered much longer than any pepperoni that I can remember, which would lead me to imagine just how good this would be on a homemade pizza….I can almost picture my husband’s face when I’d pull it out of the oven a pizza with flower shapes all over it 😀

 

Theo came out of the office in the middle of my sampling procedure and told me to melt the cheese on top of the salami. Well I’m not going to turn down more samples a tasty salami and cheese. I wasn’t feeling really creative so I made a simple little roll.  Heated up and combined the flavors of both were really enhanced.  The Gouda by itself would be amazing as a grilled cheese. The salami got pretty greasy after the short trip in the microwave, which let’s be honest… that’s not the best way to heat salami. It tasted alright but it brought the spices forward and not in the best way. To me the mailander, when eaten plain & by itself it is best enjoyed cold.

 

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