Our friends Mark and Lindsay got married last year, but at the time, we had no idea what to get them. So instead of just getting something for the sake of getting something, we opted to wait until inspiration hit. And Wow, did it hit.
Check out the spread on this plate!
I have fallen in love with the Spectrum 96 glass that I've been working with lately. It does all the work, and I just cut!
However, the plate would have been entirely too naked presented all by itself. So, Todd and I went to Rainbow Coop in San Francisco to pick up some wonderful cheeses to accompany the tray.
I have to say that it was very difficult to pick a favorite, they all had their own appeal.
On the top left side of the platter is a Vermont, Taylor Made Farms Maple Smoked Gouda, sweet and milder than hickory-smoked gouda.
Top middle is the Welsh Red Dragon, a smooth, firm Cheddar made with Welsh brown ale and mustard seeds.This cheese is buttery and a bit spicy.
On the top right side of the platter is a Dutch Delft Gouda, a cow's milk blue cheese that was slightly crumbly but still a bit creamy.
We had an Ubriaca del Piave (from Bellunao, Italy) a couple of months back and it was wonderful. However, it is only on the market for a few months. So, when we asked for Ubriaca this time, we were guided to the Drunken Goat Cheese from Spain.
It is washed with wine as it ages.
The Carr Valley Mobay sits in the middle of the platter at bottom and is made in two halves with grapevine ash in the center. One half is made with goat’s milk, the other with sheep’s milk.
Nestled in the middle is a spicy hot, organic, Springhouse Cheese Co., Mike's Firehouse Curds from Petaluma, California, flavored with jalapenos, red peppers, parsley and cilantro. At the bottom right of the platter is the Belgian Chimay Bier cheese, which has the consistency of a soft brie and is washed with Chimay beer while it is aging.
As we assembled the plate, we decided to add some dried fruit: Bartlett pear, mango, gogi berries, hunza berries, cape gooseberries and rainier cherries.
To accompany the cheese plate, I fired an oil and vinegar tray and a smaller salt dish. We also filled a 375-mL wine bottle (that I etched with a bamboo pattern) with an extra virgin manznilla olive oil. For salt, we gave them some Black Lava Salt and 'Alea Pink Salt from Hawaii.
All in all, I think it makes a wonderful gift! I hope they were even half as excited about the whole thing as I am:)