Sunday, October 25, 2009

Italian Cheese Platter and Cats

We had (have) a cat emergency so I have not been visiting blogs. Kirsten's (daughter) little guy (cat) Pippin suddenly (very suddenly) took sick. Such is life. He was diagnosed with FIP - always fatal - but not positive so we are looking stuff up on the internet and I am spending my time cradling him. Meanwhile, in an effort to let life continue, I continued with my work for the Examiner. Work (especially with food) seems life-enhancing, Pip is on meds and better and there is another possibility- so we are playing a "wait and see" game. Hard - because we also have a very sick family member. On the other hand, we also had a 58th grand anniversary party for my husband's mother and father! Life is circuitous.

I had the most delightful interview/tasting sessions with Dexa Franks, the Cheese Specialist from Kowalski's. (A local grocer.) She helped me put together an Italian Cheese Platter with all the condiments. More information on the cheese and the interview can be found here.

Dexa is always all smiles at work. It makes spending money a lot easier!

The asiago with rosemary and olive oil is actually local (Satori is in Wisconsin). It's won many awards and is a good choice for a firm and slightly pungent cheese. I love to pair asiagos with Sicilian olives. It's close to a provolone.

The goat cheese of a choice was "Il Caprino" complete with shaved truffles! Good with a condiment or alone - very mellow and creamy.

Boschetto also has truffles. It is very mild - gentle. It's firm but not hard and also pairs very well with the condiments.

Piave is a hard cheese in the style of Parmiggiano - but not as grainy and suitable for eating alone (or with some pickled vegetables!)

This is sort-of-camembert (I know not Italian!) and sort of taleggio (yes! Italian!) and made in Mankato, MN. It has a wonderful nutty flavor (which pairs well with almonds) and is a good addition because every cheese platter should have a double-creamy cheese.

And of course you need a blue-veined cheese and Columbus's gorgonzola fit the bill. It is very creamy and spreadable and would do well with a marmalade or jam.

Rosemary crackers from La Panzanella was one of her choices for the cracker/bread portion. I would also thinly slice some rosemary olive oil bread and some ciabatta.

Panforte would be the sweet in the platter. I would love this with the taleggio.

And from Japan (mama Mia! I am straying from Italy) is a citrusy marmalade - made from the Yuzu fruit. It is really nice with the Boschetta and Piave - has a sparkly taste of little stars bursting in your mouth.

Scalia makes anchovy fillets with red peppers - a nice salty addition to complement the harder cheeses.

And a balsamic vinegar jelly for the softer cheeses and the goat cheese.
I will be putting this all together Halloween weekend to try out for Thanksgiving. I'll let you know how it goes. Happy Halloween week all!


OysterCulture said...

Oh yum, and Italian cheese plate sounds incredible. I love the yuzu addition. I tried something similar after reading that a chef used it with her panna cotta and I thought that sounded so good/intriguing. I am not sure how hard that yuzu marmalade is to find, but something close is citron tea (which in a jar is more like jam) and you can get it at Asian markets - very common.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Hope your kitty is better soon.

theUngourmet said...

Sorry to hear about your daughter's kitty. :0(

I am addicted to cheese. They all look scrumptious!

My Little Space said...

Hi Claudia, it's been awhile since my last visit.'re catching up! Those cheese looks so good and what is panforte? I guess it's not a cheese, right? But looks like something sweet & nice. I'll try to catch up with you. Have to run back to the older postings first..ahha! Cheers.

My Little Space said...

And hope that your cat will be getting better soon!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I hope Pippin keeps improving!

I'd love a chunk of each and every cheese --- I love* love* love* cheese!
The Il Caprino sounds so good!

Goin g to read your interviw next

Barbara GF said...

I'll bring a nice Chianti to go with that luscious cheese platter of yours, Claudia! The sort-of-camembert/taleggio sounds very intriguing. I love locally made cheeses.
Good Q&A with the cheese lady.
And I hope your kitty gets better, soon. :)

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I hope Pippin gets better. It's so hard when pets get ill. When we lived in Texas years ago our collie was diagnosed with cancer and the vet said nothing could be done. We didn't accept that verdict and flew her to Texas A&M's vet school. They made arrangements for our local vet to give her chemo. She was very brave and lived another nine months. Four legged children were the only ones I ever had. the cheese. I've never met a cheese I didn't like.

Katy ~ said...

Oh, I hope the kitty is doing well. I have five fur babies and I'm just heartsick if there's something wrong with them so you have my sympathy and my prayers.

I love cheese, all kinds of cheese. Your selections are so tempting and varied.

Heather said...

mmmmm. drool. i loooove cheese! that looks so yummy! hope the little kitten is better soon :)

Wanda..... said...

Cheese expert you are least compared to me...I do love cheese though, even more than icecream!

Hope Pippin has improved!

Reeni said...

I be the cheese platter will be divine - can't wait to hear about the end result.

So sorry about Pippin! It's heart wrenching to have a sick kitty. Moon was once close to death and it just tore my heart out. Moon and I send him kitty hugs and prayers.

Kim said...

Sorry to hear about your Pippin. I'll be sending good thoughts your way!! I absolutely love all things cheese and would love to get my hands on all of these to try them. I bet your cheese platter will be fabulous!

My Little Space said...

Hi Claudia, I've left something for you in my blog. Please feel free to drop by. Thanks & have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

The cheeses look terrific and I love the sound of balsamic vinegar jelly. Hope your daughter's cat is doing ok.

Nancy said...

Hi Claudia,

I hope Pippin is getting better! Poor little guy.

And what a lovely selection of cheeses. There is nothing quite like a good cheese platter, especially when it includes panforte and balsamic jelly!

janet said...

I hope things go well for the kitty, it's hard when they are sick.
Your cheese platter will be fabulous. I love a good cheese.

gaga said...

Oh no, I hope your kitty feels better soon!

On a side note, my cats love cheese. Weird, huh?

Juliana said...

Oh! They look so yummie...specially the sweet one :-)

figtree said...

Sorry about your cat..hope things work out. I love learning about new cheeses, they all sound delicious.

Miranda said...

Oh Cheese...I love Cheese so much. It is my enemy and my friend....It likes to add itself to my hips with how much I eat. LOL.
Great post.

Donna-FFW said...

I am so saddened to hear of the kitty troubles. Hope all is ok.

Your cheese platter sounds beyond incredible.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm heading over to share that cheese platter with you. Do you mind?

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Love all the cheese knowledge that you are sharing. I sure do need it.

Hug to you guys as you work through all the kitty illnesses!

Me and my kitties will send some prayers your way!

Velva said...

Oh man! These cheeses look good! Good cheese, I think is my favorite food. The Japanese jelly...I just was reading about this citrusy, slight tangy jelly. I am going to have to keep my eyes open through the aisles of Fresh Market.

I hope kitty is doing better.

Miranda said...

How is your kitty?
I hope he is feeling much better!

Heather S-G said...

Oh, that Boschetto..I want some!! I'm sorry to hear about kitty...that's hard :( Fabulous cheese-filled fun!

chow and chatter said...

oh poor lil kitty and wow that platter must have been awesome

The Food Hunter said...

What a great selection of cheese!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Keeping my fingers crossed your your daughter's cat to recover quickly.

I would not be able to pick just one of these cheses! said...

Wow! You are so lucky to have a market with such a wonderful selection. I don't think there's any place around me what such a great variety. Hope kitty gets better!

Anonymous said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.


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