What’s On My Mindgrapes

in case you were curious


Cheese and Cheesier

Last night, Rox, Jake, and I went to Bryant Lake Bowl for late night drinks and snacks. I was craving a cheese plate, and since Barbette was so packed, BLB was the next best thing. They are both owned by Kim Bartmann, who also owns the Red Stag. All three restaurants serve delicious food with local, organic, and sustainable integrity.

Overall, I was really impressed by the BLB cheese plate. It featured pecan-crusted goat cheese (aka chevre), dill havarti, and smoked gouda, all made in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Since we’re all friends, this dish was easy to share, but it made me wonder if there’s any cheese plate etiquette out there. Is there a process of eating a cheese plate, like the tasting of wine? Yes, there is. The Kitchn’s cheesemonger says it’s essential to smell your cheese before it can be properly tasted. Is it rude to drag my finger across the plate to get those last bits of goat cheese? Apparently not. This guide to eating cheese says it’s customary, and encouraged, to lick your knife when tasting a soft cheese, like goat cheese or brie. Bread and fruit can affect the flavor and mouthfeel of the cheese. Another tip to get the best out of your cheese plate experience is starting with the mildest cheese and working your way up to the stinkies.

More cheese reading pleasure: The Cheesemonger; Curd Nerds

It’s about to get really nerdy: I mentioned my new favorite game Settlers of Catan in an earlier post and my friend Beth was kind enough to pass on this link to someone’s Cupcakes of Catan album. The cupcakes represent all the elements of the game and are arranged to form a board. After clicking around, I discovered that the cupcakes were created for the official Catan Food Contest. Contestants recreate the game using edible objects, like cakes or tapas. I guess it’s an annual thing, held every winter. Here are the guidelines from last year’s contest. Unbelievable, I know. Someone tell Shaun Laden where to sign up!

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3 Responses to “Cheese and Cheesier”

  1. September 16th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Jake says:

    Great Post.

    After losing the last 6 to 7 games of Catan I’ve played, and topping it off by three games in one day losing streak Sunday, I’m going to have to refuse to play against Shaun for at least two weeks.

    If anyone else wants to play, I’m in, but not with Shaun. It might also help to play sober. I do think that a drinking variant of Catan is something we need to work out.

  2. September 16th, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Suzy (as in Aunt) says:

    Hi Jess,

    Thanks for doing this. I like keeping in touch but when I sit down to write find the day to day things seem so uninteresting and then we fall out of touch! Now I want to see/try Catan!

  3. September 17th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    El Jefe says:

    When you are at BLB do they recognize you from B&B and nod or wink? They do for me. I would hope you get the treatment, too.

    I like cheese. And wine.