The Thanksgiving cheeseboard is a cherished tradition – coming together each year, mixing and matching, sharing stories and favorite pairings with loved ones. There are certain cheeses that find their way back to your table again and again; and there are the cheeses you discovered – while on your summer road trip, or the one a friend turned you on to – new delights you are dying to share with your tribe.
Keep in mind that the cheeseboard is not only an appetizer. When composing your Thanksgiving meal, consider how the cheeses might pair with the main course, all its sides, as well as dessert. For example, a soft goat cheese like Merry Goat Round, or even a fresh chèvre from Vermont Creamery, would pair nicely with your apple and pumpkin pie. Crumbling a little crystalized 26-month aged Gouda over your ice cream is a savory caramel dream. And Birchrun Hills’ Red Cat is divine with garlicky roasted or mashed potatoes (Raclette, anyone?). Below is a road map to get you started on your own unique Thanksgiving cheeseboard. Be creative! There is a lot to be thankful for!
Try one of our many varieties of chevre (fresh goat cheese), paired with toasted pumpkin seeds and cranberry sauce.
SEMI-FIRM AND PUNGENT
Bamboozled, a beer-washed cow/goat blend from Pittsburgh PA’s Goat Rodeo, with tasting notes of peanuts and prosciutto… or PA Birchrun Hills’ brothy Red Cat, or the charming Fat Cat, from the same farm, slightly more tart, and lovely with apples.
Wild Rosemary, a pasteurized goat and cow milk blend from Goat Rodeo in Pittsburgh, PA, coated in aromatic dried rosemary. This cheese pairs well with all of the Thanksgiving sides, including the turkey!
Royer Mt from PA Clover Creek, a Parmigiano style, with the buttery characteristic of a Gouda. Try it in your mashed potatoes! Also recommended is our Spanish Manchego, paired with marcona almonds and olives.
Noblette miniature brie from Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania, or Merry Goat Round, miniature goat milk brie from Firefly Farm in Accident, Maryland. Have you tried the new Intergalactic, from cheesemaker Yoav Perry’s Perrystead Dairy, Philadelphia’s own urban creamery, located in Kensington? This is a cow milk, soft-aged, vegetarian thistle rennetted, wrinkly rinded beauty that is fluffy upon first bite, giving way to a creamy interior with notes of olives and butter. Reminiscent of the finest of Robiolas, with the texture of a Loire Valley goat cheese, this is the quintessential American artisanal work of art. Pair it with your favorite bread, and olives!
Finally, how about a blue note to wrap it all up? We recommend closing with PA Birchrun Blue or smoked Moody Blue from Wisconsin.
Whatever you fancy, be sure to share your delights and creations with us!