Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Cheesier, the Better

Magnet # 442:  A Cheesy Vermont Magnet


Material:  Rubber


Purchased By:  Me

Yes, there are some events that are worth mentioning on here pretty much every year and Cheese Day is easily one of them.  It's coming up tomorrow, so here's your chance to stock up on some of your favorite varieties.  I know my love of this particular dairy item is well documented on this blog, so it's a safe bet I will be celebrating the occasion.  I'm just not sure yet which cheeses I'll be having.  In the past few months I've been craving a selection of them, like on a platter, so maybe I'll put one together for the special day.  Of course, that could be expensive and leave me with plenty of leftovers, so I'm not sure if that's a great idea.  I wonder if there are any places around that can sell me a decent pre-made cheese platter.  But given my aversion of blue cheeses and Swiss, it might be tough for me to find one that would work.  Well, I'm sure I'll figure out something in time for the celebration!

I just couldn't resist picking up this cute magnet when I was shopping at Morse Farm in Vermont last year.  In case you haven't noticed, the cheese is in the shape of the state - nice touch.  Given the Green Mountain State's interest in producing so much of its own food and drinks as well as its abundance of dairy cows, it has some of the nicest artisanal cheeses in the nation.  In fact, it has over forty cheese manufacturers, and even offers a Vermont Cheese Trail.  I imagine some of the most diehard dairy lovers must try to hit every stop on the route.  And while I didn't have the opportunity to travel it myself during my stay there, I did at least order a cheese plate as an appetizer when I dined at Montpelier's Main Street Grill and Bar.  They were kind enough to substitute another cheese for the blue cheese that came with the plate.  All of the varieties were very fresh and I enjoyed every one.  They had a nice selection of both hard and soft cheeses and the bread that accompanied them was also delicious and very fresh.  That appetizer may have been the highlight of my meal.  I also sampled some cheeses at a few other stops I made in Vermont, and they were delicious, too.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to drop by any of the locations on the Vermont Cheese Trail, not even the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, which was just off my route, but I didn't realize I was passing by it at the time.  This company ships their cheeses all over the nation, so it would have been fun to check out their Visitors Center in Cabot, Vermont.  There, tourists can see how their offerings are produced and sample the many variations of their award-winning "World's Best Cheddar."  Personally, I'd be curious to try their Seriously Sharp variety, which is aged for ten months - for comparion, their mild only ages two to three months.  It might be more than I can handle, but I'd still like to give it a shot.  If I ever make it back to the area, I'll have to put this attraction on my itenerary.

While Vermont may be a great destination for cheese lovers, it's hardly the only one.  Wisconsin leads the nation in cheese production and is known for its cheddar, and New York and California also produce a good deal.  And, of course, there are plenty of nations around the world that are known for their gourmet cheeses.  France has over 1,000 different varieties of cheese, 56 of which are classified, regulated, and protected by their laws.  And in nearby England, cheese is also a big deal - let's not forget that Cheddar was the birthplace of one of the most beloved types of all.  And plenty of other European nations, like Italy, Switzerland, and Spain, are fantastic places to try out cheese.  But some parts of the world are sadly lacking in the dairy delight, like Eastern Asia, where it's almost never included in any dishes.  It's believed to be partially due to the fact that many of the natives there are lactose intolerant, but I'd sure like to see how nations like China, Japan, and Thailand would handle cheese.  And even if you can't hit the road this Cheese Day, try stopping by your local store to see what cheeses they have to offer from around the country and the globe.  Whether you indulge in an old favorite or try out a brand new variety, this is a great time to unwrap a slice or block and ascend into dairy heaven!

2 comments:

  1. So how fun is this!? No surprise that I love Cheese (I am on the Cabot team!) but here's the really great part... I love magnets! My family is in the.... wait for it.... magnet business! Not the decorative ones, but all kinds of really great magnets and so they're a big part of my life.

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  2. Wow - I guess this post is perfect for you!

    I tried Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack in honor of the occasion and they were both delicious. I'll have to make it out to one of your shops if I'm in Vermont again.

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