Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Day Munchies

It's tough to believe we're officially on the verge of summer, but Memorial Day weekend is coming right up! And of all the rituals and traditions that come along with this holiday: my grandmother busting out her sizable collection of white shoes, Puffy's white party out in the Hamptons (not that I've ever been invited...), parades featuring men in funny coffee-can-looking hats riding around on lawnmower-sized vehicles (well, at least that's how we did it in the Midwest... Puffy eat your heart out!) the humble barbeque is far and away the most venerable institution.



This Memorial Day, Saxelby Cheesemongers has put together a list of our top five burger cheeses for your barbeque or picnic extravaganza. We've also got some delicious dairy trifles arriving this week that need a good picnic basket or dinner plate home! Come on in and give 'em a try... it's a much more satisfying investment than another pair of white shoes.

Saxelby Cheesemongers' Best Burger Cheeses:

Shelburne Farm 2 Year Cheddar
The classic. Who can aruge with cheddar when it comes to a melty, savory burger topper? Shelburne Farm's 2 Year is a stout, creamy, fruity cheddar with just enough of a kickback to make your tastebuds do the boogaloo. For comfort food par excellence, this is your cheese!

Maple Smoked Gouda
One hearty slab of this smokey, mapley-sweet cheese on your burger and you'll forget why you ever needed bacon on there too. A stalwart Vermont creation, this cheese from Taylor Farm is anything but your average gouda. The gentle smoking over maple wood creates a delicate sweetness that is the perfect foil to a juicy burger. I'm salivating just writing this...and it's not even close to dinner time.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Famous cheese man Pierre Androuet once wrote: 'Eating four ounces of a fine Gruyere is just as rich as having the equivalent amount of steak.' Well, I'm pretty sure it was the Americans who switched the famous phrase around to read, 'You can have your cake and eat it too.' So, just in case that hearty burger of yours seems to be lacking in some way, a chunk of this grassy, fruity homage to Gruyere will send your patty straight to the moon.

Red Meck
A relative newcomer to Saxelby Cheesemongers, Red Meck is a bright-eyed, Provolone-esque cheese from New York's Finger Lakes. A zippy and creamy cheese aged for 5 to 7 months; it's sure to add a little spice and panache to your burger-scape.

Shaker Blue
Talk about decadent. Shaker Blue is a raw sheeps' milk blue so rich and buttery and delicate, it'd make just about any wheel of Roquefort blush. Melts on contact, creating a spreadable blue cheese schmear that is equal parts peppery, caramelly, and fruity. If your burger's got the blues, better make it Shaker!

Arriving later this week, keep an eye out for fresh burrata both big and small, sheeps' milk ricotta (first of the season!) from Vermont Shepherd, and smoked (yes, smoked!) cheese curds.

And thanks to all of you who attended the New Amsterdam Market fundraiser last Saturday at New York's Marble Cemetery! The event was a big, bold, delicious success, and a harbinger of a bustling market season to come. There are still a few days to bid on a handful of handmade and homespun food experiences on their online auction, so if you couldn't make it last weekend, or if you want to show your support for a new public market in the historic seaport, visit newamsterdampublic.org

'Till next week, eat cheese, get that barbeque going, and be merry!

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