Anyone can put together a cheese plate (or at least win one… enter Nov. 16-22 at the St. Peter Food Co-op Holiday Open House!), but we think you can get a little more creative with dairy this season.
Keep reading for 5 ways to get your cheese on over the holidays.
Beer and Cheese Pairing
You’ve heard of wine and cheese pairings, but let’s take the fancy down a notch. Beer and cheese can be just as delicious… and possibly a little more palatable to the guys who spend most of Thanksgiving out in the garage anyway.
The American Cheese Society has kindly put together this Craft Beer and Cheese Style Guide as a kind of cheat sheet. Why not print out a Beer and Cheese Evaluation Sheet and invite the whole family to score pairings as they enjoy?
No, we’re not talking about the tiny balls of bright orange Styrofoam that you buy in a plastic jug as the discount store… we’re talking about creamy, homemade cheese balls here! Cheese balls are easy to make and store ahead of time, so you don’t have to stress around party time.
Made with cream cheese, a combination of soft, grated cheeses, herbs, and crunchy accoutrements, cheese balls can be eaten on their own as a snack or as a dip for carrots, crackers, and celery.
Don’t want to bother with making your own? The Co-op offers two cheese ball options during the holidays: our signature Gorgonzola Cheese Ball and our new Pimento Cheese Ball (recipe courtesy of Co-op cheese buyer Jim Vonderharr)!
A trip to any half-decent thrift store will reveal a plethora of fondue sets just waiting to be claimed. Popular in the 1960s and 70s, fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese. The gooey treat is eaten by spearing hunks of bread on long forks and dipping them into the communal pot.
Fondue can be a fun treat to eat with children, although be careful around the heating element and be sure to explain the rule against double-dipping.
Yes, it’s a thing! Professional cheese carver Sarah Kaufmann has carved over 3,000 cheese sculptures, including a six-foot-long alligator that took 57 hours to make! In 2011 she set a Guinness World Record for a 925 pound sculpture at the Wisconsin State Fair.
You can carve your own cheese at home using traditional carving tools from the art store or just everyday kitchen utensils. Why not make it a family event and then put on your very own cheese exhibition? Start with cheddar or another hard cheese, and make sure to pick the coldest room in the house so your cheese stays firm while you sculpt it. The best part? Eating the delicious castoff scraps while you carve!
Make Your Own Cheese
Looking for an activity to do over winter break with your kids or visitors from out of town? Why not try making your own cheese? Homemade cheese is fairly simple to make and allows you to source all of your own ingredients. It can be a fun way to show children how cheese comes from milk, particularly because you have a built-in snack at the end!
Cheese on, friends!