The event on Wednesday with Daphne Zepos and Giorgio Cravero was awesome! Cheesemonger extraordinaire Marty opened up a huge wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano with his lovely assistant Adam. More on that coming up this week complete with video and photos.
For the present it's time to get into this weeks Perfect Picnic Pairing. Grayson, Demolition, and Pineapple.
First up is the cheese. Grayson is a washed rind cows milk cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia. This cheese won second place in the ACS competition last year and is a staff favorite. The great thing about this cheese is that it truly is seasonal. The cows at the dairy are pasture fed giving this cheese's paste a bright yellow hue. The milking starts in the spring with the first wheels from that coming out in June. The wheels we have now are buttery, creamy, and mild compared to wheels we get as the seasons progress. Later in the season when you try this cheese again you'll be tasting a beefy, fruity and definitely stinkier cheese.
So you've got the cheese, but what are you going to drink with it? Our suggestion is Demolition from Goose Island right here in Chicago. Demolition is a dry Belgian style ale with grassy notes that enhance the flavors found in the cheese.
If you're looking for a spread we recommend the pineapple penja pepper confit from L'Epicurien. The penja pepper is a white pepper originating in Cameroon and has a delicate aroma to it along with a strong flavor. The assertiveness of the pepper, combined with the sweetness of the pineapple make for one complex confit. Sweet without being cloying, spicy without being hot. A great addition to any cheese plate (we even have it as an ingredient on a new sandwich.)
In other news, this Sunday is the pride parade here in Chicago which runs right down Broadway and past our Lakeview shop. We will be open our regular Sunday hours which are from 11am-6pm. Our advice is to call ahead for your picnic, leave the car at home and enjoy a fun and free I might add event complete with a box full of Pastoral goodies!