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Archive for the ‘Pairings’ Category

Before the advent of modern brewing, the traditional German brewing season would finish in March just as the temperatures got high enough to create uncertainty in the brewing process. Because these beers (known as Märzenbier) would be cellared through the summer, they needed to be heartier brews that could hold up until the next brewing season began in September. These malty, robust lagers with their deep copper color and higher alcohol content are traditionally enjoyed during Oktoberfest in the final month before the new brews arrive.

Today, Oktoberfest is a massive party with 6 million people enjoying 7 million liters of beer over the span of 16 days. Despite the lure of such a gathering, we prefer to stay States-side and enjoy our beer buyer Eric’s selection of special seasonal beers available in our stores from September through October.

Our Favorite Oktober Fest Beers

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Cabot Clothbound cheddar and heirloom applesSpring may be the season of rebirth, but we can’t help a similar feeling of renewal when September rolls around: new season, new school year, cooler temperatures (at least in the northeast). Autumn is also the time to celebrate the harvest – particularly the new batch of apples, that most emblematic of fall crops. Fresh or preserved, apples are a simple and versatile addition to any cheese plate. (more…)

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Membrillo, quince paste, cotognata, marmeladaIf you love cheese, you’ve likely come across the sweet, tangy condiment called membrillo. Membrillo is the Spanish word for the quince fruit and is commonly used to refer to the sweet quince paste also known as cotognata in Italian and marmelada in Portuguese. Even though recipes vary, quince and sugar — cooked to a thick consistency, molded and cooled — are the primary ingredients. The resulting quince paste is a traditional accompaniment to many cheeses including the famous Manchego.

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Although there are an abundance of things to snack on here at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, Effie’s Oatcakes have become a fast favorite of mine. These delicate oatcakes are part cookie and part savory cracker. They are made using a carefully guarded family recipe with origins in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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Manchego cheese from Quesos Villadiego: Añejo and Semi Curado.

Manchego cheese from Quesos Villadiego: Añejo (left) and Semi Curado (right)

A week ago, we received our first shipment of Manchego cheese from the Villadiego estate in Spain.

Villadiego is an artisan, farmhouse producer of Manchego cheese and this is the first time their cheeses have been shipped to the US. We are really excited about these Manchegos – they are exclusive to the shop and they taste amazing! (more…)

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Lo Brusc Acacia honey

When putting together cheese plates for our classes, we pair a condiment with each cheese flight.

Floriano Turco honey: Melata di Bosco

Not only is it fun for folks to try new things together but the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ phenomenon certainly comes into play when pairing cheeses with condiments. Classic go-tos for cheeses are honey, jam and membrillo (quince paste).  We also have a range of mostardas from Italy that provide a wonderfully spicy/fruity compliment to some of our stronger cheeses.  The rule of thumb (as with wine pairings) is generally to match strength to strength. (more…)

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