Cheeses with Fall Vibes
We all feel it: the air getting crisper, coffee orders changing from iced to hot, your inbox inundated with birthday party invitations from the Libras in your life who have waited a whole year for their moment in the spotlight. It means that Fall is here and it’s time to set aside the fresh, light cheeses of the Summer in favor of something a little more warming. Let’s take a moment to remember all the burrata balls whose innards we savagely smeared on fresh tomatoes over the past few months… Moment done? Now let’s get ready for some Fall cheeses, baby!
Photo Cred: Murray's Cheese
Many years ago when I was just getting my start as an itty bitty baby cheesemonger, I was lucky enough to work at the iconic Murray’s Cheese in New York City. There, I met Greensward, and things haven’t really been the same since.
Greensward starts as the spruce bark wrapped Vermonter, Harbison. If you don’t already know her, the magic of Harbi (as her friends call her) is that it is so ooey gooey and creamy that the best way to eat it is to just cut off the top and scoop right out of the little wheel. Murray’s takes Harbison to the next level by washing young wheels in a hard cider to develop a more funky, earthy flavor. The result is essentially a woodsy, meaty pudding, and the unique boozy wash makes it a really interesting pairing with autumnal ciders that folks tend to reach for this time of year.
Photo Cred: Culture
One look at this old-world style cheese will get you feeling spooky. Why? Perfectly round and naturally dyed a deep orange color, it looks like a damn pumpkin! Cheese historians say that the reason for Mimolette’s signature pumpkindred appearance takes us back to 17th Century France, when all non-French imports were banned and Louis XIV was struggling to survive without his fave snack, a Dutch gouda-esque cheese with a spherical shape called Edam. Legend has it that he commissioned Mimolette to be invented based off that recipe.
This cheeses’s light nuttiness and salty flavor make it perfect for those looking to fill out a Fall cheeseboard, OR for horsemen in need of a new head.
One piece of advice for those buying this cheese for their Halloween spreads: be extra nice to your monger! Mimolette’s rock hard rind and spherical shape make it a super difficult wheel to cut open.
Photo cred: Dedalus Wine Shop
We all love Goudas for their sweet, warming caramelly flavors, and L’Amuse understood the assignment. This super dense, stick-to-your-teeth-like-peanut-butter cheese is packed with crystaline crunch and butterscotch-like sweetness. The secret? This Dutch cheese sits in a room which is slightly warmer than most cheese aging spaces throughout its 2-3 year aging period, imparting it with a toasty, roasty flavor which brings all the autumnal vibes. Pair it with a sliced Honeycrisp for a caramel apple experience minus the sticky fingers.
Photo Cred: Neal's Yard Dairy
Rogue River Blue
Rogue River Blue packs some WILD flavor within its pillowy curds. Wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that have been soaked in a pear brandy, the exterior of this cheese offers surprisingly more sweetness than booziness. Rogue River is seasonally produced in Oregon and only available for the Fall-Winter months, so it’s the kind of thing that mongers wait with bated breath for all year long.
Also, this cheese is a big deal. It made history back in 2019 when it won World Champion at an international cheese competition (yes, that’s a thing), making it the first American-made cheese to have ever won the title. Rumor has it that cries of "Sacré bleu!" could be heard echoing through the French countryside for weeks.* If being named “best cheese in the literal world” doesn’t convince you to take home a wedge of Rogue River Blue this season, then you’ve got issues bigger than my little cheese blog can help with.
*Okay, I made that rumor up. But isn't it fun to imagine?