When I told my sister I was going to a cheese class as my birthday present from Will, I think she thought it was going to be a very snooty afternoon, but it was totally relaxed and fun. We learned all about cheese – production, cheese types, and most importantly, beverage pairings. I’ve been to CHEESEWERKS for dinner before (I had the Picton as a mac and cheese – so good!), so I knew that they knew their cheese, and this class definitely confirmed that.
We started out with a little snack – a grilled cheese sandwich made with a smoked cheddar and a roasted tomato soup. The soup definitely reminded me that I need to make tomato soup while tomatoes are still in season, because it was so simple and so delicious!
Then we moved into the cheese. We got to try 12 cheeses in all, covering all the major types: fresh, soft, semi-soft, firm, hard and blue. The pairings were very clever and definitely enhanced the cheeses. The ricotta at first seemed quite boring, but when you paired it with homemade blueberry soda it was almost like cheesecake, as one woman in the class observed. It was also interesting to get to compare two different kinds from the same category. The double-cream brie was delicious. But then the triple-cream brie was basically like butter, and reminded me that I need to have brie and baguette dinners more often.
I also got to try my first Caesar ever! OK, technically as a vegetarian I shouldn’t drink Caesars since they have clam juice in them, so I would never order one. But they made one and had it in front of me, and I didn’t want it to go to waste just because it had a tiiiny bit of clam in it. It was amazing. So spicy and salty. Apparently I need to start drinking Bloody Marys.
The one I was most excited to try was the Devil’s Rock which is a really creamy blue cheese. I’ve seen it at St. Lawrence Market before and been very tempted to buy it, but I was put off by the pricetag. It was the creamiest blue I’ve ever tasted!
And now I’ve got the listing of cheeses next time I was to do a little cheese-based dinner (likely: lately this week). I would definitely recommend the class if you like cheese and want to expand your horizons a little. We both left full and excited to recreate some of the pairings (cider and brie, so good!)