Six American Cheeses for Sharing on Thanksgiving

by mncheese on November 20, 2012

in American-Midwest,American-NewEngland,American-West,Bubbly,cheese for holidays,Cheese!,Cow,Milk,Raw,Sheep,Sweets,Vinos

Thanksgiving is a day of bounty, when our tables groan with turkey, stuffing and more side dishes than you normally serve throughout an entire week. But you don’t often see cheese on a list of traditional Thanksgiving foods. Why not? There are plenty of autumnal beauties that are begging for a place at the Thanksgiving table. If you haven’t made it to your cheese shop yet for your holiday cheeses, consider one of these to serve as an appetizer or as part of your dessert course. After all, there’s always room for cheese.

Rush Creek is everyone’s must-have cheese of the season, but what to do if everyone grabbed one before you did? A very worthy alternative is Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison, another bark-wrapped bloomy that you also serve up with a spoon. It doesn’t achieve the same ooziness as Rush Creek but offers a similar satisfying smokiness.

A wheel of Minnesota-made Bent River pairs equally well with a seed-laced cracker to start a meal and with some leftover cranberry sauce and a ginger cookie to end a meal. Its butteriness makes it luxurious enough for a special dinner, but you won’t have any problems polishing off any leftovers (in the unlikely event you have any leftovers) in front of a football game later this weekend.

Want a cheese that get your guests talking? Pick up a hunk of Red Rock from renowned Wisconsin cheesemaker Chris Roelli. A craggy cheddar-blue hybrid with a minerally earthiness, the eye-catching Red Rock pairs with slices of apple, pear and other seasonal fruits for a savory segue into the pie portion of the evening.

If you prefer your cheddar without streaks of blue, it’s also the time of year when Hook’s brings its 15-year cheddar out of its aging rooms. Yes, it’s pricey (we’ve seen it at $50/lb.), but the cheese is so rich and caramelly that a little goes a long way.

Blue lovers don’t need to look any further than the gold standard of American blues – Rogue River Blue. You might say I’m biased because I’ve been on a huge Rogue Creamery kick after my visit to Oregon in September, but judging from the number of tweets I saw about the 2012 release of this classic blue, I’m not the only one who holds this raw-milk delight in the highest regard. Pair with Port or Sauternes for an after-dinner nibble before you pass out on the couch.

And if you think you can’t possibly make room for cheese because you need to serve chocolate, you’re wrong. Just pick up some cheese truffles, like these sweet sheep’s-milk dollops from Wisconsin’s Hidden Springs Creamery or smokey blue cheese truffles from Oregon’s Lillie Belle Chocolates. Set out a bowl of truffles and some sparkling wine and you can call it a night while your guests do the dishes.

What cheeses will you be serving this Thanksgiving?

{ 4 comments }

Azzi November 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

After visiting your blog. I had completed my search. This is what i was searching. Thanks.
Cheese food

Carrie @ Season It Already! November 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

All I know is that I want a cheese-of-the-month club for Christmas!

Madame Fromage November 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Love your round-up here, ladeez. I wouldn’t change a thing. Those sheep’s milk truffles have me all hot and bothered. And now I need a Red Rock fix.

Child Nutrition November 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

Rouge river blue is absolutely mouthwatering..

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