Fromage Friday: Lunch at Cheesetique

by mncheese on June 7, 2013

in Cheese!,Cheesemongers & Shops,Cocktails,Cow,French,Goat,Milk,Raw,Restaurants,Swiss

A quick business trip brought me back to Washington, D.C., for 24 hours last month, and of course, Colleen and I managed to squeeze in a cheese-related activity. (It’s called priorities, people.) After a visit to the playground, we took Curdkid E to every child’s favorite lunchtime establishment – Cheesetique.

While the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheeses at Cheesetique are so tempting, it wasn’t hard to determine that we’d get a cheese board (and just steal bites of E’s mac and cheese). The hard part, of course, is deciding which cheeses to include. Though we often go for American cheeses, Cheesetique’s line-up was heavy on European cheeses that day, so we went with two French cheeses and a Swiss:

Fleur Verte (pictured at the back of the board), a fresh, creamy goat cheese from France, hit our taste buds first. The extremely young cheese is coated with herbs and peppercorns to add a little zing to the milky, lemony paste. It was E’s favorite of the three, so we found ourselves fighting off a 2-year-old to get our fair share of cheese.

Next up was L’Etivaz (middle), the sole Swiss of the bunch. A raw cow’s-milk cheese from Alpine country, it’s aged for almost three years, but you wouldn’t know it from the smooth, semi-firm paste. You’ll pick up the many typical flavors of an Alpine cheese – herbs, grass and nuts – since it’s made from summer milk. An excellent match for the cornichons gracing our board.

Finally, we couldn’t resist a blue, though this one didn’t look very blue. Bleu de Termignon (front) hails from France’s Savoie region and also is made from raw cow’s-milk, and unlike a typical, thickly veined blue, it has a subtler color and blue flavor. It definitely doesn’t have the sharp bite you may be accustomed to with a blue, but we appreciated its freshness and flakiness. It’s a pretty rare find in the United States, so if you come across it, add it to your cheese board, too.

It wouldn’t be a true cheese lunch without a little bubbly on the side. We toasted our three brief hours together with a summer thyme sangria (above, right) and blueberry mojito, and then began counting down the days until our next cheese lunch, pre-ACS in Minnesota. Cheers!

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