Macaroni and cheese is as American as hot dogs, burgers and apple pie. You would be hard-pressed to find a citizen in any part of the country that has not spooned up the creamy cheesy dish at least once, with most developing a fondness or downright addiction for the rich dish in early childhood. For many parents, the pasta and cheese dish was the original easy-to-make, nutritious fast food that the whole family could enjoy in just a matter of minutes.
For innovative holiday gifting with a cheesy twist, look no further. These selections are sure to surprise and delight the cheese lovers in your life.
In Colonial times in Massachusetts, cheese was not on people’s radar. When they landed in Boston in 1630, the Pilgrims brought with them mainly beans and hardtack.
The region is rich with history-making events; the Revolutionary War started in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, followed by the Siege of Boston, the Battle of Bunker Hill and General Washington taking command of the Continental Army on Cambridge Common. That army also ate beans and hard tack. We had the navy bean, the pea bean and the kidney bean. All of them baked.
Switzerland delivers eye-popping beauty whenever you visit, but in summertime, the high mountain meadows roll out a welcoming carpet of lush green grass popping with colorful wildflowers. The Alps’ irresistible allure dazzles even the locals. On any given day, you’ll find families, couples both young and old, groups of friends as well as solo hikers enjoying the trails, the scenic lakes, a picnic or a bike ride in their mountainous backyard. And what will you always find in their picnic basket? Cheese, of course!
For the lucky, such as Greek-American chef and cookbook author Michael Psilakis, Feta cheese has held a long celebrated place in the kitchen and in cuisine since childhood.
“My memories of Feta growing up are very vivid,” he says. “It was always on the kitchen table, and I was always grabbing a little piece. As the seasons changed, there was something different next to it. In the summer, there was watermelon. The sweet watermelon of summer with the salty, briny, tangy flavor of Feta cheese — it was like a roller coaster of flavor in your mouth.”
Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to taste a smoky, sweet, fudgy piece of rogue creamery’s smokey blue, cold-smoked for 16 hours over local hazelnut shells in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Or savor some Lorelei, a small square loosely inspired by a robiola, but made in Dundee, OR by Briar Rose Creamery. It’s washed in Steam Fire Stout, a beer made at nearby Fire Mountain Brewery, and exhibits funky, citrusy, balanced and lovely notes. Or perhaps you wisely stock your fridge with Tillamook’s Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, made from their own high-quality, super fresh milk and aged for about 15 months to coax out tons of complex savory, nutty flavors. Continue reading →