Benton Brothers Perfect Cheese Pairings for Dad
Spain (Navarre): Sheep: Raw
Idiazabal is one of the more underrated cheeses from Spain. It hails from Navarre in the Basque country. During production the wheels were traditionally smoked over beechwood, hawthorn, or cherry for 10 days. This technique is no longer used but the cheese still retains a subtle smoky flavor. Idiazabal is unpasteurized and uses mostly the milk of the Laxta breed of sheep. The interior of the cheese is compact and dense with tiny air pockets. The texture is similar to its cousins Manchego and Zamarano. It is slightly smokey, acidic and piquant with the traditional olivey, nutty flavors found in aged sheeps milk cheeses.
Pairing: Great with Navarre wines, Tempranillo and other medium bodied reds and quince paste!
If you like this cheese cheese you may also like: Manchego, Parmigiano Reggiano
France (Normandy): Cow: Raw
This monastery style cheese is made with raw cow’s milk by a great Norman producer called Isigny St. Mère. As it ages its rind is washed with a salt-brine solution lending it a grassy and farmhousy aroma. The rind is completely edible however it is slightly stronger than the paste. This raw milk version is not to be confused with the rubbery, bland, pasteurised imitators found in the grocery store. Slightly smoky, sweet and grassy with a lingering salty aftertaste, it has a moist, tender paste and a creamy mouthfeel.
Pairing: While great with Alsatian Pinot Gris or Gewurtztraminer, St. Paulin truly shines with lighter style Alsatian or German beer…particularly wheat beer.
If you like this cheese cheese you may also like: Chimay a la Biere, Mont Jacob, Baluchon, Langres
Boeren Goudse Oplegkaas – 42 Month Gouda
Holland: Cow: Raw
This artisan Gouda is handmade in small quantities, following traditional production methods. Its premium quality shows through, with incredible depth of flavour and complexity. This Gouda retains the subtle flavour and character of the raw milk, and at 42 months, shows lovely crystallization. Notes of butterscotch, honey and nuts are complimented by a piquant tang and hint of salt. Very different from any other Gouda we have.
Pairing: This toothsome cheese can pair with scotch, bourbon, stout or even IPA to balance the sweetness.
If you like this cheese you may also like: Parrano, Old Amsterdam, Vintage Gouda, Mahon
Colton Bassett Stilton
Colston Bassett is the smallest producer of Stilton and is regarded by most as the best. This comes direct to us from the renowned Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. England’s only name-protected cheese, it is predominantly made in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire; and the cheesemaker must follow exacting guidelines as set down by The Stilton Cheesemaker’s Association. Almost all Stilton today is pasteurised. The creamy and firm paste reveals layers of honey, leather, tobacco and molasses, which become more pronounced as the cheese ages.
Pairing: This cheese loves Port.
If you like this cheese you may also like: Blossom’s Blue, Cashel Blue, Bleu Benedictine
PEI: Cow: Raw
From Cows Creamery on Prince Edward Island comes one of our favourite Canadian cheddars. This is one of the only cheddars in Canada being made in the traditional English style. Made with unpasteurised milk from local Holstein cattle, the Avonlea is wrapped in cloth and aged for a little over a year. The cloth wrapping allows the cheese to breath during the aging process which helps to give it its distinctive flavour and texture. Slightly crumbly with a deep earthy flavour and slight sharpness on the finish. The Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar won first place at the 2009 American Cheese Society Cheese Awards!!
Pairing: This versatile cheese can pair with just about anything, and we suggest a nice, simple lager.
If you like this cheese you may also like: Keen’s Cheddar, Red Leicestershire, Blackburn
The Super Stinker
If you really want to knock Dad’s socks off treat him to a washed-rind cheese like Epoisses, Langres or Affiné au Chablis.
Washed in regional eau de vie, these stinky, pungent, delectable cheeses have a silky texture and a rich flavour that is unparalleled in the culinary world.
The Ultimate Cheese Basket
Give Dad a lovely cheese basket or gift box with a variety of goods.
All of our gourmet gifts are custom crafted to fit your specifications, tastes, budget and dietary needs.
Small Wicker Basket $25 – $40 + hst
Medium Wicker Basket $45 – $70 + hst
Small Pine Gift Box $75 – $100 + hst
Large Pine Gift Box $110 – $150 + hst
gifts include fine cheeses, crackers + a selection of accompaniments such as:
- dried fruits
- toasted nuts
- fine oils & or vinegars