The Super Bowl is only a few weeks away (it’s February 1, for those of you who don’t already know), and if you’re hosting a game-day party, right now you’re probably dealing with that age-old question that plagues platter-preppers everywhere: what cheeses to buy? Actually, there are a lot of questions to ask, and at times they can be overwhelming; will my guests be offended by this one’s odor? Will I be offended by this one’s odor? Does this pair well with the beer I’ll be drinking? What if I like wine?
Brent Delman, aka “The Cheese Guy,” is letting us in on his top cheese picks for this year’s Super Bowl. He’s well equipped to deliver advice: His Yonkers cheese business, The Cheese Guy, produces a variety of kosher cheeses made by family-owned dairy farms, some of which are located in Italy. We counted 18 varieties on his Web site, from Argentine Specialty Cheese to Swiss. Read on for his suggestions.
The Cheese Guy’s Double Ale Cheddar is soaked in an IPA and a nut brown ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company during its creation
“I’ve come out with this cheese, and it’s sourced from Vermont. In the process of making this cheddar, the curds are soaked in these two different craft beers: an IPA and a nut brown ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company,” says Delman. “Two of my favorite things to consume are beer and cheddar, and combining the two gives you a nice salty, nutty cheddar combined with the hoppiness of the beers.” It might go without saying, but Delman recommends pairing this cheese with beer.
“I would pair that with a Captain Lawrence stout. That’s a nice combination,” Delman says. Alternatively, long-aged Gouda will have a crunchy texture, and can be paired with wines that have a deep flavor, such as Merlot. As Gouda ages, it crystallizes (in cheese speak), develops a caramel sweetness, and gets a slight crunchiness.
Delman’s go-tos are sharp cheddar or sheep’s milk cheeses for their intensity and strong flavors. He’s not alone; cheddar is generally a hit and should be included on every cheese board you put out at a party. Sharp cheddar pairs nicely with most wines and pale ale. You can also mix it up and serve it with apples and pears. Plus, cheddar is always at home on a cracker.
Delman says that every platter needs “a good stinky, pungent cheese,” and brie is a safe bet. He likes it on a cracker or French bread, drizzled with a little honey. To pick out a good wheel of Brie, take note of the smell. If there is the slightest odor of ammonia, put it down and grab another one.
Available here (although if you order online, you won’t be able to smell it first).
Delman’s Super Bowl football pick? The Green Bay Packers.
“They are from Wisconsin. They are the cheese heads,” he says.
The Cheese Guy
P.O. Box 144, Yonkers