4.04.2006

Whisky, cheese and cold meatloaf sandwhiches


Last night, R* and I took a class on Single Malt Whisky & Cheese at Murray’s Cheese Shop.

Of the five pairings they presented last night, there’s one stand-out winner, a cheese I can’t get out of my head: La Tur. The hand-out from the class calls it “a dense, creamy blend of pasteurized cow and sheep milk. Runny and oozing around the perimeter with a moist, cake-y, palette-coating paste. Its flavor is earthy and full."

I’d never tasted cheese with that kind of texture before – slightly wetter than a cheese cake without the sugar. Spring-like. I’m going to take some home to the family for Easter.

They paired the La Tur cheese with Scapa 14 Year Old whisky from the north of Scotland. It was smooth and sweeter than the other whisky at the tasting. When tasted with the cheese, it was like dripping some flowery honey down the edges of each bite. I’m wondering if I could find a honey to pair it with when I serve this cheese.

The last thing we tasted was Laphroaig 10 Year Old whisky at cask strength (115% proof) paired with Mrs. Quicke’s Cheddar from Devon. The smoke and sea-air taste in the whisky was a match for the dark earthy taste of the cheese. I thought the cheddar was oddly dry at first, but then Sasha the instructor for the cheese portion of the evening, called it “clay-like” and explained how the cheese crumbled up in the mouth but then came back together with the Laphroaig for a great finish.

When the class ended, R* and I walked out into an April shower, still tasting lingering smoke from the last sample, and took the subway home. I went right to bed, while R* got to work in the kitchen.

He made us meatloaf sandwiches, with what was left over from the Mrs. Kostyra's Meatloaf 101 I made for Sunday dinner. R* buttered the wheat bread and then put a nice layer of ketchup on top of the cold meatloaf. There was great balance between the garlic and the onion in it and the little specks of carrot made me happy. The browned bits of glaze, made from ketchup, dry mustard and brown sugar, went great with the rain and the super-long-lasting finish of the peaty Laphroaig. Maybe I'll serve Laphroaig on the rocks with my next meatloaf dinner and then a nice cheddar for dessert.

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