Is there anything more lovely than a bite of cheese and a sip of tea? Add a bit of homemade jam and I'm might just jump for joy. Well, actually I did.
The lovely folks at Beehive Cheese Co. generously sent a 6-oz cut of their TeaHive cheese my way (after I tweeted about the magnificent nibble on a cheese plate at a nearby restaurant). Black tea and bergamot coat the cheddar-style cheese made with creamy Jersey cow milk. The tea-rubbed dairy delight even earned 1st place at the American Cheese Society competition in 2012.
In an effort to share this treat (and an attempt to not devour the whole block on my own), I gathered with the lovely Marisa of Food in Jars and Tenaya of Madame Fromage in a nearby park for a spontaneous picnic. Marisa brought one of her delicious plum jams along and Tenaya shared jewel dates and her expert cheese knowledge (I finally learned about the variety of cheese knives and which should be used for particular cheeses...more on that to come). Beyond the cheese bite, I brewed and iced a batch of earl grey tea infused with wildflower honey and orange blossom water to pair with the black tea and bergamot cheese rub.
As we savored the end of summer in fading sunlight under sturdy trees I was reminded why I love the steeped leaf so very much....and even inspired to create a new series of posts taking a closer peek at cheese and tea pairings. Stay tuned for stories of cheese shop journeys.