It's simple really: there's a mutual love of cheese between Laura, myself and Kat Braman. So we schemed up this delicious post idea that is just a ploy to savor more of the goodies we crave at a spot we dig. You're welcome, in advance.
The Blind Monk is the perfect little hang out that's nestled in downtown West Palm Beach. Not only is everyone at The Monk knowledgeable about their wine and beer, they're also very willing to educate the rest of us. This time around, Jason was taking care of us with instructions for building the ultimate cheese plate so we could recreate this decadence on our next visit (or at home).
First up, you'll want to cover all your milk bases: cow, goat, sheep and sometimes buffalo. Aim to get a few soft and a few firm cheeses with a variety of easy to pungent aromas. A good rule of thumb is to build your plate around these descriptions: tart and tangy, salty and sweet, nutty and earthy, silky and creamy, bold and sharp.
That brings us to accompaniments! Following a similar rule, you'll want to choose some non-dairy additions that make the plate complete. Add a savory item like roasted tomatoes, marinated mushrooms or peppers. Then go for something sweet like honeycomb, figs or jam. For tangy you can include anything pickled, and for salty, you'll want some cured swine. Are you drooling yet?
To finish off, select wines that contrast but complement the cheese. If you prefer beer pairings, try to mimic the flavors rather than contrast. Since cold temperatures neutralize flavors, you'll want set your cheeses out approximately two hours prior to serving and Jason suggested about two ounces of cheese per person. And if I'm honest, I totally want more than that since this is obviously turning into my dinner!
Since the best way to learn is hands-on, I suggest another visit pronto. Who's with me?
The Blind Monk
410 Evernia Street #107
West Palm Beach
open daily at 4p