1,000 Years of Artisanal Cheesmaking

Colorado mountain cheeseboardLaura Werlin

18 Photos CheeseB.L.Werlin

Colorado mountain cheeseboard

As someone who spends four months a year in the mountains of Colorado, Laura is naturally driven to locally-made cheeses and mountain-grown products. And so she invited a few Colorado friends over for a delectable dessert cheese course featuring Comté.

She started earlier in the day by heading to the local farmer’s market to forage for accompaniments that would highlight the beautiful cheese. Her first stop was at LivingGreensColorado, which specializes in “wildcrafting” – making jams, jellies, and other truly delectable products from the berries, herbs, fruits, and plants that grow in their area. She tasted several of their jellies, but it was the unlikely sage jelly that caught her fancy and ultimately ended up on her budding cheese board. Next stop was Ruth’s Toffee. Its namesake makes a homespun yet quintessential version of chocolate and almond-coated toffee, and something told her it would be the perfect grace note on her cheese board. She opted for the dark chocolate version, which is still plenty sweet and yet a tad more chocolatey. Turns out the buttery crunchy confection dovetailed beautifully with the toasty, savory yet caramel-like tones in the Comté. Even better, its sweetness was the ideal contrast with the final addition to the cheese plate, Haystack Mountain’s creamy yet tangy goat cheese called Snowdrop made near Boulder, Colorado. Who said opposites don’t attract?

Turns out these four disparate cheese board items – the nutty, firm, beefy, buttery Comté, the Snow Drop, sage jelly, and chocolate toffee – found textural and flavor compatibility that proved once again that sometimes the sum can be greater than the parts even when those parts are stellar in their own right.