Our Cheeselog

How to build a warm weather cheese platter

Cheesemonger Ethan with the perfect summertime cheese: Le Roule with fresh herbs.

Cheesemonger Ethan with the perfect summertime cheese: Le Roule with fresh herbs.

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, especially if you like cheese and wine. Here are 5 easy steps for building a delicious warm weather cheese platter.

  1. Choose softer cheeses: Hard-aged cheeses like Manchego and Gouda have fat fatty and/or dense textures that don’t hold up when it’s too warm (they get “sweaty” with oil and taste waxy). Instead, choose soft cheeses like fresh goat, soft-ripened cheeses like Brie, or semi-firm cheeses like young Cheddar. Not only will they hold up, but they tend to be milder in flavor, which suits those hot days and nights just fine.
  2. Crunch on light, crisp crackers: Avoid anything too thick, herby, or salty. Let the cracker be a delicate vehicle for the cheese instead of a main player.
  3. Offer chilled fresh fruit: Keep your fruit on ice (or on a platter on ice) separate from the cheeses. Its cool juiciness is the perfect complement to creamy cheeses.
  4. Speaking of cool juiciness: Iced rosé or white wine is a summertime cheese’s best friend. The acidity cuts through the richness and amplifies flavor, while the coolness is uber-refreshing.
  5. No sun, please: Keep your cheese in the shade and don’t let it sit in the heat for more than a few hours. Store a backup supply somewhere cooler and replace the entire platter after that time.

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Cheesetique Ballston is Open!

Serving Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner, and Weekend Brunch. Join us to swim in the world of cheese!
Check out our hours and location info here…

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Cheesetique #3 is Coming!

Nearly 12 years ago, Cheesetique opened its doors to the cheese-loving public. Some of you were with us then… and are still regulars over a decade later. We are thankful every day for your support!

In 2004, Cheesetique was a teeny-tiny cheese shop with one employee (yours truly). All these years later, Cheesetique has grown to include two retail & restaurant locations with 80 amazing employees. And now, I’m thrilled to announce that Cheesetique #3 is coming soon… to Ballston!

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Located on the corner of Glebe Rd. and Wilson Blvd., this is our most roomy and modern Cheesetique yet. And did I mention there will be a life-size cow? Yes, a life-size cow. We hope to open in a few weeks and can’t wait to get comfy in our new neighborhood. Get ready for cheese, Ballstonians!

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Top 10 non-culinary uses for cheese

No one can deny that cheese is great for eating. What many don’t realize is its amazing versatility in non-food applications. Presenting…

10. Paper Weight: Cheese is heavy. Exploit that. Plus, what a conversation starter! (“Hey, is that a Gouda on your briefs?”)

9. Personal Fragrance for the Anti-Social: Dab a little Stinking Bishop behind your ears and you’ll never sit next to someone on the Metro again. Make it your signature scent and avoid the “So, what do you do?” question at cocktail parties.

8. Door Stop: A block o’ Emmenthaler will get the job done – and I challenge you to find another door stop that you can eat if truly desperate.

7. Outdoor Party Saver: If you think humans love cheese, you should see flies! At your next outdoor event, place a super-ripe Epoisses in a far corner and the critters will be hypnotized. Expensive, but effective.

6. Candle Holder: Traditional candle sticks are just so obvious. Instead, embed your taper in a lovely piece of Cotswold. By the end of the evening, the candle has melted and – VOILA! – you have wax-covered cheese for aging!

5. Home Deodorizer (or really, a Home Odorizer): There’s nothing like hearing your guests exclaim, “Wow – what died in here?!” I recommend Chimay for maximum impact. Then, to enhance that welcoming feeling, simply respond, “Hmmm… I didn’t smell anything until you arrived.”

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4. Place Card Holder: If you’re going to make people sit next to strangers, at least do it with Stilton.

3. “Naughty” Christmas Penalty: You think coal is undesirable in your stocking? How about a big hunk of fireplace-warmed Gorgonzola? Forget Elf on a Shelf – with this approach, your kids will never misbehave again.

2. All-Natural Face Mask: Simply smear on some Chevre and read your favorite magazine. Enzymes will exfoliate. Minerals will nourish. Oils will moisturize. By the end, your face will be softer than – and smell somewhat like – a baby’s bottom.

1. Good-Natured Prank: Summertime. Limburger. Glove compartment. Need I say more?

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Monger’s Corner: Ethan! (and a new cheesy recipe)

unnamedEthan is one of our expert cheesemongers in Shirlington. The cheese he’s loving now is… Le Roulé with Garlic & Herbs.

Let’s see what Ethan had to say: “It has a super velvety texture, which melts on the tongue and coats your mouth. You can spread it on a baguette or mix it in with pasta. I love garlic, so this cheese is very versatile for me and has all the flavors that I love.”

Milk: pasteurized cow; Origin: France

 

Recipe: Chicken Roulé Hey Hey

I usually prepare this chicken with fresh goat cheese, but when challenged with Ethan’s cheese choice, I decided to modify. And it was AWESOME. I may never go back to goat.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
8 oz. Le Roulé with Garlic & Herbs, cut into 4 slices
8 fresh basil leaves
Olive oil (for brushing)
Salt
Pepper

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet (I place foil under the chicken to reduce mess).
2. Separate the skin from the top of each breast, but do not remove entirely.
3. Place one slice of Le Roulé and two basil leaves under the skin of each breast.
4. Brush the top of the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until just cooked through.

About the Cheese

Le Roulé is a creamy, fresh cow’s milk cheese that is a dream to spread (warm bagel, anyone?). It also looks lovely on a platter when cut into a thick slab because of its unique swirl design. This cheese is very young, making it high in moisture and relatively mild in flavor. This is why it is such a wonderful base for other ingredients. In this case, it’s blended with garlic and herbs, but we also have a version with cranberries.

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2015: A Year in Cheese

One of my favorite things to do after the end of another year is to reflect back on… CHEESE! Here are a few fun tidbits regarding the massive amounts of goodies our guests enjoyed this year…

In the Cheese Shop:
20,000 pounds of cheese
4,000 pounds of charcuterie

In the Cheese & Wine Bar:
7,000 Mac ‘n Cheesetique’s
15,000 Grown Up Grilled Cheese’s
16,000 Cheese Boards

So what does that mean? It means people LOVE cheese. Thank goodness! We so appreciate all of you who make Cheesetique the best place to sling cheese on the planet.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all! The cheesy team at Cheesetique can’t wait to see what this year brings. Thank you to our amazing customers, who make every year even better than the last. We love you!

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The 12 Days (Before) Christmas: Day 2

Wherein we highlight some fantastic (and seasonally appropriate) goodies to make your holiday especially joyous.

Day 2

*cue music*

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On the 2nd day before Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Two servers serving

Three mongers helping
Four gift cards swiping
Five buckets brimming
Six meats a-slicing
Seven tots a-frying
Eight baked bries
Nine cheesy totes
Ten yule beers
Eleven bags of sweets
And twelve wines under the tree

(Bring your family for lunch today. What a way to kick off Christmas Eve.)

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The 12 Days (Before) Christmas: Day 3

Wherein we highlight some fantastic (and seasonally appropriate) goodies to make your holiday especially joyous.

Day 3

*cue music*

CHEESE_061

On the 3rd day before Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Three mongers helping

Four gift cards swiping
Five buckets brimming
Six meats a-slicing
Seven tots a-frying
Eight baked bries
Nine cheesy totes
Ten yule beers
Eleven bags of sweets
And twelve wines under the tree

(Our shop is open today until 6pm. Come by to stock up, grab last-minute gifts, and gift cards.)

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The 12 Days (Before) Christmas: Day 4

Wherein we highlight some fantastic (and seasonally appropriate) goodies to make your holiday especially joyous.

Day 4

*cue music*

Cheesetique Gift Card

On the 4th day before Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Four gift cards swiping

Five buckets brimming
Six meats a-slicing
Seven tots a-frying
Eight baked bries
Nine cheesy totes
Ten yule beers
Eleven bags of sweets
And twelve wines under the tree

(Give the gift of cheese freedom. They choose what they want. You are the hero. Win/Win.)

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