A Gastronamic Tour de France

The bicycle world’s Tour de France consists of 21 stages over the course of about three weeks in July. While the thought of that spectacle is daunting and exhausting, we like to think of a wonderful idyllic saunter through the culinary landscape of this country that seems to ooze gastronomical finds from every square inch. So, set your own pace and journey to France via a Tour de DLM with these specialties.

CHAMPAGNE
In the great city of Reims, the heart of Champagne, we like to think of bubbles that make any occasion special. Guyot Choppin Brut Champage is tangy, full of fresh apple fruit, and mineral driven—begging for a bowl of clams simmered in white wine. Add a refreshing twist to a salad with Champagne Vinegar by J. Leblanc.

ÎLE-DE-FRANCE
Not far from Paris is the commune of Meaux and the great Brie de Meaux, which is perfect on a warm baguette with a glass of wine, or with a preserve, such as Bonne Maman or L’Épicurien… ooh la la!

GRAND EST
In years past, Strasbourg has hosted Tour de France riders. It’s also home to the wines of Hugel, a family estate since 1639. We’ve had the pleasure of sitting with family members of the estate and tasting their Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gentil, which is a blend of several varietals making it crisp, vibrant, and lively

FRANCHE-COMTÉ
Heading not far south, one comes to the region of France where you’ll find one of the great cheeses, St. Antoine Comté Gruyère, made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. This cheese melts in your mouth, leaving you with flavors that range from dense and smoky to sweet and fruity; cut into small straw-like pieces on a cheese tray or use in a fondue with a splash of white wine.

BURGUNDY
While in Burgundy, one must have the mustard, cheese, escargot, and of course, the wine! The 2016 Côtes Salines Bourgogne Chardonnay is one of our favorites this summer and it showcases the fruit perfectly. Try with a roasted chicken or cheese plate (and include a generous dollop of Edmond Fallot Mustard while you’re at it). Afavorite cheese of ours from Burgundy is the Époisses de Bourgogne, which is a pungent, soft-paste cow’s milk cheese that is simply heaven in a little round container.

SOUTHERN FRANCE
In the south of France is one of the great blues of the world—Le Papillon—and it started as any good French story: love. A young shepherd was distracted by a shepherdess. Forgetting his rye bread and sheep’s milk cheese in the cave of Combalou, he left to pursue the girl. He later returned to discover his meal covered in a blue-green mold. Famished, he tasted the cheese and was delighted. Roquefort was born! Another great, P’tit Basque, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. Enjoy with with charcuterie, fruit, or grilled veggies. Southern France also has so many superb wines, but a great warm-weather favorite is the 2017 Picpoul de Pinet Florensac. It’s minerally, crisp, clean, and perfect for summer entertaining. Other delights that we’d be amiss to not mention include Maison Pébeyre Truffle Mayonnaise founded in a small southern French village in 1897 and Vinaigre de Banyuls.

LOIRE VALLEY
Loire is where many of the fairytale castles of France can be found. We love to pour a glass of La Vigne des Sablons Vouvray, a deliciously dry and mineral-driven wine, with a chilled plate of oysters—simply a magical pairing.

BRITTANY
M. Gilles Hervy Fleur de Sel is a yummy grey natural sea salt harvested from the Atlantic.

NORMANDY
Pierre Biscuiterie French Butter Cookies have been made in the French Countryside since the 19th century. Another sweet delight from this region is one of our favorite whipped creams in a can, Isigny Sainte-Mère

5 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Ideas

A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, right? As if! If you’re anything like me, then a grilled cheese sandwich was probably the first thing you learned to cook by yourself using the pre-wrapped cheese slices that shall remain unnamed. Why not do yourself some justice and gift yourself some of the cheesy, comforting goodness you deserve with a gourmet grilled cheese?

Take that old tried-and-true grilled cheese sandwich up a notch (or ten) by exploring all of the cheeses that The DLM Cheese Shops have to offer. The possibilities are endless! From the spicy, tangy flavors of goat cheeses, like Humboldt Fog, to the smooth, velvety flavors of the Comté Saint-Antoine Gruyère, we’ve got five sure-fire ways to elevate you to grilled cheese gourmand status:

1. FOGGY BOTTOM. Take our Raisin Walnut Bread as a base and add Humboldt Fog goat cheese plus a few slices of Prosciutto di Parma for a perfect salty-creamy bite.

2. THE ULTIMATE. Take two awesome cheeses, Comté St. Antoine Gruyère plus Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar, put them on our classic Unbleached White Sandwich Bread, and you get a simply perfect grilled cheese.

3. DELISH. The perfect grilled cheese for brunch! Take slices of Deer Creek’s The Doe, stack them between slices of Sesame Seed Bread that is spread with DLM Apricot Preserves, and grill until golden brown.

4. THE RETRO. We love the retro flavor of DLM Pimento Cheese Dip paired with DLM Uncured Bacon piled between buttered slices of Farmhouse Bread.

5. CAPRESE. This is a toasty and gooey take on the flavors of a caprese salad: DLM Handmade Mozzarella, thinly sliced Roma tomato, fresh basil leaves, and Ciabatta Bread.

Anatomy of a Cheese Board

Nothing is as easy, and yet so impressive, as a cheese board for home entertaining. If your friends and family are anything like mine, cheese is a must for almost every occasion. But how do you make a cheese board? I find that a lot of people are intimidated when it comes to assembling a crowd-pleasing cheese board. To begin, set aside your doubts about finding the right combination. While it is possible, it is incredibly hard to come up with a bad pairing.

I personally like to use about three to five different cheeses. Of course, you can do more, but it’s easy to overload the senses, so keep it simple. Once you’ve chosen your cheeses, have fun with sweet and salty accompaniments, from assorted crackers and cured meats, to fresh fruit and cornichons. The possibilities are always fun and endless! Lastly, don’t forget about the one-hour rule; to maximize the flavors of your cheese, allow them to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving. Now, let’s get started with making some cheese board magic!

Pro Tip 1: Define the Foundation

Are you hosting a casual get-together or a formal affair? How many people? Any known likes or dislikes? These are good questions to consider, and don’t be afraid to talk to your DLM cheesemongers. It’s our job to steer you in the right direction. If your experience hasn’t surpassed Kraft singles, don’t worry! We’ll get you to where you want to be.

Pro Tip 2: Set the Framework

When selecting cheeses for my boards, I think of a rhyme I once learned: Something old, something new, something goat, and something blue. Make this your motto and you’ll have the framework for the perfect cheese board.

Pro Tip 3: Finish, Finesse, & Serve

To keep your board from looking like a battle site by the end of the night, cut your cheeses before placing them on the board, but not too far in advance as to keep them from drying out. Try thin slices from the rind to the center to showcase flavors from the inside out that the cheese has developed through aging. For soft, crumbly cheeses, leave them whole and provide a spreader for your guests to use.

Anatomy of a Cheese Board: 3 Steps

Nothing is as easy, and yet so impressive, as a cheese board for home entertaining. If your friends and family are anything like mine, cheese is a must for almost every occasion. But how do you make a cheese board? I find that a lot of people are intimidated when it comes to assembling a crowd-pleasing cheese board. To begin, set aside your doubts about finding the right combination. While it is possible, it is incredibly hard to come up with a bad pairing.

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