Sometimes I anticipate very unlikely connections when I think of cheese. Just today I was reminiscing about the lovable antics of the meerkats at the Toronto Zoo, and on Animal Planet’s ‘Meerkat Manor’ (which depicts the endearing comings and goings of the meerkats of the Kalahari Desert). So just for fun I googled: meerkat / cheese thinking there could not possibly be a hit. Surprise… I had to laugh at the YouTube video of two meerkats dining out and the waiter offering ‘Parmesan’. The cuteness was complete with the waiter anticipating the call (that never came) that it was ‘enough cheese’.
And so it is with many. A meal would not be complete without some form of cheese.
An appetizer is perfect for getting the taste buds going, and for bringing people together in conversation around taste and nuance. This leads beautifully into the delights of the intended meal. Lemony notes announce seafood… savory flavors for pork or chicken… while the meaty farmyard yielding cheeses hint at up and coming beef. Harmonious and smooth introductions.
Then there is the actual meal itself. Cheese factors in an obvious way if it is a fondue or raclette theme. There is also the classic intro via the pasta dish. But not to forget the astonishing accompaniment cheese has with a vegetable or meat… a lovely Comte melt or a Stilton crumble. Hand-in-glove as they say.
For the finale there is the timeless ‘dessert cheese’. Wonderful in the after-glow of a divine meal, it is classic and decandent. Triple cream and a signature Loire Valley goat are ideal, as is the combination of a Blue and port. A perfect ending to a perfect evening.
…So, the lesson from the meerkat?… keep the cheese coming!