The Food-Focused Bride: The Making of a Cheese Table

By: Cameron Curtis
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After my Cheese Bridal Shower, I knew I also wanted to have a cheese table display during the cocktail hour at the wedding. Lucy's Whey is a store that stocks only American-made cheeses, and coincidentally enough, they have a location both in my office building and about a mile from my venue in East Hampton, N.Y. With a few cheeses in mind, my fiance and I went to their New York City location in Chelsea Market where the team put together a selection of some of their favorite cheeses - and mine - so we could come up with six options to serve.

To make sure there were some crowd-pleasers along with my stronger sensibility, Lucy's recommended Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill in Vermont. It's a cow's milk cheese that's aged 10 months in muslin cloth. The result is a cheese with the texture of an English-style cheddar but with sweeter notes.

Next up, Meadwood Farms' Rippleton, a sheep's milk cheese from upstate New York. It's a bolder cheese that has a funky flavor, but the smooth finish should still make it a winner with all of our guests.

Thistle Hill Farm makes one cheese -- Tarentaise -- and it's unique to Pomfret, Vt.  The cheese is an aged, raw milk, organic cheese made from the  milk of  grass-fed Jersey cows. It's made in a copper vat, which is key to the flavor that is particular to this style following the traditions of the Savoie region of the French Alps. The distinctive taste is reminiscent of caramel and nuts.

I requested that one of my personal favorites be featured (but of course we needed to sample it anyway): Kunik. Produced in the Adirondack mountains, Kunik is a triple creme cheese made from goat's milk and Jersey-cow cream with a white mold-ripened rind. Think of a Brie-type cheese and then make it twice as creamy and 10 times as flavorful. It basically tastes like the best butter you've ever had.

I also made sure to feature Humboldt Fog from Cypress Grove, a farm on the coast of California. You can't mistake this beautiful goat cheese, as it's marked with a line of vegetable ash running down the middle.

Lucy's suggested Bay Blue as our blue cheese representative.  I hadn't tried it before but I was familiar with the farm it came from, Point Reyes in California. It's the farm's newest cheese and it reminded me a bit of Stilton, though somewhat more creamy and buttery.

These will all be displayed with proper signage (must educate my guests), my favorite La Panzanella crackers, dried fruit and nuts. I'm secretly hoping that there are leftovers for me to pack up and eat at home!

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