Spring is like the morning of the seasons. It’s the light breaking of the morning sunrise after the cold dark night that was the winter.
I know some people, let’s say those who may like snow skiing (or hypothermia), would disagree with me. But I believe spring is the most optimistic time of year.
It’s the season where things in our world come to life and sprout with potential. With spring you haven’t had a chance to kill your garden, the potential is invigorating.
Well, springtime and cheese are no different. I mean you’ve probably seen the videos on Facebook of cows and goats jumping for joy as they leave their barns, eager to get to that first patch of newly sprouted grass!
It’s a big deal for them and it’s a big deal for their milk and the cheese made from it. Cheeses made from spring milk contain those subtle herbal, grassy and bright flavors that cheese lovers look for.
That’s not to say there aren’t some bad ones out there but the potential for an outstanding and complex cheese is more alive in the spring than other seasons.
We also tend to eat certain types of cheese this time of year that don’t really match with other seasons as much. “Fresh cheeses” meaning cheeses that generally see no cooking and no aging in the cheese-making process, are good all year round.
But with the warmer weather we tend to gravitate to brighter and lighter flavors. Soft fresh goat, cow and sheep cheeses that are creamy and crumbly at the same time match with so many light spring dishes, not to mention lighter red, whites and rosé wines.
We start to see more people turning to fresh mozzarella and burrata as the basil and tomatoes begin their seasons.
But spring is also good for more aged cheeses as well. I really like harder mountain-style cheeses this time year. The Swiss Alpine-style cheeses that are washed in brines that contain different mountain herbs and flowers always have interesting subtle herbal flavors that punch through their classic meaty and brothy flavors.
If you would like to learn more about great spring cheeses and wines and how to pair them, The Better Cheddar will be hosting an after-hours class on May 7. For tickets, which are $56.95, click here. Or call us at (816) 561-8204.
Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.