Yesterday we presented Halloween Cheeses Part 1, beautiful Goudas and Cheddars with just the right colors to bring eye appeal and enchantment to cheese boards and other cheese presentations. Today, in Part 2, we present more favorites. Beyond a Halloween cheese plate, they also double as “harvest moon” cheeses for Thanksgiving. And they’ll keep things bright and interesting through the dreary winter ahead.
They also make a visual splash when you bring a wedge to the table to grate over food.
Serve them with fall fruits: apples, grapes and pears, plus dried fruits anf nuts.
Weybridge Limited Edition
This “surprise!” cheese from the Scholten Family Farm in Vermont has a ghostly white bloomy rind, that reveals a tangy orange paste (the industry term for the interior of a cheese—photo #1).
An organic cheese, this limited edition version, a fall version of the regular Weybridge, has a dusting of vegetable ash on the rind for some extra spookiness.
Perhaps the creepiest of the cow’s milk cheeses, Mimolette is a round ball of cheese with a rind that looks like the cratered surface of the moon (photos #2 and #3).
Cut it open and there’s a blazing orange interior that also looks scary, but is made with the addition of annatto*, a natural food coloring. Depending on the amount used, the cheese can be light to deep orange.
The balls of Mimolette are aged in a damp environment, where thousands of microscopic cheese mites feed on the rind, making the “craters” on the rind.
This natural process gives the cheese its unique appearance, and also its unique flavor. The younger varieties are comparable in taste and aroma to Parmesan and can be used in the same way. As the cheese ages, it takes on a chewier and harder texture and hints of butter and hazelnuts.
The longer the cheese ages, the more we like it.
This semi-sharp cow’s milk cheese is produced in the area around Lille in Alsace, France. Try it with an Alsatian Riesling, or any other Alsatian white wine: Gewürtztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and the less-well-known Auxerrois and Sylvaner.
Great Britain has two exciting cheeses with bright orange layers: easy on the eyes, luscious on the palate.
Saxonshire is also called “five counties cheese” because (you guessed it!) the five cheese layers are from different counties: Caerphilly, Cheshire, Double Gloucester, Leicester, and Cheddar (photo #4).
The appearance of Saxonshire is dramatic and the combination of flavors is delightful. This eye-catching cheese is popular at holiday gatherings, served with simple crackers, tart apples, and walnuts.
Pair it with a light red wine or a crisp white wine.
Combine a blue moon with an autumn moon and you’ve got Huntsman cheese (photo #5). It’s a modern marriage of mellow, satiny Double Gloucester cheese and creamy blue Stilton, brought together through a complex layering process.
The result is a flavor combination that is as delicious as the cheese is handsome. Serve Huntsman with unsalted crackers—as Stilton contributes a bit of saltiness—sliced apples and walnuts.
You can also serve it shred on top of chili, soup, or stew; and with a piece of apple pie. Both Saxonshire and Huntsman cheeses are made from pasteurized cow’s milk and vegetarian rennet.
For a wine pairing, try a dessert wine like moscato, sweet Riesling, port or sherry.
Goat cheeses can be the spookiest Halloween cheeses. We have a special article about them here.
See two of our favorites in photos #6 and #7.
Along with bread, crackers, fruits and nuts, serve a choice of condiments. Use ramekins for neatness. No ramekins? See what you do have, such as espresso cups and espresso spoons.
Enjoy these wonderful cheeses and condiments. Create a memorable cheese board. And have a Happy Halloween and Happy Thanksgiving.
*It’s annatto, a natural dye derived from achiote seeds. It’s the same natural color that differentiates yellow cheddar from white cheddar. In large amounts annatto provides a slightly spicy flavor, but here in smaller touches it delivers only the color.