Tuesday, July 17, 2007

a birthday degustation: course nine

Course nine of our chef's degustation and wine taste was the first of two plated cheese courses. The course focused on the interplay between sweet and salty. The centerpiece of the cheese course was a small wedge of sweet and savory cheesecake-- made with white Stilton cheese (an English mold injected "bleu" cheese) and dried apricots. The cheesecake sat upon a crust of Japanese sesame crackers and nori (dried seaweed), which added a salty undertone to the sweet cheesecake. Served with the "confection" were some baby field greens in a light sesame vinaigrette topped with caramelized spicy ginkgo nuts.
A sesame and apricot gastrique, finished with caramelized lotus root, completed this course.

The plateware selected to present the first cheese course reflected it's origins and Asian influence-- sesame, ginkgo, lotus, nori. Accompanying the cheese was a delightfully fresh dessert wine-- Symphony "Obsession," produced by Ironstone Vineyards (California, 2005). Made with the Symphony grape, this wine is light, sweet, extremely floral, and just acidic enough to stand up to the cheesecake. Overall, it was a delicious way in which to start our final leg of the degustation menu-- cheese and dessert!
Up next, plated cheese course number two!

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