I recently attended a Cheese Tasting & Parings class at Vanillamore, in Montclair, NJ, with two girlfriends. The class was hosted by the very knowledgeable Marie Fromage, a.k.a. Mary Connolly. One might think the “parings” part of the class was a wine pairing, but it was actually some of Vanillamore’s creative desserts and bites that were expertly paired with five cheeses. (Wine pairing would be fun, too!)
- samples of five cheeses paired with Vanillamore’s signature sweets
- cheese reference sheet chock full of info to help guide students during and after class
- other surprises!
By the end of the tasting, Mary wanted us to know the difference between a bloomy rind, a natural rind, and everything in between. We discussed interesting pairing ideas, how to put together a cheese board for a party, proper cheese storage, and how to approach a cheese counter.
Featured Cheese and Pairings
- Humboldt Fog Haze Remix, one of my favorite goat’s milk cheeses. This was served with bruléed lemon tartlets with lavender.
- Brie de Meaux Rouzaire, a French cow’s milk cheese that was paired with ginger apricot tartlets.
- Manchego, the king of Spanish cheeses made using sheep’s milk. This was served with honey-poached pears.
- Grana Padano, the more-affordable-than-Parmesan Italian cow’s milk cheese. This was served with caramel popcorn and a chocolate tuile.
- Grafton three-year aged cheddar. I’m a sucker for aged cheddar and this Vermont cow’s milk cheese didn’t disappoint. It was served with lemon and thyme glazed doughnuts with candied lemon peel.
The class was interactive, interesting, and fun. I look forward to exploring future classes at Vanillamore.
About Marie Fromage
Mary Connolly is a Montclair native, chef, musician and a blogger known as “Marie Fromage.“ Mary writes about her passions: travel, music, and the food world, with cheese being a particular obsession.
See class listing for all happenings at Vanillamore. (Note that Marie Fromage is hosting another cheese class at Vanillamore in June.)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday / Saturday: 11 a.m. to midnight
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hours are subject to change.
349 Bloomfield Avenue