420: Cheese Plate
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:03
I'm Molly and I'm Matthew and
this is spilled milk The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any just
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:10
noticed this is Episode 420 dude. Oh
Unknown Speaker 0:13
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:14
and so of course it's the cheese plate Episode
Unknown Speaker 0:19
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:20
I mean, we've
talked so many times on the show about like when we're tasting things we always talk about like we should cheese plate it like, by which I mean we should go mildest to strongest right when we eat
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:32
it. And but this week, for the first time ever in spilled milk history, we are literally cheese plating it Yeah,
we're literally we're cheese plating it up. Hold on. Did you just take my MUJI pen? Yes. Oh my god, Matthew. All right. Anyway, let's go down memory lane.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:48
Okay, like I've liked cheese for a long time when I was a kid. I think I only really liked chatter Taylor milk, medium cheddar pretty much. But I It's not often that I've actually gotten to like, make my way through a cheese plate. But But like, I've been to like a party that where there's a cheese plate and like hanging out near near it and like nibbling things.
I remember my dad being into cheeses.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:15
Okay, that makes sense.
And you know, I mean, obviously, the cheeses that were accessible in Oklahoma City in the 80s, and even into the 90s were not great.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:25
Yeah, I mean, see that
actually, you know, Mediterranean imports. I
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:29
they were some of the first people to carry you know, cheeses that didn't just come in like a long loaf.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:37
I was just gonna say like you that for most of the 80s is probably mostly loaf cheeses. Yes.
And now of course there's a whole foods in Oklahoma City. Sure. That's where you go. Anyway, so I remember growing up and I remember my dad being the type of person who if we went to a restaurant where they had where you could order a piece of cheese for dessert,
Unknown Speaker 1:59
he will ever yes
that oh my god what a mo weissenberg move I
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:03
do. I do have a cheese plate memory lane. Although I don't know if we ordered that cheese played per se but I one time. Wait for the show. Lori and I went to RTS and all restaurant in in New York City, which was a cheese focused restaurant. They had grilled cheese sandwiches, but they even like order any amount of cheese from like one to two like a cheese plate with 17 cheeses on it. So I'm sure we ordered several cheeses.
Well, I would say that I was like you growing up in that, you know, I think I liked chatter. I liked sharp cheddar, actually, because my dad was much
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:41
So I liked sharp cheddar. I think I liked fetta I think I probably liked you know, like the soft like fresh goat cheeses, you know, that would be crumbled into salads and the 90s Oh, yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:53
was really scared of CO cheese until I was in my 20s I think
Okay, fair enough, then
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:00
mostly because of what happened that time on code. Eight, my dad, I'm thinking he was a tin can. So
I was thinking you were gonna say that a goat jumped on top of your dad because I was
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:12
going to always stand up. You're always
jumping up on this stuff. There's so great.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:17
Yeah. That would have made me feel better about goat cheese.
Right? As with so many other episodes in the history of this show. I am going to be talking a lot about France. Yeah. Because, you know, the truth
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:30
is we have cheese in France.
The truth is, I don't think any other country in the world is so associated with cheese, even though they're I mean, even though I think of England as being a great place for cheese, certainly Spain, Italy, I
Unknown Speaker 3:45
mean, Western Ireland,
Switzerland, but I for one was sort of, Well, for one thing, my entire approach to cooking and eating was changed by eating with this family in France.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:58
Oh yeah. You've mentioned this.
And also that was where I learned to love cheese. And I would say genuinely like, what it really was, is that was where I learned to kind of like not be afraid of cheese. And also to not be afraid of food in general. Like were you also afraid of the dark? I was so afraid of the dark when I was a kid. I don't remember being super afraid. Yeah, like I had to have a nightlight until I was probably like 10 I don't know. That's adorable. Anyway, no, I think that you know,
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:28
it is very typical. If you put a nightlight in my room at night I would be so upset. Oh
yeah, I need it to be totally dark.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:34
I have I ordered like this redonkulous sleep mask. I can't believe I said redonkulous but that like it looks like it pretty much covers my entire face.
I can't wait to see it. Maybe you can put it on after this episode. Okay, great.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:49
I'll just wear it during the rest of this episode for a blind tasting of Geez.
Okay. Anyway. No, I mean living in France with this family. I mean, my host mother was a wonderful cook. She didn't buy food. See cheese is she bought her cheeses at mono P which was like the you know the chain grocery store she went to and she also
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:07
Matthew Stop interrupting me shut
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:11
the place with the frozen food and then I'll stop. Probably won't stop Thank you Okay,
yes. Anyway she would buy not even like some sort of like namebrand cheese at monopoly brands cheese so you could get like a log of of aged goat cheese with a bloomy rind that was like as long as your hand for like a euro 50
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:37
this is one of my favorite things when there's like like an everyday brand of something and it's fantastic
Yes. And I remember going home to see my family at Christmas time and taking them a whole bunch of mono p brand cheese
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:49
yeah this is this is one reason I love going to Japan because it's the same thing in Japan like I love going to life supermarket and buying the life supermarket brand green tea and bring it home it's like $6 that it's real tasty
totally. Anyway, so you know eventually I did like seek out some of the fancy cheesemongers in Paris and go to those shops and of course the cheese was fantastic. But in general properly handled cheese that's like been you know, stored at the right temperature and whatever. It was like so delicious throughout France no matter what you paid for it that I'm fine with mana pre cheese. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:32
a couple of a couple more cheese related things. One France related. When we were the one time I've been to France when we were a wife the show Laurie and I were on the way to the airport. We stopped at the the Beaumarchais caliente peacefully
Oh yeah. Fancy. It's like a fancy grocery store.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:52
And it's a food Hall. Correct. And we and we got a couple of cheeses to eat, like on the way to the airport, and we're on the plane and they were so good. One of them. One of them was I don't know how to say it, but it's la GU i o le like,
excuse me lie,
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:07
y'all. Yeah, yeah. That stuff's great.
Oh my god. Yeah, no, I mean, for real. Like there's no comparing to like the flavor of eating French cheese in France. Yeah, and I'm sure that goes for all cheese making.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:20
Why are we doing this recipe in Seattle? This recipe? Why are we doing this episode?
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:27
I lost my mind.
There you go. Anyway, but um, so. So wait, hold on. Can I just tell you about what it was like to live with this host family you can try. I'll probably
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:35
interrupt so my host
mother was a really great cook. I think I've mentioned on the show before that she was sort of the the French equivalent of a Tupperware saleswoman worked for this company called supah. That made silicone baking shores and so she would call them silpat in America, she would go into people's homes and demonstrate Ollie's if you
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:57
like, never told me this before, but that's great.
So she was constantly trying out recipes. She
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:03
wasn't invited. Right? She would just walk into people's homes. That's how they do it in France.
You are really bothering me in this episode. She would go to people's parties and she would make these recipes and people would buy a whole bunch of this like silicone baking where anyway, so every night she made for dinner. Stop yourself. You're just sitting there laughing.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:29
You told me not to talk with them. But I couldn't get this image out of my head of her like knocking on the door of the party and like the host opens the door and she's like, still, like bowls out these. Yeah.
She was also so elegant. She had this long brown hair. She was very tall and thin. And she She was beautiful in the way that like a woman in her early 40s who is aging really beautifully and like starting to get wrinkles but
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:54
I would like to meet a woman.
She was so beautiful and she had she would wear these bangles on her wrist that like sort of jangled when she she was just lovely. And I was not at an age to properly appreciate anything about her. I'm sorry. But anyway, so she would at night she would cook a wonderful meal for us and then after the meal we would usually have a green salad she made the Winograd screen salad and then she would pull out a platter of like five different types of cheese. Wow.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:31
she had a special this was not at all fancy like a round plastic platter like hard plastic that was made and had a lid that fit over it almost like a colander with very fine holes. Okay, yeah. And so she would keep it in the fridge overnight but she would pull it out of the fridge when she was making dinner and so it would come up to room temperature a bit
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:56
and it was and it was vented so the cheese wouldn't get sweaty inside Miracast
And so anyway, we would have our main course, then we would have a green salad, then we would have this platter of cheeses with a baguette from the blue lingerie around the corner. And again, these were not expensive or fancy cheeses, but we would pass the platter around, and everybody would take a little bit of a couple different types of cheese. And then after that, we would have a homemade dessert that she had
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:20
made, like a like a poda cram or,
like a like a chocolate cake or an apple cake that she had made in one of these, like silicone molds. Oh, yeah. Anyway, it was incredible. She had four children, and she worked. And her husband had lost his job in France. And so he had gone to Canada to work for a while. He was not an affiliate, he was a salesman. What would that be a volunteer?
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:49
No, that's that's not I don't know. volta. De, it's a volunteer.
Anyway, she was amazing. And I feel like I really learned sitting around her table. I think that Well, for one thing, it was my first time eating with a French family. It was my first time experiencing cheese outside of this, like American, late 90s forcefield of like, low fat.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:18
And you know, so so the fact that you could eat cheese every night there, and it was a normal thing. It was like earth shattering to me and like learning. I mean, I know that this is getting kind of serious. But I feel like sitting at her table, I learned that like I could trust my body to tell me like how much it wanted to eat. And I could eat cheese every night. And my body would love it and be just the same as it was. And anyway, it was amazing. Such an incredible life education. And by God, I have loved cheese ever since. And when I was in my early 20s. I worked at Whole Foods in Northern California during the summers and during the holidays at the cheese counter there. I learned a lot about cheese doing that too. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:04
like so like what things did you learn about cheese working at Whole Foods that you didn't know, just like getting to taste a bunch of Jesus?
Well, getting to taste a bunch of cheeses getting to learn about cheeses that weren't just French learning. Like I remember learning about idiot, Ed zabol. I think it's called the Spanish cheese that's smoked. Just getting to learn about cheeses that weren't French getting to taste them. Also learning about like which mold you need to worry
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:30
about. Oh, sure.
So like if a mold is green or blue, if there's cheese on your excuse me mold on your cheese,
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:39
or mold volley.
If there's mold on your cheese and it's green or blue, generally it's safe. It won't make you sick. On the other hand, if there's cheese that it's my God, if there's mold that is yellow or black. That's dicier. Yeah. I also remember learning how to tell if a cheese was ammoniated smelling it
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:57
sure. All these things that how do you tell her cheese is corked?
Okay, so anyway, I love cheese. I wish that I lived in a family of people who loved cheese as much as I yeah. But maybe someday my family will join me. I should take them to visit my host mother. But unfortunately, I didn't appreciate her enough and we aren't really in touch anymore. Oh,
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:25
well. I mean, could it be one of those things where like it's never too late. I mean, she was always showing up at people's doors uninvited with silpada you should show up
late because when I was briefly dating a French guy, and my host mother went out of town. This was like the one time
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:39
you mentioned this.
Yeah, I had him over to spend the night and my my oldest host sister who was 17 and who was also at home, tattle on me. Oh, and it was like the one time in my life that I did something like that. And I was so I was so devastated by getting in trouble over it. Like I felt like a bad kid. And I've never really gotten over it. And that was toward the end of my stay with my host family. And I kind of don't think I'm Welcome back. And that's really sad because I don't think I'm usually the kind of person to leave that impression.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:10
Yeah, but you know what, there are other families like that in France.
That's true. That's true.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:16
put an ad on Craigslist.
Okay. Anyway, so let's let's talk about like how to build a cheese plate.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:22
Do you know what the word is for to tattle in? Japanese? No, Chico?
Oh, that's great. Oh, that's great. Okay, so Okay, Matthew. You know, I was about to say Feel free to interrupt me because this is gonna
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:35
be a very dangerous thing to say. Don't
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:38
I've been sitting in front of this cheese without eating cheese for so long. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 14:42
well, hold on. So then what? Wait,
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:43
let's talk about lane holding on.
You know what, let's let's move down in the agenda. Let's talk about strategy. like where do you use where do you naturally want to start with this? assortment of cheese?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:53
Oh, is this a test? Okay, so one at one of these cheeses. I don't really know what it is. Although I can guess the This one here. Oh, yeah. Okay, so I think I think I would start with the MIMO lat probably.
Wait a minute, we're doing this episode all wrong. We haven't even told the listeners what the cheeses are.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:12
Uh, do we have to I thought this was between you and me,
Matthew, wait a minute, let's just hold on. Let's
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:16
go back to the let's go back to the entire thing over Okay, so so you're in
France basically like I think in the US, especially in places where people are giving advice on how to build a cheese plate, right like Bon appetit magazine or like various websites.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:34
Those are the main places I go for cheese plate advice, bone appetit magazine,
where people are usually giving advice on like what accoutrement to put with Oh, yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:45
like which spread
or like, here's a beautiful expensive piece of slate to put your cheeses on.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:53
Okay, that is very important.
That is not what I want to talk about here to know
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:56
that you're right. Like, I don't care about this at all. You're about that.
I want to talk about the cheese. So here's the deal. Basically, if you want to put on your table and assortment of cheeses and eat Cheetos, here's what I think you need to think about. You want an assortment of textures. Okay, so soft, crumbly, hard. You want maybe an assortment of types of jagad cow's milk sheep smells goat's milk, you want to think about that? And you also want to think about a range of pungency. Right. You probably don't want a whole bunch of really stinky cheeses are a whole bunch of really like mild cheeses you want kind of all across the board, right? So I think in general, if you are like my host family going to serve cheese after a meal, I think it's nice to have like three to five cheeses. You do not need more than that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:45
I think you want to have one semi firm so we're so when I think of semi firm, I think of like the texture of like a chatter. Okay, okay. So something like what chatter Manchego? Yeah. Okay, um, like any of those delicious Swiss cheeses, like Greek air, or French cheeses that are also in that kind of realm, like Cantarell Smithies, I can't remember whether they're Swiss or French, both for Conte or the Swiss or French hoteller. appenzeller
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:19
is Swiss. Yeah, Conte is French both, but it's similar to one that you said previously.
Go. Yeah. Anyway, so any of those cheeses are what I would call a semi firm. Yeah. So you want something like that?
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:35
delivered in a semi truck,
and then you probably I would recommend that you get some sort of a goat cheese. I love goat cheese, especially ones that have like a bloomy rind
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:45
like the one you got today.
Like the one I got today, which is a crow tan. Do you know what kata means in French?
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:51
Is it like, or like a cut? Is it like a poop?
It means a turd? Yeah, basically. So in France, you often see these small, sort of like a tall disc. That's about the size of a silver dollar, would you say? Yeah, I will be like an inch and a half tall. And those are often served warm, like kind of warmed under a broiler with with a salad and like, crispy, like, slices of bread.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:17
good. So a quota is often served warm. What I've purchased today is what is made here in the US by Vermont Creamery. This is one of my very favorite domestic cheeses.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:30
And it's got it's got an aroma. Let me tell you,
they call it B shoe and they sell it in packs of two and it's a it's a crotalus style. gocce question. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:39
what happened to the other bees? You? We answer carefully.
I ate like half of it last night at dinner at one my child grimaced. And my partner just sort of didn't say anything. That's very tiring. Anyway, I generally like go cheeses that have like bloomie, rinds and kind of like our little bit of sort of gooeyness right underneath the rind, but then like a chalky, middle.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:01
This is literally torturing me, right? much. I'm sitting in front of four cheeses and having to listen to Molly, tell me about how good these cheeses are going to be when eventually possibly hours from now she allowed to eat.
Then there are other ones like, like a little like sort of flatter disc called a whole kemah do. There are all kinds of goat cheeses from different parts of France that have been rolled in like ash and flowers and
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:28
Yeah, anyway. I think it's also nice to have a blue cheese. So blue cheese. Most of the ones I think of are cow's milk cheeses. They're usually inoculated with mold.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:40
Did you have a moment? I think we did a blue cheese episode maybe? And probably would have talked about this. But did you have a moment where you suddenly realized blue cheese was good?
Oh, yeah, it took a long time.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:51
Yeah, cuz I think for me, like I don't remember exactly, but I think I may have had it like on a burger or something. And then after that, I was like, Okay, I like I like blue cheese. Now. I love Blue cheese on a burger
one of the first blue cheeses I ever liked. Was this one that I bought for us today that's called formed damn bear.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:07
and Anyway, we'll talk about it in a second. So I like a blue cheese. And then I often like something that's kind of soft. With a bloomy rind often made of cow's milk like Brie, Camembert, something like that. If you want to branch out beyond it, a sheep's milk cheese is really nice.
sheep's milk cheese, so anything from like a semi firm, like a like a type of pecorino?
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:33
like a tome to baby you may see the word Tom t o m m e, that just refers to like this drum shape.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:41
Okay, I thought it was the name of the guy who made it.
So it took him to belay B is just like this particular shape and type of cheese that's made of sheep's milk baby.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:51
You know what I say when I see one of those Hey baby. This good This could be done through no fault of yours are worse. But
the sheep shut up Matthew shut the title of cheese. The type of sheep's milk cheese that I bought for us today is a semi firm. It's called also IATSE, and it's one of the easiest ones to find.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:13
I think one of the hardest ones to say. I'm just now realizing that I was complaining that I haven't got deed the cheese yet but I spent 15 minutes interrupting you. I've dug my own cheese.
Here. I want to finish talking. Alright, so also you got to use a sheep's milk cheese. It is I believe it's technically a tome style, you'll find it sold as wedges. It's semi firm, and I think it's very likeable, though sometimes in the past eating it. I've also felt that it smelled like puppy Chow kit kibble. All right. Lastly, if you are game to have like stinky or cheeses, I love Taleggio, which is an Italian jitsu it has a washed rind so the rind is kind of pink often streaked with gray, I cut the rind off I don't eat the rind of a Taleggio. It's delicious It's got this really almost chewy texture.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:12
Yeah big Yes, yes. Exactly.
famous French cheese that's really stinky is a plus
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:19
Yeah, which is which we saw recently at Costco. scribers that
usually also as kind of an orange exterior it's brushed with a type of leaker called mock doubler going yeah, which comes from burgundy. So does a plus my favorite wash trying cheese harder to find in the States but it's called longer, which I don't
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:39
know this at all. It's spelled
l a n g r e s. And it has a kind of a lurid yellow outside and it's very wrinkly on the outside. Oh
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:49
yeah, I've definitely seen a wrinkly t Oh,
so good. This episode is brought to you by no passport required on PBS
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:59
no passport required with Marcus Samuelsson is returning to PBS.
Yep. This season. They're going to take us on a new journey across the country, where we're going to learn about America's immigrant communities and their culinary traditions. We're going to discover how food connects us all.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:16
Yep, we'll travel to six cities and explore the rich diversity of local vibrant communities from coast to coast.
Yep. In Boston. We're going to be talking with Portuguese chefs in Las Vegas, Chinese American chefs. We are going to experience global food cuisine and the way that it's woven into American food and culture.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:34
And with the help of chef Marcus Samuelsson who is great in everything we will get to know people and their stories as they cook up the bold, unique flavors of their homelands and show us how food can bring Americans together around the table.
No passport required features musicians, poets, chefs, business owners, community leaders, artists, and home cooks, all of whom have played a part in the nation's culture and cuisine.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:57
So tune in or stream the new season of no passport required Monday at nine, eight central on PBS or the PBS video app. This episode is brought to you by imperfect foods.
I am so excited to have this company as an advertisement to Did you know that every year over $218 billion worth of food goes to waste in this country
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:20
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Matthew Amster-Burton 24:31
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Unknown Speaker 24:44
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Matthew Amster-Burton 25:24
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Matthew Amster-Burton 25:30
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Matthew Amster-Burton 25:36
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Matthew Amster-Burton 26:01
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imperfect foods.com slash spilled milk and enter spilled milk at checkout. What we've done today is we've gotten four cheeses. We've got the sheep's milk cheese, also the hottie. Our blue cheese is formed on bear. We have a goat cheese. It's this crotone style one from Vermont Creamery. And then I didn't mention this. This is our hard cheese. You don't have to I don't know like I don't really like to see a wedge of parm on a cheese plate. Oh, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:39
have no problem with that.
Really. June would love it too. She loves eating like hunks of parmi too. I don't really care. But anyway, the hard cheese I got for us today is called mimolette. It's a French cheese as you can imagine it is made of pasteurized cow's milk cheese, at least this one here. And when you see it whole, it looks like a cantaloupe. Yes. And when it's sold in different ages when it's young, it kind of looks just like cheddar. It's got it. It's opaque orange curd, basically. And it's quite mild. And then when it's aged, this one is aged 12 months. It gets to be this deep like pumpkin orange. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:19
And it's gonna be hard like parmesan and almost caramelly taste
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:23
and when it gets to the perfect consistency, you can carve it like a jackal enter.
Anyway, Matthew, let's start eating. Where would you start with this cheese?
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:33
Where would you start? A few minutes ago, I said that I would start with the bema Lab but actually I think I would start with the Oso iati
I want to tick I know it's
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:44
teak that's what I was going.
Oh, it's oh so erotic. Alright, so what
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:48
do you think is the most erotic of Jesus? And can you eat the rind on this one?
I would not eat Okay, on this one.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:53
This is I think this is the thing that that makes people afraid of Jesus is they don't know whether to eat the rind or not. Yeah, right. I right there with you people. Ah. Got a baguette.
So all of these are at room temperature.
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:05
This is Mary Meyer. Yep.
Hmm. But you can taste the sheep's milk, right. It's very. I mean, this is a very likeable cheese.
Unknown Speaker 28:14
What do you think?
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:16
I like it very much.
Mm hmm. You know what I also like to see on a cheese plate. I like those really, like extra aged gudas. Yeah, those ones that are like light caramel colored. Love those.
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:28
The thing about the goodness is I'm always afraid someone is going to like, tell me that it's actually perhaps howdah or something
Unknown Speaker 28:34
like that is scary. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:36
that's super scary. And then yeah, but then I'm afraid like, if I say that, then then someone's gonna say like, What are you talking about? Yeah.
The knife just got stuck on that mimolette label. Hold on. Okay, so you don't want to eat the rice on mimolette either. I think you can tell because it kind of looks like cantaloupe Brian does. So this one I would eat without this is another thing like in France, like it had never occurred to me that you could just pick up cheese, even like a wedge of Brie, like a little, a little slice of it. And just put it in your mouth and eat it without bread or a cracker. And to be fair, if
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:11
you're in the store, you probably shouldn't do that. You mean just pick it up and eat it right? Like in the cheese section at monopoly?
What about like last week's episode we talked about just licking things and then passing them to somebody else.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:23
So I can lick my brain. Pass it to you.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:27
You can lick your own brain.
I'm very flexible. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 29:31
Unknown Speaker 29:31
you think of the memo?
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:32
That is great. Mm hmm. Okay, yeah, I love the color. It's got it's got kind of like a I don't know what to say about the texture I was gonna say Sandy but it's not real. It's not like gritty or anything. It's just
and it doesn't have the same kind of crystals that parmesan
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:48
no but but it you know, because it's such a firm cheese it like like sort of comes apart and has like a bit of like a you know, powdery shortbread II texture.
Don't you wish we were drinking wine with that? So I just really oh my god this this is crying out for wine. Do you think we should move on to the blue or the goat first? I have an opinion.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:09
I think the goat first I agree. I think once you taste the blue like that becomes the dominant flavor the dominant thing going on in your whole mouth
Unknown Speaker 30:19
era a while.
Will you hear? So Matthew as we taste these, I want to talk a little bit about about cutting the cheese.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:28
Okay. Remember waiting to say that?
Can I just issue a little bit of a like a rant?
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:35
I can't wait. Stand stand aside. We're Irie rants. That's what the show is most known for.
Unknown Speaker 30:44
Oh my god.
It's my favorite cheese on Earth. Alright, love this kind of goat cheese.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:53
Oh, that's very good.
Unknown Speaker 30:53
Isn't that great?
Oh my god. It was a gift to keep that keeps giving like as you swallow it. Mm hmm. It's perfect. Do you think it's too strong? No. Oh, God, I love it. So okay, here's here's my fiery red. Okay, here's my hot take. What's the difference between a hot take in a fiery rant?
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:14
So I think a hot take can like engender a rant but doesn't require a random hot take is simply the opinion itself.
Okay. All right. My hot take is I do not want to see cheese cubes on a cheese plate.
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:28
Oh, I see.
I absolutely do not that is not what I'm talking about here people like I just don't think that's really a cheese plate. I also don't want to see like pepperjack
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:41
I'm getting a message in the federal cheese commission have been canceled.
I don't want to see something like have already on a cheese plates have already belongs on a sandwich and I love have already I've got it in my fridge right now. I don't want to see it on a cheese plate. I don't want to see those cheeses that are like, shot through with like a web of beer. shot
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01
through with a web of beer
Unknown Speaker 32:02
or like I'm You're to blame.
Now, but you know what I mean? Like every holiday party in the world. These like types of cheese cubes show up.
Unknown Speaker 32:13
plate. That's not what we're talking about
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:16
here. It's more like a like a lunchbox that's fallen open.
Like I think it's related to a credit a platter.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:25
Yeah, we did. We did do an episode on crudities. Why did we do? I don't know. I can't imagine what we talked about.
Anyway, but okay. But can we also talk about etiquette for cutting the cheese?
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:35
Because Matthew Lee's, I gotta tell you the way rocked
up that goat cheese.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:41
I took your favorite cheese and I ruined it with my
So basically, like, here's the thing number one to return to Bon appetit magazine. Which I gotta tell you, can I now I have a really fiery rant.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:53
Okay. Oh, my God is about how you got fired by Bon appetit magazine. I
didn't get fired. No, it's just the entire staff of the magazine turned over. And then I had no editor anymore. No one
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:06
to email anymore. were made redundant.
I was made redundant. Yeah, this was back in 2011. Yeah, I'm not bitter anymore. Okay. It's fine.
Unknown Speaker 33:13
I had a good run there. You did? Absolutely. Yeah.
It was great. I mean, everybody who worked for the magazine then got laid off. Anyway, all right. I bought the Christmas cookie issue of Bona potty, Okay, last month. It had this like really pretty cookie on the cover that I knew I was never going to make but I bought it anyway. And I was just kind of like, I haven't bought this magazine in like a year. I want to see what it's like. I just I expected to see some emotional maturity. Over the years from that magazine. I just wanted to see growth. I wanted to see it become a chairman. I've
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:47
no idea where you're going with this.
It was just so the it is so winking Lee lowbrow. You know? Okay, like they're like, you know, it's the tone is like, have you ever heard of white claw? like yeah, you're not supposed to like white claw. Oh, why didn't you take this fancy cheese with your case of white claw? I
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:08
like your holiday like. brushed with white claw
anyway, but basically the whole gist of the holiday cookie spread was you think it's enough to show up at a cookie exchange with cookies that taste good.
Unknown Speaker 34:24
Oh, no. Oh,
you got it. Wrong. Your cookies have to be pretty to everybody was smiling and telling you they liked your cookie while they were lying? Because your cookie was ugly.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:36
I thought how
to make beautiful cookies. Well, I don't fuck. I just want my cookies to taste good. And I really don't want sass and snark and insult with my recipes. No, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:47
thought and like I had it all wrong, because I thought you're supposed to show up at the cookie exchange and put your car keys in a fishbowl.
Well, that's what you and I do. That's how we met. Exactly.
Unknown Speaker 34:59
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:01
We like you pulled my car keys out of the fishbowl. And Dan, you were like, do you want to go start a podcast? And I was like, yeah.
So Boehner putty magazine, here's what they say about cutting cheese. They say that if you're putting out a cheese plate, you should cut the cheese ahead of time.
Unknown Speaker 35:20
All right, but
they're talking about for a party. They're not talking about like passing it around with your loved ones at a table.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:26
Is it because they give any justification for this?
Well, I think that they said that it would just be easier for everyone and that this way your cheeses could be cut properly. Now, would you like to know about cutting the cheese properly?
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:40
I mean, yes, but I can't I kind of can't tell where you're falling on this question of whether to cut the cheese ahead or not. So
I you know, granted I know that this is about like, if you're putting this out at a cocktail party, I think it's, it's okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:53
And we throw a lot of cocktail parties.
In general, I resent the whole idea that you can only eat a variety of cheeses at like a party. I think that we should be doing this every night after dinner. Yes. Right. So So anyway,
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:08
and we should we should be eating delicious, ugly cookies, and pulling out the plastic cheese plate and
drinking white cloth
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:16
drinking white Claus. no guilt,
anyway. No, but what I did like about what Bon appetit said here is that they described how to properly cut different styles of cheese because as you may have noticed, when you're buying cheese in the supermarket cheese, like pieces of cheese come in many different shapes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:35
I have noticed that.
So number one crumbly cheeses like blue cheese or like fresh Chev, they are just going to crumble like trying to cut them into slices or wedges
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:47
is gonna crop
is like really not gonna work. So you want to kind of just go ahead and crumble though. Okay. All right, for cheeses that come in wedges, all right, wedges, you want to cut pieces off of it that quote, maintain the integrity of the original shape. So for example, if you have a wedge of Bry you don't just lop the tip off and smear it on your bread. You cut a wedge out of it from like from from the outer, you know, ledge of the wedge to the center, I understand a wedge of it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:27
Like what I do if I don't want if there's like a slice of pizza left, but I don't want another whole slice I like kind of like a little
skinny slice you lop off the tip of it and heat it up. So basically my host family taught me this too. Like if a platter of cheese is being passed around. Oh, serious question. You're to cut the pieces of cheese in a certain way so that nobody winds up with like all rind or all running middle. Right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:52
This is the equivalent of like you don't if you're if you're cutting yourself a slice of cake, you don't cut like parallel to the plate and just take the frosting.
Yeah, but Matthew, that's precisely what you did with this Crota but not on purpose with something like this, Matthew, this is a small disc. So what shape Do you think you need to cut out of it?
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:14
I can't say heatran rhombus fleece, a rhombus of wedge, a wedge but
you're gonna cut a slice out of it like it was a cake. Don't just lop off the side of it like that. What do you think? Looks cool
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:29
the way I left it
look like all right.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:32
Okay, I'm taking a picture of this. We're gonna post it on our website. And I want to hear doesn't. What I want to hear from listeners is that this looks cool.
So I also some cheeses are sold in blocks, right like chatter.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:48
Oh, wait, I have a serious question.
Do you want to cut them into smaller
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:51
butcher this also erotic cheese. It comes in a wedge, but it's it's a wedge of a fairly large round of cheese. So like, you wouldn't cut like like one millimeter thick wedges of it? Well, but
what you would do is I think you're going to cut an approximate like wedge shape out of it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:11
Basically what seems very abstract
what this rule is saying is so Matthew, you can imagine if we're all just cutting slices across Oh, eventually somebody is going to wind up with a lot of rind. Whereas if we're cutting around it like it's a pie.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:29
Oh yeah, I get it. I
get pieces that have both the yummy cheese and the rind. Okay, do you see what I'm saying?
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:36
Yeah. So I think this is really important though, and I do despite the fact that I don't know though. So the whole article that Bon appetit published about like putting together a cheese plate also included like tons of suggestions about like, Marcona almonds and homemade jams and pickled whatever and that you need all of this in order to have a cheat code. quints that you need all of this in order to have a cheese plate which drives me batty. So I don't know the whole article just bothered me I don't understand why we can't just talk about the cheese.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:10
No, you're absolutely right we have we have slices of good begat here and I think that is the only thing you need. No. Is it bad if you want to put some Marcona almonds out? Yes, it's bad.
Okay, hold on Matthew. I'm not done here.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:23
I can tell it because there's a whole cheese we haven't tasted yet.
Okay. Anyway. So here you go. Oh, here's the other thing. When you
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:30
believe you are serving me slices
when you are serving. That's the tricky thing with this is it's got foil on the outside. Yeah. When you are serving blue cheese in the presence of other cheeses. For sure, set out a different knife for the blue cheese big time. I think also you need to set out a different knife for soft cheeses from like hard or semi firm cheeses.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:54
Mm hmm. So good,
Unknown Speaker 40:56
huh? Oh, really good.
Unknown Speaker 40:58
What do you think about dedicated cheese knives?
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:03
Doesn't seem necessary. Unless Unless you're bussing into an entire wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano,
then you need like a lot of special tools.
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:12
Yeah, like a bandsaw on something with like a big crank. And like one of those one of those like, an organ grinder is an organ grinder just a type of monkey.
When I worked at Whole Foods, I'm not going to answer that. Because I don't know. We did have some special tools. We had like a wire cutting for cutting cheeses, which was awesome. And I do think a cheese wire is really good either for like sin slices. Or if you're breaking down a big old Lofa cheese because you work in a grocery store. Or if you are breaking down crumbly cheeses like blue cheese. That makes sense, because you could crumble it nicely.
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:57
Were you ever asked to wear a wire?
Now, the other special tool we had was what looked like a like a utility knife like a large paring knife. Okay, but it had cut out in the
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:13
blade. So the cheese wouldn't stick to it.
Yeah, to create less surface area. The blade that's really good for soft sticky cheeses, like Brie, and stuff like that. I feel like but I don't own any of these things. And I eat cheese just fine. Good for you. Yeah. Do you ever want stuff with your cheese like now that I've laid all these out? Do you feel that that Marcona almonds are missing?
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:37
No, no, I do want Jam Jam. No, I don't I don't actually even like jam with cheese.
What about slices of perfectly ripe fruit like pear is really good with this blue cheese we've got.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:48
So Okay, so here's here's my hot take. I think you will enjoy both the pear and the cheese more if you have them separately. And when I say you I mean me.
I think that's great.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:03
Okay, because actually you will Yeah, you're right.
Do you like eating cheese with crackers? Oh, yes,
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:11
very much. Um, my favorite cracker for cheese is Wheat Thins? And I like I like getting like a tele MK extra sharp cheddar that I can cut into squares that are approximately the size of Wheat Thins and he did on weekends.
Mm hmm. I don't think I would want any of these cheeses on wheat. I
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:30
don't think so either.
But I think cheddar was well suited to a wheat then. I think if I'm eating a cheese and I want to really taste the cheese, I want something quite plain, like maybe even like cars, table water. But my favorite is baguette.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:46
You know what? I'm an open biscuit with cheese can be real cheddar.
Unknown Speaker 43:52
Or I could see it with a soft cheese maybe like a triple crown kind of thing
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:59
I've ever been to the Neal's yard dairy store in Covent Garden in London. I have that is an amazing cheese shop.
I was 18 and I wasn't yet into cheese. I didn't deserve it. I didn't I didn't deserve to be there.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:13
No, I was. I was like 2526 and I was ready to cheese. Oh god. That's
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:19
I was DTC.
Matthew. I love how you're going for this blue cheese because it is truly fantastic.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:25
Yeah, this is definitely my favorite one. That was so good. I think they're all great. But
the goat is my favorite. Maybe followed by the blue
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:33
button going back for a little more of the erotic cheese also. What else? Um,
would you ever serve cheese after a meal?
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:43
You tend to hook mostly? Well, you tend to cook a lot of Japanese Chinese foods.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:50
Yeah. So I mean, I don't often serve cheese after a meal but I like to think of myself as the kind of person who would How about that.
Are you an aspirational tea? server
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:00
I like to think yes, I am an aspirational cheese server. I like to think of myself as the kind of person who would serve the salad after the meal. And then the cheese plate.
I'm never I'm never this person. But I, every now and then actually, I'm occasionally this person like, once every couple years. And I'm always the person who's also sitting at the table moaning and ecstasy.
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:21
away. We talked about cheese accessories. What about what about the cart? Oh, my God, the cheese chariot. The cheese? Exactly. Oh,
my God, have you? Have you been to a restaurant that has a cheese cheese I have?
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:33
And how was it? Where what would this have been? I don't remember if it was in France, or if it was in New York, or I don't think it would have been in Seattle. It could have been like a rhotic dream? I don't know.
I remember. So when I was doing my like, study abroad program, staying with that host family. There was this woman named Helen Bing, who had given a lot of money to the study abroad program at Stanford. And so like, because of her we got to do these incredible things while we were there, like, go to the opera and have amazing tickets. go spend a weekend.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:17
I want to go to an opera. No, but it's cool that you have that opportunity. Yeah,
no, I mean, because this was something that none of us would have been able to afford as like 20 year olds, right. What I do remember is that before the end of the like the term before so you know, you could you could stay there for one or two quarters, and I stayed for two quarters, but a lot of people were going home after one quarter. And I remember the end of the quarter she you know her her money paid for us to have a special closing dinner for the program. at this restaurant at I think it's at the gal do na, called Le tumbler the blue train. Okay, and it's this like old school Bistro thing that probably nobody thinks of as having great food, but it's quite elegant. And it's it's solid. Sure. I loved it. And I think that was my first time ever encountering encountering a cheese chariot, which is just called a cheese cart.
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:12
Yeah, that's great. Like, how many cheeses were on it? And was it like multi leveled? Oh, I
think there were for sure. 15 to 20. And it was multi leveled. He, there was a server who wielded over and we all went silent. And he talked us through all the cheeses. That's amazing. Then he steered the cart around to each of us and we would turn around and tell him what we wanted. Then I remember learning about some restaurant that had like a three course menu for 25 euro or something. And it was a very, like a very nice neighborhood Bistro. I'm sure some of our listeners will know the name of it. I feel like it started with an A and it was well known for its cheese cart. Okay. And that too was pretty incredible. I remember going to that Bistro once
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:59
some B stores I went to in France in Paris where la Vega LOD, lippy dupin, la casa de lo summer, well. Those are the ones I remember.
I remember a lot, I think a lot, but I don't remember why I remember it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:15
Oh, the chef was it was a very, very famous chef. You've come to ball with I think, Oh,
yeah. Yeah, very famous. Um,
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:26
yeah. I could be getting this all wrong. That's okay. Um, I see. I was thinking I was gonna say before and then and then I was like, no, that's not a good idea. But now I'm coming back around now that I know about this being being money. Because she she she was the founder of being calm, right. And that's how she made all this money. So I was thinking like, speaking of like, a, like a scholarship to to give kids things they don't need. Yeah, exactly. Could we could we have like a scholarship to send one listener to live with a host family in Japan and have cheese every night? I'm thinking we could cover like our scholarship fund could cover maybe like three days of this not counting airfare? Did you mean to say Japan was actually Japan? I did not.
Stay with a family in Japan and
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:22
we we talked about this other France versus Japan episode. The cheese situation in Japan is not good.
Okay, anyway, um, is there anything else you want to say about cheese plates? Do you
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:35
think I should not say anything else about anything? Because I
think you're right. I think you're done here.
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:43
This episode was brought to you by no passport required on PBS
join chef Marcus Samuelsson on a new cultural and culinary journey across America as he explores the rich diversity of immigrant communities, and how their traditions and cuisines are woven into American food. And culture
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:00
tune in or stream that new season of no passport required with Marcus Samuelsson Monday at nine, eight central on PBS or on the PBS video app.
With the only one of these cheeses we had that was made in the States was this Vermont Creamery cheese and I just want to take a moment to say, Vermont Creamery. I love you guys. Yeah, love you guys. I also love that you just ate that cheese off the knife when I was. Well, the thing is,
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:30
I scraped it off one knife on a different knife and ate it off that knife thinking that this was somehow better.
I remember when I when I then went back to Paris and worked there for a year after I graduated from college, and I rented this like studio apartment and so at night when I would eat dinner and my kitchen was like in my hallway, it was like part of my hallway. With my little like, two burner stove and dorm size refrigerator. I would eat dinner sitting on the edge of my bed and use this coffee table that was on wheels as my dinner table.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:04
That's how the chariot
anyway, I would have cheese every night after my main course,
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:11
which is chariot latest a fancy word for cart. Shaco okay.
Anyway, I would have cheese every night by myself after my meal and I usually only had one or two types around. It seemed like too extravagant to have three types of cheese for myself. Anyway, but I remember because I was eating by myself. I got into this habit of like sucking on the knife to get every bit of of cheese off of it. And when my mother came to visit me she was horrified that I had turned into someone who like sucks on the blade have dinner in our house.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:46
Oh, but that's like the only way I eat peanut butter.
Well, yeah, I mean, you don't want to leave anything on the knife.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:53
No. Anyway, so that's one of my greatest pleasures is like I'll make breakfast for me and teenager the show Iris and then like while I'm cleaning up. I'm like, Oh, hey, here's a knife with some peanut butter or Nutella on it. And just like lick it off before putting it in the sink. Well, don't
let my mother see you. Okay. Anyway, at some point I stopped
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:11
using does join us for breakfast pretty often,
Unknown Speaker 52:13
but I stopped. I think it's because I also stopped having cheese every night after dinner. Okay, we need to get back to our roots. Yeah, you need to go back to France. Okay.
I was actually thinking of going to Japan and eating cheese there.
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:27
Yeah, that's he suggested that we Yes, we should. We should we should go to Japan again. We should not make cheese a priority.
Yeah, mm. Hmm. What a delicious. What a delicious
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:40
this was this was a delight. I'm gonna have more bread. This was a long episode. Thanks for sticking with us. Anyone who's still listening. Find us online. It's filled in here. Yep. firstname.lastname@example.org slash spilled milk podcast. Please let us know what what do you need to have on your cheese plate?
How do you feel about cheese cubes?
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:00
How do you feel about what do you think is the most erotic cheese?
Ugly cookies at a cookie exchange? Nobody.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:07
I don't you know I don't want to hear about it
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:10
right? It's gonna come down to like I'm the person who looks down on you if you bring ugly but delicious cookies.
I am tired of being shamed for the appearance of my cookies.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:21
Okay. And our producer is Abby's her catella and what else Instagram at spelled Belle podcast, please rate and review the show wherever you've gotten it. And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. And now we are going to read off the correct cheese plate order for all of our 419 previous episodes. First 137 to 49.
Wait, we're going from mildest to
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:49
mild this year. 137 was
what was our stinkies deficit?
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:53
I mean, probably this. Okay. And I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.
You have a booger coming out of your left nostril. Thank you. Now it's on the tip of your nose. You got it.