St Patrick's Day Cheese Pairings

St Patrick's Day Cheese Pairings

As St. Patrick's Day approaches, many of us are gearing up to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Ireland. While festivities often revolve around iconic beverages like Guinness and whiskey, there's another aspect of Irish gastronomy that deserves attention: cheese. Ireland boasts a diverse and vibrant cheese-making tradition that spans centuries, producing some of the finest cheeses in the world. In this blog post, we'll take a journey through the history of Irish cheeses, explore the stories behind renowned cheese makers, and discover perfect pairings for St. Patrick's Day featuring cheeses from Morgan McGlynn Carr's new book, "The Complete Cheese Pairing Cookbook."

Exploring the Rich History of Irish Cheeses: By Pairings them up with St. Patrick's Day classic drinks

A History of Irish Cheeses

Cheese-making in Ireland dates back centuries, with historical records indicating that monks were among the first to produce cheese on the island. Over time, traditional cheese-making techniques were passed down through generations, resulting in a rich tapestry of artisanal cheeses that reflect Ireland's diverse landscapes and culinary heritage.

In the modern era, Irish cheese makers have embraced innovation while remaining rooted in tradition. From small-scale farmhouse producers to larger creameries, each cheese maker brings a unique perspective and dedication to their craft, resulting in a thriving industry that continues to garner international acclaim.

Irish cheeses are known for their quality and diversity, with varieties ranging from creamy blues to tangy cheddars. Some of the most renowned cheese makers include Gubbeen Cheese in County Cork, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers in County Tipperary, and Coolea Farmhouse Cheese in County Cork.

Exploring Renowned Irish Cheese Makers

Gubbeen Cheese (County Cork):

Founded by Tom and Giana Ferguson in the late 1970s, Gubbeen Cheese is situated on a family farm in West Cork. Tom and Giana's commitment to sustainable farming practices and artisanal cheese-making has earned Gubbeen a reputation for excellence. Today, their son Fingal Ferguson carries on the family tradition, crafting award-winning cheeses with passion and precision.

Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers (County Tipperary)

Nestled in the heart of County Tipperary, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers has been producing artisanal cheeses since 1984. Founded by Jane and Louis Grubb, the creamery is renowned for its signature cheese, Cashel Blue. Made with locally sourced milk and traditional techniques, Cashel Blue has become a beloved staple in kitchens around the world.

Coolea Farmhouse Cheese (County Cork):

Coolea Farmhouse Cheese is a family-run operation located in the scenic countryside of County Cork. Founded by Dick and Helene Willems in the 1970s, the creamery specializes in crafting Gouda-style cheeses with a distinctive Irish twist. With its rich, nutty flavor and smooth texture, Coolea cheese has earned a dedicated following among cheese enthusiasts.

Perfect Pairings for St. Patrick's Day:

Drawing inspiration from Morgan McGlynn Carr's "The Complete Cheese Pairing Cookbook," here are some irresistible pairings featuring Irish cheeses:

  1. Gubbeen Cheese with Guinness:

    • Gubbeen's creamy texture and subtle smokiness complement the rich, roasted flavors of Guinness, creating a harmonious union of flavors that tantalize the palate.
  2. Cashel Blue with Whiskey:

    • The creamy, tangy taste of Cashel Blue pairs beautifully with the smooth complexity of Irish whiskey, offering a luxurious indulgence that delights the senses.
  3. Coolea Cheese with Whiskey:

    • Coolea's nutty sweetness and buttery texture enhance the nuanced flavors of Irish whiskey, creating a memorable tasting experience that epitomizes the essence of St. Patrick's Day.

As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, let's raise a toast to the rich history and vibrant flavors of Irish cheeses. Whether enjoyed on their own or paired with Guinness and whiskey, these artisanal creations are a testament to the ingenuity and passion of Ireland's cheese makers. And for more delectable pairings and culinary inspiration, be sure to check out Morgan McGlynn Carr's "The Complete Cheese Pairing Cookbook." Sláinte!