Gooey, earthy, creamy, pungent French camembert.

French camembert. Gooey, earthy, creamy, pungent French camembert. Ours was super ripe, enhancing all the flavors and textures. If you don’t like strong cheese, this is probably not for you. If you have a slightly adventurous palate, then I highly recommend it!  Grab some crusty bread, maybe an artisan salami, some wine, and you’re in for a treat.

Heather and I decided to do a wine pairing experiment, picking a French red and a French white to go with our fromage.  This, if I may say…was a fantastic idea. First up was the 2004 Chateau La Guillaumette Bordeaux. This medium-bodied, balanced wine brought out the earthiness of the camembert. It was an excellent pairing, and was enhanced by the food. I probably would have preferred this had the cheese not been so ripe. Our second wine was a 2008 Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé. This lightly oaked chardonnay was an excellent match, as well, and brought out the creamy, buttery flavors in the cheese. We both preferred this wine, as it was a better balance with the rather strong cheese. What started as a little experiment turned into an excellent dinner!

Camembert and required accessories!

Just look at that ooze.....very ripe.

2004 Chateau La Guillaumette Bordeaux.

2008 Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé chardonnay.

The French know how to make cheese!

Holy Flavor Explosion

Buckwheat honey? Who knew it would be such a good pairing for scallops? It’s fun to mix a lot of flavors that play well together! So, to start out this experiment, we tested the aroma of 4 different sweets to determine which one to drizzle over the scallops – clover honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, and buckwheat honey. We knew we wanted to use thyme with our scallops, so we tried each of the sweet scents along with the scent of that herb, to see which combination would be best. Any would have worked, but the buckwheat honey stood out as a great match; it was dark and rich, and had a bold, intense, almost spicy flavor.

We pan seared scallops in olive oil with thyme, and seasoned with pepper and a touch of salt. We then served them over mashed sweet potatoes. This by itself is a great pairing, but when you sprinkle a little more thyme over them, and drizzle with the honey, it gets even better!

This paired extremely well with the 2007 Hayman & Hill Russian River Valley chardonnay we picked up.  I say that despite the fact that I was originally looking for a buttery chardonnay. The wine was smooth, light on the oak, and with a bit of citrus. If I may say, it was all fabulous!

Buckwheat honey scallops on mashed sweet potatoes!

2007 Hayman & Hill Russian River Valley chardonnay.

Honey,maple syrup, brown sugar.

Pure buckwheat honey!