Mingle’s DelSo MoJo
Your regularly scheduled post will not be seen today. Instead I bring you some exciting breaking news. I suppose if you wanted to be technical about it, I broke the news on Sunday. But today I have all the details.
There are exciting things going at at Mingle restaurant on Delaware Avenue in Albany, or as popularized by slilly, in the DelSo. Yesterday I got an email from Jose at the restaurant. It seems like All Good Bakers has turned them on to local and sustainable produce, as now Mingle is getting theirs locally from the Honest Weight Food Co-op. And that’s big news on its own.
However with The Cheese Traveler moving in next door as well, the three DelSo taste makers have now collaborated on an appetizer special that is going on the menu today. It’s called The Flavors of DelSo Cheese Board, and it comes with pairings of either regional beers or international wines. I’ve got all the details, and I’m even running a picture.
Wasn’t I recently complaining about the lack of wine flights in the area? Sometime soon, I hope you will see a post from me about the glory of beer and cheese pairings, as I find those two things to be much more simpatico than cheese and wine. Actually that post is written, I’m just waiting for it to run on the Chefs Consortium.
But I digress. Feast your eyes on this:
Let’s start on the left.
That’s Shushan Snow from 3-Corner Field Farm in Shushan, NY. It’s described as:
A farmhouse, soft-ripened cheese handmade from pasteurized sheep’s milk according to a Camembert recipe. It has a bloomy, edible rind and a soft, white paste that becomes runnier, creamier, and more unctuous as it ripens. It is dense, slightly tangy, and has hints of mushrooms.
It comes with either four ounces of Switchback Ale from Burlington, VT or two ounces of Gazela’s Vinho Verde from Portugal.
Then there is Pawlett from Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlett, VT. This cheese is:
An award winning, artisan, washed-rind cheese handmade from raw jersey cow milk in the tradition of an Italian Toma. Aged 4-6 months. It has a salmon colored rind from the b-linen molds that is slightly gritty. The paste is golden and creamy. The flavor is fruity with a tangy finish.
It comes with Abby’s Gouda from the Cooperstown Cheese Company in Milford, NY, which is:
An artisan cheese handmade from grass-fed, raw, jersey cow milk while the cows are on summer pasture using a traditional Gouda recipe. Cave aged 4-6 months. It has an edible, natural rind a golden, semi-soft paste that has a wonderful, silken, creamy texture. The flavor is toasted and sharp with a pleasing, slightly sour finish.
These two are paired with either Blue Point’s Toasted Lager from Long Island or the 2010 Loredona Pinot Grigio from California.
The most intense flavors come at the end with Old Chatham Sheepherding Company’s Ewe’s Blue from Old Chatham, NY. Mingle’s notes from this cheese are:
A farmhouse, handmade cheese made from pasteurized sheep’s milk in the tradition of France’s Roquefort. Rindless with a moist, semi-firm, creamy paste. Full flavored – sweet with hints of lanolin, and a lingering finish.
They have selected either the Harpoon IPA from Windsor, CT or the 2010 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand to go with this cheese.
As you can see in the picture, not only is there a specific fruit from the HWFC matched up to each cheese, but there are some crackers propped up between the beer glasses. These are no ordinary Trader Joe’s fare either. These are made right next door by Nick & Britin of All Good Bakers with their ever keen attention to using the best ingredients they can find.
The whole kit and kaboodle, drinks included weighs in at $16. I’m pretty tough on restaurants when it comes to value, but that’s a solid deal.
You can think of it as a tasting flight of summer whites, with some cheese and crackers. If you are jaded about wine and cheese pairings, this can be a good excuse to try a beer and cheese pairing. But this can also be a learning exercise in how to build a cheese plate. I’d be happy to sit with my cheese, crackers, fruit and beer and make a meal of it.
Cheese may be small, but it’s dense. And since so much of a dish like this involves tasting, one tends to go through it slowly. How does the beer taste on its own? How about the cheese? How about when you taste them together? And what if I try beer number three with cheese number one?
Seriously, I find these kinds of things to be a ton of fun. What I don’t know is how long this cheese plate will be on the menu. So don’t let it pass you by like the pho at Creo. Get it while the getting is good. And then let me know what you think.