Watermelon and Goat Cheese

Watermelon_009

 

We
all know the classic fruit and cheese combinations — grapes and brie, apples
and cheddar, manchego and quince paste just to name a few. A couple of years ago I watched Dave Tallent
do a cooking demo at the Bloomington Farmers Market where he made a salad
with
watermelon, feta, and tarragon, in a light vinaigrette. Wow. I’ve since
seen the combo elsewhere, but that was my first exposure to
the magic interplay of salt and sweet, soft and crisp, funky and fresh
that
comes from matching cheese and melon.

While
sheeps milk feta is a good choice for eating with melon, I prefer a good goat cheese
(feta or otherwise) because I really like that goaty tang. At last week’s market the Capriole Farms Old
Kentucky Tomme tasted just right to me, so I bought a wedge and ate it up with
a sweet, cold watermelon. Fabulous. I am embarrassed to say I ate most of it
standing at the kitchen counter, dripping melon juice and spitting seeds into
the sink.

This
week the craving was still on me so I got another wedge of Old Kentucky Tomme
and, because I am a sucker for stinky, barnyardy, washed rind cheeses, a wedge
of Mont St. Francis too.  For the sake of civilized eating behavior, I
got a seedless watermelon. This time I
resolved to sit at the table and eat it off a plate.

As
you can see, there is, at least, a plate. The Mont didn’t love the melon – just
too strong and salty I think. It was
happiest on a piece of crusty bread, all by its lonesome. But the Tomme was
once again spectacular with the watermelon. When I went back for seconds I never left the counter.

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