If you’ve followed the blog for a while you may already know this about me: I adore cheese. During a cleaning of my refrigerator deli drawer last Fall I discovered that I had accumulated a collection of no less than nine varieties of cheese. My first thought was, “I need to make a nine-cheese grilled cheese for dinner.” And so, I did.
While planning this year’s Spring vacation I happened to learn about a very interesting new cheese-centric festival, the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest at Highland Brewing in Asheville. The inaugural festival will take place the afternoon of April 26 and benefits the WNC Cheese Trail, a group of twelve regional NC cheesemakers who open their creameries and farms to visitors. Events planned for the festival include milking demonstrations, panels and discussions, cheese-themed olympic-style competitions and (Hello!) a grilled cheese cookoff among local chefs. Oh, and there will be beer of course. The party’s at Highland Brewery after all.
Does an April road trip to the West for an all-cheese afternoon appeal to your inner curd nerd? Then there’s a package deal you need to check in to. The 17-member Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association is offering a month long cheese package that includes a two-night stay, recipes, meals that feature cheeses from WNC Cheese Trail members, as well as tips for traveling the trail and seeing other sites along the way. For the final weekend in April (24th through 27th) a special Cheese Fest Package will include passes to the festival too.
The member inns of the Asheville B&B Association offer unique accommodations and experiences for their guests. From the historic 1899 Wright Inn and Carriage House
to the warm and welcoming patio of the Crooked Oak Mountain Inn.
at locations in and around Asheville as well as surrounding area. Check the availability of each participating inn here to begin planning your cheesy mountain adventure.
To (further) whet your appetite, try this Roasted Strawberry Bruschetta recipe (courtesy of ABBA) with local strawberries and goat cheese you might find at our area farmers markets this coming weekend.
ROASTED STRAWBERRY BRUSCHETTA
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 baguette
- Soft goat cheese
- Chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gently mix the strawberries with balsamic vinegar. Spread on a baking sheet, lightly salt and pepper then roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Slice the baguette into thin rounds and toast lightly. Place a slice of goat cheese on the bruschetta, top with a strawberry and some fresh basil. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Carolina Bed & Breakfast