Cheese, Please — For the Holidays

Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.

Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.

 

One of the easiest — and tastiest — no-fuss treats for holiday entertaining is cheese.

Just unwrap, arrange prettily with crackers, baguette slices, and maybe some toasted nuts and dried fruit, and you are good to go.

Laura Chenel, the pioneer in artisan goat cheese in Northern California, makes doing so especially festive with her flavored ones. Recently, I had a chance to try a couple samples that are particularly perfect at this time of year.

Her new Cranberry & Cinnamon Medallion is new this year. The 3.5-ounce thick round disk ($3.99) is naturally tangy from the goat cheese, but with a touch of fruity sweetness and warmth from the dried cranberries and touch of cinnamon.

It would be wonderful garnishing an arugula salad. Or even — dare I say — spread on a toasted bagel.

The Black Truffle Marinated Cabecu ($9.99) is a disc of goat cheese packed in organic canola oil, truffle oil and black truffle. It comes in a resealable little 6.2-ounce plastic tub. The truffle oil does indeed include “truffle aroma,” which may put off some. But there are actual real bits of black truffle in this, as can be clearly viewed in the goat cheese.

Real bits of black truffle flavor this Laura Chenel goat cheese.

Real bits of black truffle flavor this Laura Chenel goat cheese.

The oil gets flavored with the cheese and truffles, making it delicious all on its own, too. Spread the cheese and its oil on grilled bread. Or just imagine it stirred into mashed potatoes.

Look for the products at Whole Foods, Mollie Stone’s, Costco, Draeger’s, and other retailers.

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