Taste Of England — Wensleydale Cheese Bites With Almonds And Honey
“Cheese has always been a food that both sophisticated and simple humans love.” — M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf (1942)
Green pastures, healthy cows, and luscious cheese!
I am talking about the beautiful Yorkshire of England where Wensleydale cheese comes from. Click on the link to view a video.
Recently, I received a wedge of this cheese from a friend. The real deal from Yorkshire! Studded with cranberries, it smelled sweet and cheesy, of course. It brought back memories of my visit to England a couple years ago where I indulged in it wholeheartedly.
It has crumbly texture and is mild, creamy, and slightly sweet. Eaten fairly young within weeks, flavors get complex as it ages. It does take center stage on any cheeseboard, but goes wonderfully well with fruits and hot desserts like fruit pies and crumbles as well.
After a few trips to the fridge and couple nibbles, I had to make something with it. The simplest thing to make was these cheesy bites with the ingredients on hand in my pantry. I happened to have some Cornish sea salt and English honey as well bringing a true taste of England in my kitchen. I think all the elements of this recipe came together well complimenting each other.
These cheesy bites are really easy with very little preparation. I kept them simple and rustic. You could toast the bread, if you wish. I think this creamy cheese goes well with almonds and honey. A few fennel seeds made it even more interesting. But basil pleasantly surprised me. When taste buds were experiencing creamy, nutty, sweet, fragrant, and salty notes, basil finished this tasty treat with a punch of freshness in my mouth. More like a palate cleanser before I was ready for another one.
A perfect snack with a cup of tea.
Whole grain bread
Wensleydale cheese with cranberries or any sweet cheese
Almonds, coarsely chopped
Cut bread slices into desired shapes. Layer with chunks of cheese and almonds. Sprinkle a few fennel seeds, and drizzle honey on top. Finish with a pinch of sea salt and basil.