Something wrinkled this way comes…with a beautiful Halloween Cheese Board from Vermont Creamery.
What are a cheese connoisseur’s fantasy for most of the year become creepy cheeses for Halloween.
Wrinkled, moldy and dusted with ash, these geotricum-rinded cheeses are a perfect cheese treat for the holiday (along with some wine, hard cider or beer, of course).
Geotricum candidum is a yeast—not a bacterium, fungus or mold, as is often written. Call it “geo” for short.
Geo is in the air around us, and under the right conditions, it grows on a fresh cheese to develop an opaque rind that wrinkled as it ages.*
Many of the traditional cheeses of France are made with geotricum rinds. The yeast is used to make the non-wrinkled rinds (no “brain” texture) on cheeses such as Camembert, Saint-Nectaire and Tomme de Savoie.
In the U.S., geo cheeses have been called ghostly little cheeses, franken-rinds, and beautiful brains—the highest of compliments on All Hallows’ Eve.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky…and delicious.
Yes, you eat the rind.
Not a goat cheese fan?
Check out this article for spooky cheeses:
*On the down side, the mold also acts as a plant pathogen, causing sour rot on carrots, nectarines, peaches and tomatoes.
1. Start with a selection of frightful cheeses. If you’re not a goat cheese fan (maybe you’ve never had one as good as Vermont Creamery’s?), see the “More Halloween Cheeses’ paragraph above for other suggestions.
2. Set the tone with a dark cheese board. We love the “gravestone” look of a gray slate board (see photos above).
3. Add pairings such as dark olives (especially wrinkled ones), dark dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, raisins) and toasted pumpkin seeds. Slices of dark rye bread and crackers studded with dried fruit and seeds suit the scary season.
4. Decorate with dried moss and these simple DIY ghostly maple leaves (or oak, or elm, etc.) from the wonderfully creative folks at Sweet Paul.
5. Drip some honey (consider spicy honey!) over the edges for more creepiness. This works best with one board or platter that sits on top of a larger one, so the honey drip has a neat landing spot.
6. Place the crackers and breads around the larger platter.
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