On a recent Saturday, I was prepping a picnic spread of new cheeses from Face Rock Creamery in Oregon that I was eager to dig into. While plating the wedges, my boyfriend Will started to chuckle. He gestured toward the yet-to-be-unwrapped cheeses, labeled: “Vampire Slayer” and “In Your Face.” I laughed and cut off a hunk of “Vampire Slayer.” The garlic-studded cheddar had a surprisingly tangy, smooth finish. A nibble of the spicy, pepper-flecked “In Your Face” pepper cheddar revealed a sweet pepper aroma before the heat from jalapeño and habanero began sizzling. Next I bit into the 12-month aged cheddar to sooth the piquant burn, and was struck by its complex richness. We finished our impromptu cheese tasting with the sweet and creamy Monterey Jack, which I slathered on top of a baguette and topped with sliced apple. It was perfection. As I leaned back, full and ready for a nap, I began to imagine the garlicky macaroni and cheese I could make with the Vampire Slayer, the enchiladas I could smother with In Your Face, and the gooey Monterey Jack grilled cheese sandwiches that our leftovers surely would—and did—end up in.
Gift boxes, $30.50 for four 8 oz. cheeses; Individual cheeses, $7 for 8 oz. block at Face Rock Creamery