I must confess that it was a bit of a surprise that I had such wonderful cheese-centered experiences on my way out to LA this evening. I mean, one does not generally expect to encounter fine cheese at the airport, let alone on an airplane, but I guess my overlong stay at LaGuardia in August should have clued me in to the fact that the culinary experience in and around airports is not what it used to be.
Tonight, I was flying out of JFK and it was right around dinner time. Since airplanes rarely provide free food anymore and really, when they do, it’s not that appetizing, I decided to get a sandwich to take on board with me. I found Bar Veloce at the end of the JetBlue terminal. There was a woman yapping away on her cell at their winebar, so I got my panino to go, and took it out onto the newly established smoke-free outdoor patio. I had selected the arugula panino featuring that green alongside the stringy fontina you see below and some chopped tomatoes. I did ask them to hold the red onions that usually come with it. I’m not overly fond of them and I think their strong flavor would have distracted me from the tastiness of the fontina.
Well, a crosscountry flight is always longer than it seems it should be so after a few hours, that panino was bit a distant memory, and I needed another snack. I opened up the menu detailing the options available (for purchase) to passengers and was delighted to find a cheese & fruit plate from Beecher’s.
It featured wedges of four of their handmade cheeses along with crackers, red grapes, honey, and I ordered an Angry Orchard cider to wash it all down. The cheeses included Beecher’s Flagship, Dutch Hollow Dulcet, Marco Polo, & No Woman.
I had tried the Marco Polo before, but was happy to sample some of its peppery goodness again. The Flagship is the cheese that started it all and has an outstanding flavor. No Woman is an ode to Jamaican reggae with jerk spices blended into the cheese. Finally, the Dutch Hollow Dulcet is exclusive to the Beecher’s New York shop, as it’s made with milk from an Albany farm. I kept taking little bites of each trying to pick out their distinctions but they were all so delicious that I could never pick a favorite. One of the last bites I enjoyed was the Dulcet drenched with some of the Bonne Maman honey–what a sweet combo!
I do feel this second encounter with Beecher’s will spur me into making the trek into their New York shop, hopefully sooner than later. And when I do make it there, I promise to take lots of pictures and careful notes, too!