As I’ve said a few times on here by this point…I eat a primarily vegan diet. The hardest, by far, item to give up is cheese. Not just because it’s yummy, but because it’s in *so* many dishes, particularly when I go out for a bite to eat. So while I’m not one to (often) go out and buy a block of cheese to cook with, I do let myself have restaurant meals with cheese on it, as a vegetarian alternative when vegan ain’t on the menu. That being said…I totally get it. Cheese has a revered place in our culture, as the foodie equivalent of being a wine connoisseur or an ‘I-only-drink-artisan-coffee’ type. So today’s gifts are dedicated to all things cheese. They make for great hostess or houseguest gifts, or simply sensational options for that friend or family member that has a love for all things dairy.
Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board – $48 USD @ Uncommon Goods
Consider this a double-dose of green goodness whilst nibbling on your favourite cheese. The board itself is made of reclaimed slate, salvaged from chalkboards that were previously in an Illinois school. As a chalkboard, you can easily use your best coffee shop penmanship to scrawl your featured varieties to avoid that pesky party question of “OMG what kind of cheese is this? TO DIE FOR!”, plus simply wash & rewrite for refills or for another party, on another night. A wonderful choice for the in-laws anniversary or thank-you.
DIY Cheese Kit – $19 – $52 @ Urban Cheesecraft
If you’ve got a friend that’s either handy in the kitchen, or super into DIY, they’ll seriously dig one of these handy cheese making kits from Etsy shop Urban Cheesecraft. Fresher-than-fresh chèvre goat cheese, pizza-ready mozzarella, and Indian paneer cheese are but a bit of work (and time) away. Each kit includes the base ingredients you’ll need to make your chosen cheese, as well as instructions, molds, and tools as needed, all wrapped up in a simple carton. Shipping’s on the high side – $18 for one item, or $7 per item when shipped together – so stock up and gift all your pals / family members with a flare for homegrown cuisine.
Stainless Steel Cheese Knives – $19.99 @ Trudeau Corporation
A good wine & cheese party hostess knows that slicing the goods requires some finessing – and a good set of hardware to help you out. Don’t let the smiling faces on Trudeau Corporation’s stainless steel knives fool you: these baby-sized tools are designed to handle hard, soft, and those in-betweensie cheeses for the perfect, party-ready slice every time. Makes a great hostess or housewarming token.
Grilled Cheese Please by Laura Werlin – $14 @ Indigo
Even my friends that aren’t major cheese heads don’t mind the toasty taste of a grilled cheese sandwich. This kid-friendly meal packs tons of protein and taste into a painless, cost-effective meal for busy parents / students / singletons alike. But if you’re looking to dial it up a little, consider Laura Werlin’s great cookbook that ups the class factor with combinations like the gourmand Gruyere and Gorgonzola with Hazelnut Butter or the Mexicana-inspired Chips & Guacamole. It may take a tiny bit more effort, but the payoff is doubly yummy.
Microplane Cheese Grater / Planer – $19.95 @ Linen Chest
This two-in-one tool does double cheesy duty. Use the planer to slice varying thicknesses of cheese for sandwiches, raclette, or just to munch on (no more knives!) Or if you’re garnishing pastas, salads, or soups with hard cheeses, use the freestanding grater to top off your favourite dish with some fine ribbons of fromage. Consider it as a unique hostess gift for the next wine & cheese evening you’re invited to.