Cheeses for summer’s backyard get-togethers

Carolyn Stromberg, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – As the weather continues to warm, more and more hosts will throw outdoor parties and cookouts. When deciding on a dish to bring to a summer get-together, consider something that doesn’t require a lot of time in front of a hot stove on a summer day — like a cheese plate.

Carolyn Stromberg, owner of Righteous Cheese offers some tips on picking the right cheeses for backyard fetes.

When choosing cheeses to bring to an outdoor party, consider two factors: seasonality and setting.

You want to pick cheeses that are meant to be eaten in the spring and summer. Animals begin producing milk in the spring, so soft goat and sheep’s milk cheeses are at their best during the warmer months.

Warm weather can make cheeses sweat, droop and slump, so pick cheeses that can hold up to the setting. Harder sheep’s milk cheeses will sweat, and cheeses that are too creamy will ooze.

Carolyn’s summer cheese picks:

  • Robiola Tre Latti (Robiola Rocchetta)

    This cheese is a creamy, fluffy blend of cow, sheep and goat’s milk from the Piedmont region of Italy. It is a super creamy cheese, but it won’t ooze all over the place in the heat. There are many kinds of Robiola out there, so make sure you grab the one that has three milks.

    The taste is a bit more complex and bold in flavor than many other surface-ripened cheeses, and it pairs best with a chardonnay, an Arneis, a Barbera and Saison beers.

  • Piave Stravecchio

    A firm cow’s milk cheese from Veneto, Italy, this cheese has delicious crunchy bits. It’s sharp like a Parmesan, sweet like a Gouda and nutty like a Gruyere.

    This cheese is firm, but it won’t sweat in the heat. It pairs best with pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, pilsners and K