Picard’s Picks: spring in cheese


Welcome the New Season with Oregon Art

By Mélodie Picard, The Oregon Cheese Cave

Here in southern Oregon, March means cheese, specifically the Oregon Cheese Festival. However, as the pandemic continues, the Oregon Cheese Guild and Rogue Creamery have postponed the annual celebration to May — fingers crossed. Meanwhile, the change of seasons marks the perfect time to explore cheese. The best spring platters feature lively flavors, pairing well with rosés and whites. I suggest hard, crumbly cheeses, spicy softies, and bold blues, to start. The crisp flavor that only goat’s milk offers is especially beneficial for the warming weather. While prepping the plate, I reached for the winners of the 2022 Good Food Awards for Artisan Sides. Once again, Oregon has played off the grid – pun intended – in the annual cooking competition.

By George Farm Dutchman’s Peak

The raw tomme cheese aged with Jersey cow’s milk remains the flagship of the Applegate Valley creamery. (spears)

FaceRock Creamery Harvest Pepper Cheddar

The Bandon creamery created this cheese as its first seasonal cheddar; now it’s a fan favorite. (cubic)

OakLeaf Creamery Billy blue goat

Thistle-rennet goat cheese maker Grants Pass—the only one in the United States—has a stunning blue. (corner)

Olympia Provisions Dry Sausage

The Portland deli seasons this French salami with fresh garlic and cracked black pepper.

OPA Gardens Fresh Culinary Flowers

Accompaniments Good Food Award 2022

Valhalla Organics Sweet Pickled Beets

The Talent Craft marinator/curator adds color and spice to the platter with beautiful beets.

Mt. Hope Farms Raspberry Berry Fruit Spread

From fifth-generation farmers in Molalla, the bright berry condiment bursts with flavor.

Gluten Free Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers from The Cracker King

These Portland-made treats taste great no matter how gluten-free they are.

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