IN CATALONIA, mild goat cheese served with honey is called mel i mató. Similar cheese, like French-style fromage blanc, fresh ricotta, Italian aged ricotta salata, and Greek manouri, are paired with fragrant honey throughout the Mediterranean. In Italy and in the Basque country, aged mountain cheese and sharp sheep’s-milk cheeses are often served with honey or preserves too.
Cheese and honey make a perfect light finish to a meal (It’s good for breakfast too). Good thick yogurt with honey makes a fine dessert as well.
The most intense flavor comes from the bees’ diet—search out artisanal honey (at farmers’markets) made from the blossoms of chestnut, mesquite, orange blossom, lavender, acacia, wildflower, alfalfa, buckwheat, eucalyptus, or sage.
—Excerpt from page 181, a platter of figs by David Tanis
What can you learn from this book? That a party can be any gathering of eaters at a table. That a fine meal doesn’t have to necessarily be elaborate. The best meals mirror nature and celebrate the seasonal. —David Tanis, from page 11, “a platter of figs.”
I very much appreciate his philosophy of selecting seasonal ingredients whenever possible…but I really became a fan when I saw he had devoted an entire page to the merits of cheese & honey. —Now that’s a man after my own heart!