Beecher's Marco Polo
Beecher's Marco Polo is named after the 13th century explorer to honor him for bringing spices, in particular pepper, back to Europe from the far east. The cheese is a cheddar blended with cracked green and black peppercorns. It has no rind and a semi-hard beige paste speckled with green and black cracked pepper corns. It smells of milky, creamy light baby's breath seasoned with floral and pepper notes. The texture is soft and almost fudgy The cheese has a cheddery, spicy pepper taste with the pepper providing much more flavor than heat.
I am drinking Marco Polo with Charm City Meadworks Sweet Blossom Mead, a traditional, sweet, still mead and Junkyard Rock the Cash Bar, an Imperial IPA. The cheeses goes very well with the mead. Some heat shows up from the peppers from time to time but it is very mild. The sweetness of the mead works very well with the cheese, reminding you why some people drizzle a little honey on their cheese. Both the cheese and the mead play very well together without either being over bearing.
Rock the Cash Bar brings out some faint bacon notes in the cheese that isn't there when eating the cheese alone and the pepper in the cheese plays with the beer's hop notes. The hops make the pepper show off more spicy floral notes and the heat from the pepper is just a notch higher. The creaminess of the cheese grabs onto the hops and drags the flavors out longer in the finish. The beer and cheese pairing also brings out some caramel notes in each. The mead and cheese pairing is comfortable and easy while with the beer and cheese pairing the beer and cheese open up more flavors in each other.