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The Monthly (Not So) Monger, April Showers

Warmer weather is becoming far more constant as the sun peeks out from the clouds. But before any rays can be soaked up, the sky must have its temper tantrum. Rain or shine, stores shelve fresh produce and cheese – perfect for a picnic on those few sunny afternoons. Even if there happen to be some clouds in the sky or a slight drizzle coming down, picnics can still be held indoors, the rain simply adds to the ambiance. 

Cheese and fruit spread

Dreary clouds hang in the sky for the majority of April afternoons. Cotton candy is often thought of as the parallel to clouds, sweet and endlessly fluffy. But this is a cheese board, not a sugar-coated candy arrangement. Instead of using the cloud-like fluff, I chose a white and similarly soft cheese: Goat gouda is a classic soft cheese that tastes tangy yet mild. Slices of strawberry complimented this cheese particularly well. 

Once the rain begins to pass and the sun comes out, colorful rays begin popping out of the retreating clouds. On the very top of the colorful scale, brightly colored and extremely sweet strawberries complement a plethora of cheeses. The refreshingness of sliced strawberries sets up such a bustling flavor for being the first of many colors.   

Moving down to orange, clementine slices put a smile on anyone’s face. All ages enjoy the sweet but sometimes tart, peelable tangerine. It doesn’t compliment one particular cheese, but the slices are a delectable side. 

Though the sun hasn’t been out for long, the tropical staple of pineapple is in season till July. Pineapple is tangy and packed with nutrients. Paired with the board’s other fruits, it’s much juicer in comparison. The texture of the pineapple is a unique semi-soft block, melting down with each chew. Closer to the top of the board is the yellow color counterpart cheese. Butter cheese is exactly what it sounds like. To describe this cheese, there’s no “butter” description than to say it’s just like a stick of butter. It tastes exactly like the classic salty block of butter but has a slightly more solid texture. The texture is semi-soft and makes for a great sandwich cheese.

Kiwis make for an aesthetically pleasing green food item. Out of all green-themed foods, kiwi was at the top of the list, since it was a fruit. Fitting the theme, the kiwi was a noteworthy sweet but sour slice to combine with the many other fruits. Below the kiwi is Red Windsor marble cheddar cheese, with such a dashing, pink hue. For a cheese labeled as red, the color was much pinker than expected. The vibrant marble was achieved by adding hints of port wine and some brandy. It tasted particularly sweet, perfect when paired with the creamy cheddar texture.

Last come the sides to pair with fruit and cheese. Simple buttery crackers gave the cheeseboard a crunch to combine with the stronger cheese slices. And of course, rolls of prosciutto lent a salty taste to any food it was wrapped around. This colorful array of fresh produce was a hit. Gone in minutes, each food was enjoyed to the fullest extent. Definitely take some time to go buy the fresh fruits that are finally in season – they might just be the best spring snack out there.

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