20081128 cheese fromager 18
Adrian Murcia poses with the cheese board he's prepared for the evening at the Chanterelle restaurant. - 

Adrian's cheese recommendations:

INEXPENSIVE: Cave Aged Gruyere -- around $11 a pound.

Adrian says: "The quintessential mountain cheese. Ranks consistently well against other alpine cheeses twice the price. A lovely expression of high-elevation pasturage: herbaceous, caramelly, with hints of toasted hazelnuts."

MODERATE: Cobb Hill Ascutney Mountain Cheese -- around $16 a pound.

Adrian says: "A gruyere-style cheese made at a cooperative in Central Vermont. It's every bit as elegant and buttery as a Beaufort, but with an almost candied, American exuberance. The quality of this cheese has grown by leaps and bounds over the past five years."

EXPENSIVE: Abbaye de Citeaux -- around $24 a pound.

Adrian says: "The mildest of the so-called Holy Trinity of Burgundian washed-rind, raw cow's milk cheeses (The other two are Epoisses and L'Ami de Chambertin). Made at the monastery where the Cistercian order was founded. It's buttery and vegetal and compulsively edible."