It was still summer when I picked up my first half-peck of fruit from Scott Farm. The bag was loaded with peaches and plums and the heady aroma of soft, ripe fruit. A week later fall had arrived and, while peaches from the farm were still available, my csa share was mostly apples. To be more precise, it was a half-peck of the most beautiful Sansa apples. I'm glad they wrote the variety on the bag or I might have made the mistake of cooking them.
I did a tiny bit of internet research and learned that the Sansa is the product of 20 years of Japanese-Australian co-operation beginning in 1969. It is an early maturing apple with a beautiful red-blush-over-yellow-green skin. It's flesh is firm yet tender, juicy, and very sweet with just the right amount of tartness. Sansas are not keepers and should be eaten soon after harvest.
I ate my first Sansa without accompaniment, taking one crisp, juicy, sweet bite after the other and practically devouring the core. I got to thinking about it, because these are the things I think about, and decided the crisp sweetness of the apple would be contrasted nicely by a buttery, kinda tangy, sorta salty, mostly mellow cheese--a Welsh style cheddar, for instance. The cheese I had in mind was Cobb Hill's Four Corners Caerphilly, but the Co-op was out of stock. I ended up with a nice piece of Landaff Cheese, a Welsh style semi-firm farmstead cheese made from raw milk in New Hampshire and aged at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont. I was not disappointed. These are the things, some of them anyway, that make me feel very lucky to have landed in Vermont.
I can highly recommend both the apple and the cheese for any snack or platter or cheese plate or fruit plate or dessert. To make a meal of it, I could see adding some walnuts to the mix and a bit of cured meat and a hunk of good bread, a glass of beer or wine and, of course, at least one good friend.
Do let the cheese stand at room temperature for half an hour or so before serving to bring out all the flavors and to be able to truly enjoy its buttery texture. Squeeze lemon juice over the apple wedges to preserve their beautiful white flesh.