This weekend for a large gathering, we served something that gained rave reviews from our guests. I've written about this before, but I'm always heartened and surprised at how good it is. And it means something to us, because it's about friends and family.
We have dear friends in Seattle - Wazzu alums - who each year at Christmas send us a gift of Washington State University's "Cougar Gold" cheese, which - uniquely - comes in a can.
My mother-in-law, who lives in Tampa, Florida, usually sends us a Christmas care package with local delicacies, including Cuban and Hispanic foods. Almost every year, she sends a can of guava paste.
In South America, I've learned, the combination of cheese and guava paste is called "Romeo and Juliet." I guess it's because they are so opposite, yet combine so wonderfully, as did the tragic couple.
Washington State's Cougar Gold is a sharp white cheddar, while the guava paste sent from Tampa has an unctuous fruity sweetness. It's nice to think how how nice a combination they make, coming from opposite corners of the United States. They combine so nicely, it's a delicious treat on crackers. Our guests thought so.
But first we had to put it together.
The cheese came out of the can OK. The guava paste was more of a challenge.
Here our trusty helper Guy runs a knife around the outside.
First, we tried gravity as a means of getting the guava out of the can. We sat the guava paste can on top of the cheese. No motion.
Impatient, we tried force. It didn't work.
Then after trying the knife routine again, we went back to gravity - this time we left the can upside down over another plate for a few minutes. Time. Patience. It worked. Finally, the disc of guava paste slipped out with a sigh when we lifted the can off.
We carefully transferred it on top of the wheel of cheese.
Here it is. Take a slice of cheese, a slice of guava paste, and enjoy together on a cracker. Perfection.