One of my favorite Eventbrite events so far? An evening of simple appetizers and sips in a Summer Entertaining class by Formaggio Kitchen! Held at their learning annex in Cambridge, the space works overtime as a storage space, classroom, and fully functional kitchen. There were lots of lovely small touches in the set-up that helped you forget you were in an industrial space (and made for a nice contrast). We sat down to long tables covered in butcher paper runners, milk glass and mason jar vases filled with flowers from an instructor’s yard, and a refreshing glass of Cocci Americano (a light apéritif).
The class was led by Julia Hallman and Jess Smith, a great duo who know more about wine and cheese than I can ever hope to. (It’s ok I’m happy to be a taste tester). The session focused on easy summer eating and highlighted small dishes that can be prepared in advance without much time or cooking. Appetizers were made easy to transport for outdoor eating (on the patio or the beach) and we were shown a number of “smart cheeses” that hold up well in the heat.
The featured app that probably took the least time to prep (and was the most tantalizing in my opinion) was the apricot. Once halved and pitted, the divot that held the pit became the perfect bowl for blue cheese! Super ripe and drizzled with honey the apricot was the ideal summer treat.
The part of class that I’m most eager to re-create is the Rose Sangria. White sangria is a fun twist on the traditional, but I’ve never thought to use rose. Mixed with brandy, June Taylor syrup, and fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) and topped with sparkling water, it’s fairly simple to make a large pitcher. Just mix and refrigerate for an hour and you’re ready to serve!
To close I’ll leave you with three of my favorite tips from class. And if you’ve never taken a class with Formaggio I suggest you check out their schedule of upcoming events.
TIP 1: Be flexible. You don’t need to stick to one recipe. Modify and go with what’s ripe at the time.
TIP 2: Any good market will let you try before you buy. Ask to try the produce!
TIP 3: Put a cheese slate in the fridge for at least a half an hour. It’s perfect for serving and will keep everything cool in the heat.
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